Canon aims to build fully automated production lines at its two digital camera factories in Japan by 2015, aiming to become the world’s first manufacturer to assemble D-cams using robots.
With this cost-cutting measure, Canon intends to maintain domestic production and development rather than shifting them overseas. According to Canon’s latest plan, some assembly processes will be completely automated at first at the firm’s mainstay plant in Oita Prefecture and its production base for interchangeable lenses in Utsunomiya, Tochigi Pref, near Tokyo. Digital cameras use 600 to 1,000 parts apiece. Canon will soon start upgrading manufacturing equipment to ensure that all processes from assembling through packaging can be carried out without workers. Once manufacturing is fully automated, it intends to keep employees on by transferring them to production control at the plants and to new divisions with growth fields.