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Information on Tools for Supporting Smart Monodzukuri Targeting Mid-Ranking Companies and SMEs in the Manufacturing Industry Compiled

Mid-ranking companies and SMEs in the manufacturing industry in Japan often face challenges in the utilization of IoT-based technologies. Aiming to help such companies overcome this, the Robot Revolution Initiative of Japan (RRI) called for simple, IoT-based tools that such companies are able to use at a minimal cost to the manufacturers. The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) hereby announces that RRI has selected information on tools submitted by the applicants and compiled the results into a collection titled “Tools for Supporting Smart Monodzukuri.” METI has been supporting the project and will continue to encourage mid-ranking companies and SMEs to utilize IoT-based technologies.

1. Background and other information

Western companies and other entities are leading in the creation of new business models in the manufacturing industries through the utilization of IoT-based technologies. Within this trend, mid-ranking companies and SMEs in the industries in Japan are facing challenges in the utilization of IoT—e.g., in understanding the purpose of using IoT or recognizing the types of data they should choose and utilize. To overcome such challenges, it is desirable that such mid-ranking companies and SMEs are encouraged to make use of simple commercial applications, sensor modules and other tools at a low cost, and abandoning preconceived notions that IoT-based technologies are too elaborated to embrace.

In cooperation with RRI, METI has been promoting efforts through the operation of Working Group 1: IoT-based Business Reform WG to encourage whole sectors of the manufacturing industries to utilize IoT-based technologies. Based on the WG1 findings, from July 27 to August 26, 2016, RRI put out a call to companies across Japan for existing applications, sensor modules and other tools that mid-ranking companies and SMEs in the manufacturing industries are able to use at a low cost in a simpler manner, including new development of such tools.

2. Summary of the successful applicants’ tools

Based on the selections of an examination committee mainly consisting of SME business owners in the manufacturing industries, RRI categorized the submitted existing and proposed future tools and selected 106 tools as Tools for Supporting Smart Monodzukuri. Some examples are a tool which displays operation information with the utilization of smartphones and other familiar devices and a tool which enhances work efficiency through the utilization of still pictures and video. METI hereby announces that RRI has made the successful tools available on its website.

3. Website of the release

Visit the RRI website as below for more information on the selected tools:

4. Links to related information

Release date

October 4, 2016

Division in Charge

Manufacturing Industries Policy Office, Manufacturing Industries Bureau

Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry1-3-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8901, Japan Tel: +81-(0)3-3501-1511
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