Expo Highlights Canon's Grand Tradition of Innovations and Rich Culture

Article excerpt

The stage was once again set for Canons unprecedented line of innovations and 67 years-worth of history through its annual Canon Asia Expo. This grand tradition of Canon is not just a venue for introducing state-of-the-art products that would take imaging to greater heights, but more so to share with the Expo visitors Canons rich history and culture, and the philosophy and ideas behind its technologies.

According to Canon, Inc. president Fujio Mitarai, the company's corporate philosophy "Kyosei"--meaning living and working together for the common good__ is very much evident in all of its operations, whether it's about decision-making, innovating, product selling, or customer-handling.

The aim of our philosophy is to contribute through our business activities to all people, regardless of race, religion or culture, harmoniously living and working together into the future," explained Mitarai. "Under this philosophy, Canon has made every effort to contribute as a good corporate citizen to the development of each country and region in which we operate by providing employment and the transfer of technologies. Canon also offers its customers enjoyment and enthusiasm through the creation of new value and proposal of new culture."

Production innovation

One of the best examples of Canon's personification of the Kyosei philosophy is its own concept in manufacturing.

As the traditional concept of manufacturing is based on assembly line or the Ford production system, Canon has embarked on the Cell production system in its Ami plant in Japan sometime in 1998. This system creates a mutually facilitating workspace by utilizing every member's ability and motivation, as opposed to the conveyor belt's concept of promoting single-task operation by right of work segmentation.

"It became a new reform strategy for us," said Mitarai. "Canon went a step further to innovation at each plant. By the end of 2001, all the Canon plants-- including the largest, USD100 million plant in Suzhou China -have already implemented the cell production System.

Bullish

As a result of Canon's unique production innovation, more and more state-of-the-art Canon products are manufactured, including the latest consumer, business and industrial products paraded in this year's expo, and touted to be the company's take off point releasing about 100 products in the Asian market by year-end.

Mitarai said that the Asian market, especially China, will be playing a vital role in moving these products across the region. In fact, Canon in china has already outpaced the growth in he Americas and Europe by 23% last year. "There are 34,000 Canon employees across Asia, a good 20,000 comes from China alone," said Mitarai.

He also highlighted that Asia plays two important roles for the Canon group: First, the region functions as a manufacturing base-between the coasts of East Asia and Southeast Asia, Canon has 10 major production sites that manufacture many of Canon's principal products including digital cameras, digital multifunction office systems, and printers. …