BreakThrough Interview

Inventors of the All-Purpose BIMMS Management System: Daily Financial Updates Shared on the CloudBusyu Kogyo Co., Ltd.

2018.09.27

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BIMMS was developed with a focus on real-time inventory

summary

  • One tablet is all you need to check on each site
  • Gather and store accurate information for added value
  • Low cost is affordable for small businesses

Access a Variety of Data to Improve Production

Since Busyu’s founding in 1951, it has continued to make a steady profit, and has been recognized as a Superior Report Corporation 7 times. President Hideo Hayashi explains, “I want to improve Japan’s manufacturing power. Everyone should get a system that allows them to compete against foreign companies.”

Busyu Kogyo, Co., Ltd. specializes in pipes for automobiles and medical equipment. The current catalog contains nearly 900 varieties of pipes, and monthly production sometimes exceeds 900,000 pieces. Busyu’s original software “Busyu Intelligent Manufacturing Management System” (BIMMS) is a tool that eliminates information gaps between different departments. This system allows Busyu to offer specialized pipes that require difficult machining at low costs with short turnaround.

The concept: real-time inventory. Achieve daily financial settlement through information management like inventory check, production results and malfunctions: get real-time information to the right people with the right timing. Hayashi explained, “It all started with a smartphone pedometer. I realized that we could apply those same 3 direction sensors to our machines and record movement.”

Busyu wrote an original app, “Shosansei Mietakun (Productivity Watcher)” to track operation status using smartphone directional sensors and automatically recorded machine movement. Smartphones with the app were attached to each machine in the production line to begin automated movement tracking. All of the data is stored in the cloud by BIMMS. It was now possible for workers and staff to check and observe productivity and operation status from the office, without visiting the factory floor. This allowed greater flexibility for accepting rush orders and adjusting production deadlines.
This complete production system saves costs by reducing production wait time and minimizing waste due to malfunction and defects. Running costs can be minimized by recycling old smartphones.

Wait, there’s more! Every technician on the floor is issued a smartphone or tablet, allowing each worker to digitally manage paperwork including timecards, production instructions, packing slips, and malfunction reports. All users upload their data to the same cloud at the same time, enabling correct time consensus and more accurate information tracking.

There’s also a new project to collect employee health data. Instead of a regular time card, BIMMS asks users to select their well-being from 5 options when they check in. In the future, data analysis may find connections between statistics like poor employee health and defective products.

“We’re going to keep gathering accurate data, we’re going to keep analyzing and improving. Next, we want to work together with the Zengin EDI System (ZEDI), a new XML compatible settlement platform that the Japanese Bankers Association is planning to release in December 2018,” Hayashi elaborated.
ZEDI is a system that is expected to reduce accounting workload and improve efficiency of clearing payments by sending information including payment notification number and invoice codes to companies when they receive a bank transfer.
Until now, manufacturers had to wait 2 or even 3 months after delivery to get paid for an order. BIMMS + ZEDI should eliminate the time lag between delivery and payment. BIMMS has been updated be compatible with financial institutions to function as a manufacturer POS system, concentrating every system a business might need into one software.

One Piece Flow Manufacturing: High Quality & Efficient Production

Busyu’s version of one piece flow manufacturing reduced lead time by having one technician follow each piece through the production process, from materials, to processing, to quality control and shipping date management. Parts are usually delivered within 48 hours of accepting the order. Switching to one piece flow manufacturing significantly reduced defects and shipment delays.
Smaller equipment has reduced energy and space requirements, while lowering costs and improving productivity.

Entrusting the complete production process to each worker has created technicians who know each product well, contributing to employee responsibility and motivation. If each technician can exhibit a sense of ownership, it will lead to higher production efficiency and improved awareness.

Innovative, Unique Projects

Busyu is also applying decades of experience in pipe bending and metal processing tech into a wide variety of product development genres. The educational toy Pipegram, winner of the 2014 Good Design Award, is one of these side projects. Just connect pipes together to make any kind of shape - Pipegram stimulates the creativity of both kids and adults.

Pipegram, made in collaboration with designer Ryu Kozeki.This educational toy is made using a high tech pipe bending process

New employees also join an unconventional training exercise: they immediately start practicing aluminum brazing, the most difficult pipe processing technique. If aluminum brazing is thought of as a standard technique for all employees, then they will not struggle with new techniques. By mastering this technique before they form preconceptions about difficulty, learning most other techniques will feel easy in comparison.

The first Busyu-An workshop began on the Busyu campus in October 2017. This IoT workshop for customers and local companies is run with co-sponsors by like the Ome Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Course content is aimed towards raising Japanese industry productivity, including open discussion of one piece flow manufacturing.

Interview Date: August 10, 2018


Busyu Kogyo, Co., Ltd.

Busyu specializes in manufacturing pipes and metal parts like heat exchangers for automobiles and medical equipment for laparoscopic surgery. One technician follows each piece through the production process, from materials, to processing, to quality control and shipping management. The one piece flow manufacturing method has successfully minimized lead time, production defects and shipment delays.

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