Recently, Craig travelled to Japan and Taiwan to explore specialised material handling equipment. He was particularly impressed with the country’s cost-effective way of building.
“We looked at companies who build finger jointers and glulan plant. What’s incredible about Japanese culture is that they build to order, and adhere to the Just In Time manufacturing system. This results in zero waste, which is something I believe we should all aspire to. The systemisation of their products and plant to build further production plants that are highly systemised is unquestionably the best in the world. The Japanese refuse to believe in waste.”
Comparing the Japanese way to that of European manufacturers, Craig says it’s worlds apart. “Where Europe builds ‘sausage plants’, Japan builds customised plants. If you want to make a product in high volume, you go to Europe. If you want to make customised products, Japan is the obvious solution.”
In terms of timber usage, Japan is a huge consumer of finger jointing product. Their housing construction and the building methods they use depend enormously on finger jointed and wide laminated beam product. The Japanese tend to cling to tradition when it comes to the design and construction of their buildings. The climate typically runs from extremely cold to quite hot and of course, the region is known for its earthquakes and tremors so the need for adequate expansion is paramount.
Craig will be returning to Japan every three to four months and invites customers to come along if they’re interested in buying new machinery. “Japan builds primarily for their own market,” he says. “They have exceptional machine manufacturers and process machine makers that only supply equipment to the Japanese domestic market however we do deal with a select number of suppliers.”
A quick flight to Taiwan and Craig found himself visiting manufacturers who are doing exciting things in tooling. What he found was new designs and developments in tooling, with long-term R&D now coming to fruition.
“Some exciting things are due to be released in 2018,” Craig says. “We’ll be introducing different types of cutting tools so stay tuned.”
Across Japan and Taiwan, Craig found both countries’ attention to detail compelling.
“The systemisation of their entire business from the front door through to the production line and order processing is nothing short of exceptional and it’s fully understandable why they are the leaders in manufacturing.
Whilst in Japan, Craig visited a factory in Hiroshima and stopped by the Peace Memorial Museum which honours the victims of the 1945 atomic bomb. “It’s something that every human being should attend in their lifetime. The resilience of people to move forward with life is inspiring. The resilience of companies to adapt and change is a parallel you can pull from visiting a place like that.”
To express interest in travelling to Japan and Taiwan on one of Craig’s 2018 trips, drop us a line now.