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Ricoh looks at automation

September 1, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted a look into factory floor setups due to the new social distancing rules.

Reuters reported that Japans manufacturing sector is taking the COVID-19 pandemic to focus on a rethink of setups on factory floors. The report says that new social distancing rules have stimulated “increased use of robots and other technology for quality control, including remote monitoring which was already being adopted before the pandemic.”

As part of the group of manufacturers, Reuters writes that Ricoh Co Ltd is looking into automating “all of the production processes for drum units and toner cartridges at one of its Japan plants by March 2023. Robots perform most of the processes already, and since April, technicians have been monitoring equipment on the factory floor from home.”

This could eventually mean that staff numbers can be reduced and monitoring of robots could be done from home. Kazuhiro Kanno, General Manager at Ricoh’s printer manufacturing unit explained: “Of course, you need to be on site to assess and execute solutions when issues come up but identifying and confirming are tasks we can now do from home.”

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