Manufacturers of large-size machining centers--and the shops and parts manufacturers within the aerospace, automotive, medical, and power generation industries using them--may well want to avail themselves of a renewed understanding of monozukuri.
"The vision of monozukuri stretches beyond 'mono,' or products, and 'zukuri,' roughly translated as 'making with your hands,'" said Dr. Aid Kitamura, president of Kitamura Machinery. "Monozukuri is the ability to fuse science and technology with human skills, passions, and teamwork in designing and planning high quality products.
"I embrace monozukuri," stresses Kitamura's president. "Our primary objective is not the total number of units sold. We are a specialty builder of only machining centers; the emphasis is on quality. We believe customer satisfaction and loyalty is obtained only when we ourselves are proud of what we manufacture and support throughout the machines' long life spans. That is essential to monozukuri."
To maintain this high level of workmanship, and to meet the critical need for space to produce larger size, high-performance machining centers, the company expanded its Takaoka City, Japan plant. Completion was timed for Kitamura's 75th anniversary late last year. Within the walls of the new plant, old-world traditions will continue alongside new world advancements.
Kitamura retains practices such as hand scraping contact surfaces because it results in a high-precision finish that cannot be machine-duplicated.
"Control compensation software cannot compete with this proven practice," Kitamura noted. "But we do not forego state-of-the-art technologies when they result in superior work.
"Our machining centers are manufactured to accuracies of 1 micron or less because our commitment to building an excellent machine the best of the manufacturing technologies," he added.
Aki Kitamura, Ph.D.
Takaoka City, Japan