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First Meeting of the National Smart Monodzukuri Conference Held

Many mid-ranking companies and SMEs in Japan face challenges in improving factory floor performance in the current environment of labor shortages and other issues in their industries. To address this situation, business associations and owners across Japan have been advancing efforts towards supporting such companies in overcoming such labor shortages and improving productivity through an approach called "smart monodzukuri" that makes use of IoT and robot technologies.

With the goals of establishing a network of entities to advance a broad range of efforts for promoting "Connected Industries" in terms of smart monodzukuri, and sharing cross-sectoral know-how and solutions to challenges that companies are facing, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry(METI)held the first meeting of the National Liaison Conference of Support Organizations for Smart Monodzukuri(National Smart Monodzukuri Conference), bringing together over 140 participants across Japan, as part of the "International Robot Exhibition 2017."

1. Outline of the first meeting (progress in efforts of support organizations)

The support organizations listed below made presentations concerning the details of their efforts. Through these presentations, METI identified common challenges facing factory floors, including uncertainty concerning the effects of introducing the smart monodzukuri initiatives and related actions that should be taken. In addition, concerning cross-sectoral know-how, METI also discovered that it is important to share case examples of leading companies taking advantage of such initiatives and to hold group-based discussions concerning challenges and bottlenecks in their own companies.

  1. Support Teams for Smart Monodzukuri(The Softopia Japan, the Osaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the Hiroshima Industrial Promotion Organization)
  2. Local IoT Acceleration Lab(The Shizuoka Industrial Foundation)
  3. Liaison Conference of Personnel in Charge of the Monodzukuri Industry of the Chambers of Commerce and Industry
  4. Region-based Seminar Activities by the Industrial Value Chain Initiative(IVI)
  5. IT Coordinators Association(ITCA)
  6. RRI Mid-ranking Companies and SMEs Action Group
  7. METI project for the development of the Robot System Integrators(Robot SIer)

2. Future directions

In light of the discussion results at the meeting and past efforts concerning smart monodzukuri, METI will advance efforts for making visible the case examples of proactive efforts by business owners of many mid-ranking companies and SMEs as well as those of specific efforts by companies taking advantage of tools, e.g., IoT and robots. Moreover, it will also strive to advance discussions concerning effective approaches to convening future meetings of the National Smart Monodzukuri Conference.

Release date

December 4, 2017

Division in Charge

Policy Planning and Coordination Division, 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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