"Automation centered on people" creates value in your field and achieves a contribution that leads to a sustainable society [PR] |

By : ilikephone / On : 10/10/2022

Create value at customer sites with "human-centered automation" and realize contributions that lead to a sustainable society "in series" [PR]

(2021/9/27 00:00)

Azbil Corporation President Kiyohiro Yamamoto × Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun President and CEO Haruhiro Imizu

Azbil provides services that lead to improved productivity in factories and work environments through human-centered automation by integrating the "measurement" and "control" technologies that it has cultivated over a long period of 115 years. We will start a new medium- to long-term business plan in 2021 and accelerate this movement in the future. We asked President Kiyohiro Yamamoto, who assumed office in 2020, during the corona crisis, about the company's future business strategy.

[Published on September 24, click here for PDF of the paper]

Three Growth Areas


The role played by the azbil Group's automation has become more important with the times. In particular, it can be said that its role has changed significantly due to the spread of the new coronavirus infection. Coincidentally, from fiscal 2021, the medium-term management plan with the final year ending March 2013 and the long-term goals for the fiscal year ending March 2031 have started. What do you focus on?


In the new medium-term plan, we will “develop new automation business areas” to solve new issues with new products and services, “expand the environment and energy fields” with strengths based on our achievements in the energy conservation and renewable energy fields, and “customer assets”. We have set the three growth areas of “strengthening the life cycle business” to support the long-term. We believe that the new automation business will become especially important in the future post-coronavirus and coexistence era with corona. This is because, including the current corona situation, there is a continuous demand for “improving the quality of space and productivity” of customer assets.


What are your thoughts on the environment/energy business and the life cycle business?


One of the big changes in the world is carbon neutrality, so we will also focus on the environment and energy business. We will continue to steadily work on these two businesses until fiscal 2030, and will continue to provide new added value to our customers. To ensure the smooth progress of these two businesses, we will firmly support them with life cycle businesses. The strength of this life cycle business lies in the long-term development and expansion of the business foundation and the provision of added value through the use of networks.


Do you have any specific examples of providing new added value?


A good example of our company is the air conditioning control system. It has the function of reducing energy consumption while realizing a comfortable temperature and well-ventilated space for people. In the past, we have been developing our business and technology mainly in Japan, where high-quality space creation is required. However, due to the current situation of the corona disaster, it has become recognized again that the role of air conditioning is not only to adjust the temperature and humidity of the space. We would like to take this opportunity to spread our technology and ideas overseas.

About “healthy management” toward 2030


You talked about the three growth areas, but could you tell us about new initiatives you are working on to realize business expansion and how you are strengthening technological development?


For R&D functions, there is the Fujisawa Techno Center in Fujisawa City, Kanagawa Prefecture, where about 2,000 people are enrolled. Engineers are involved in development work every day as a research and development base. We plan to open two new buildings in 2022. In the new building, we will promote the development of MEMS (Micro Electro Mechanical System) sensors, which are the cornerstone of sensing technology. We are planning to prepare a variety of devices with the aim of enabling the working engineers to demonstrate their creativity efficiently. We are also actively promoting the use of IT. In April of last year, we established the "IT Solution Promotion Department" and the "Cloud Operation Center" in order to strengthen the development of products that utilize IoT, AI, and the cloud.


What specific services are available that utilize big data that utilizes measurement and control technology?


I have been working on anomaly detection for plants and factories for about 10 years. In the 2010s, when a petroleum- and chemical-related accident occurred, there was a request from a customer for development. Since we are collecting data related to factory operations through various measuring instruments, we wanted to add a predictive function for failures based on that data. It took a long time to develop, but in 2015, we completed the anomaly sign detection system "BiG EYES". Even after its release, the function has been updated repeatedly, and it has a track record of adoption mainly by chemical manufacturers.


How is the progress of overseas expansion?


For the future, we are taking several measures overseas. We have factories in Thailand and Dalian to strengthen our production capabilities. In 2018, we established the Southeast Asia Strategic Planning Office in Singapore. The aim is to proceed with the planning and development. In 2009, we provided an external research base for smart city-related technology with a "pandemic response room" that can change the ventilation rate and negative pressure room with the flick of a switch. In addition to infectious diseases, Azbil Telstar, a Spanish subsidiary, is also working on refrigerators that store corona vaccines. Business is growing steadily from the recent situation where vaccination is progressing all over the world. We would like to further increase sales.


I understand that you also place importance on human resource development and diversity initiatives.


In 2019, we enacted the "azbil Group Health and Well-being Management Declaration" with the aim of encouraging employees to work in good health and with enthusiasm. In order to focus on being healthy and happy, we have adopted the word “happiness” instead of “health.” Based on healthy management, we would like to achieve 65% employee satisfaction with working in 30 years. In addition, to promote the active participation of female employees, we have set a goal of doubling the number of points calculated by multiplying the weight according to the role of managers and the number of employees by the fiscal year ending March 2013 compared to the fiscal year ended March 2018. Did. We will also work on fostering awareness of the person himself and the people around him. From fiscal 2009, we are promoting the use of diverse human resources in the company, not just women. As part of these activities, since 20 years after taking office, we have held a "meeting to talk with employees" via a web conference. To date, we have interacted more than 80 times with a total of 1,300 domestic and overseas employees.

Carbon Neutral and SDGs


We have newly formulated four goals for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The azbil Group's unique perspective on resolving social issues is also included, and it can be seen that the azbil Group is particularly focused on reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.


Our company's business is to reduce CO2 emissions in our customers' on-site environments. At the same time, we will actively use our own technology to reduce CO2 emissions from our factories and offices. This is to promote our company's performance outside the company and gain the trust of our business partners. In addition, regarding the reduction of CO2 emissions in the establishment of long-term targets, the target for 2030 was raised from the previous 30% reduction compared to 2013 to 55% reduction compared to 2017.

well water

Human-centered automation

Why did you raise your CO2 reduction target so much?


In response to the movement toward decarbonization in society as a whole, this is to accelerate efforts under the "2050 Long-term Vision for Reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions," which aims to reduce CO2 emissions from our business activities to virtually zero. In addition, through our business such as energy management, we are working to reduce CO2 emissions at our customers' sites. In fiscal 2008, there was a total CO2 reduction effect of 2.94 million tons. This is 170 times the CO2 emitted by our business activities. By using our technology, we are confident that we can contribute to the reduction of society's environmental impact in a "series" manner.

Azbil Corporation


(2021/9/27 00:00)

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