There's joy in supporting the automobile industry through technology. I feel proud of the work I do. Makoto Fukuhara Mechanical Engineering Department, Conveyor Division

The design of conveyors, needed on every automobile production line in the world.

?E?^The area I work in right now is the design of in-plant conveyor systems, what you would call production line systems. Since its start in the conveyor business in 1952, NKC has been supplying all kinds of lines that are central to production, primarily to automobile manufacturers. In order to meet the production system needs and specifications of each manufacturer and each vehicle model, NKC has developed various systems, such as the highly versatile rail-type conveyor, and a revolutionary friction drive system that doesn't use a single chain. All kinds of conveyors have been developed to meet a wide range of requests from manufacturers. Based on these existing conveyors, our job as system designers now is to improve work efficiency and reliability.
A key issue in automobile production is how efficiently different models can be produced in a limited space. A line must also enable a smooth transition when switching lines for the next production model and keep costs down. It gives me a sense of purpose to figure out a solution for each issue, knowing it will lead to higher productivity and allow consumers around the world to get the car they want in a shorter time.


Attentive design on a daily basis, taking the perspective of the user.

Although producers are slashing investment costs in equipment, demand continues to rise for equipment that offers high productivity. So when designing and developing systems I pay attention to how workers will use it. For example, when workers tighten bolts, I make sure they have enough room so that they won't hit their head or arm on a bar, or have to work in a confined position. Good system layout will boost workers' efficiency. Unless you take into consideration even the smallest human movement, you can't call it good design. It's my policy to design systems in this way, taking the point of view of the person who will use the system.
The style of production lines is changing as a shift takes place from an age of mass production to an age of high-mix, low-volume production. I believe it is critical at this time to develop production lines that, in addition to improving working efficiency as I just mentioned, also take the environment into consideration by not producing waste. In this sense, the role that our technologies play is of great value not only to our customers, but also to society and the environment.