Canon to Use Automation to Lower Laser-Printer Costs, Will Also Expand into Commercial, Package Printing

Canon Chairman and CEO Fujio Mitarai

Last month, Canon Inc. of Tokyo, Japan, held an a Corporate Strategy Conference, with Canon Chairman and CEO Fujio Mitarai  explaining that Canon is now in the second year of it five-year business plan, and that it’ll seek to expand the four new businesses that it established last year – commercial printing, network cameras, healthcare, and industrial equipment.

Canon’s Mitarai also noted that laser printers and digital cameras – which are currently Canon’s main source of profit – have shown some signs of recovery as market contraction has declined. But Canon’s also looking to bring lower production costs for these products by, for instance, bringing production in-house in order to decrease production costs and increase profits.

Mitari explained that Canon’s goal is to “thoroughly reduce production cost(s)” for laser printers and cameras, from development, procurement, production engineering, and actual production sites. Ultimately, Canon will “work to drastically raise the level of automation and in-house production” for cost reduction.

Mitari noted that, at the beginning of 2016, Canon began mass-producing digital cameras using automated equipment.

This year, Canon is taking automated production to other models, and says it will not only continue advancing in automated-assembly technologies, but also change the way products are designed by assuming automated assembly from the start. Through this, as well as through simpler designs and a reduction in the number of parts, it says it will reduce production costs.

Also in order to reduce production costs, Canon says it will seek to produce key parts and components in-house, as well as produce the actual production equipment used in its processing and assembly.

It says it’s already has automation equipment in place for producing its digital cameras – equipment that it’s designed and produced itself, the latter of which also lower costs, and which also adds to proprietary Canon technologies. In the future, it says it’ll apply this to other businesses.

First New Business: Commercial and Package Printing

Canon – like various other traditional copier vendors have done for some time – notes the substantial market opportunity in converting commercial printers from offset presses to digital printers, noting that digital printers have the advantage when it comes to much more easily setting up short-run print jobs versus offset presses, the latter of which require much more lengthy job-setup times.

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