Hitachi Seiki stayed on top of their competitors with a competitive priority producing the best product quality for their customers. To meet this standard Hitachi Seiki set forth a new engineering discipline called Mechatronics, which is the integration of mechanical design and electronics. With this new discipline the company can take action in Flexible Manufacturing Systems (FMS) to be able to meet the needs of their customers and be as flexible as possible to cater to them. The case states, “There were many problems with the new technology, and developments in automation did not materialize as rapidly as expected. As a result, many companies stuck with traditional manufacturing processes.” This set Hitachi Seiki apart from the other companies and they had a competitive advantage among the other companies.
There are three options that lie to overcome the problem of innovation. The first option to consider is automated materials handling for the assembly. With this course of action the company takes concern in three different areas of operation; how should the assembly process, the automatic storage system and the production control system be organized? With this option the company figured that the automated materials handling, providing the right materials to the right place at the right time, would reduce assembly time to just 60 hours to meet their competitive priority and the customers product expectations.
The second option to consider is high precision with FMS 111. Hitachi Seiki