Training and skills development

Training and skills development are at the heart of monozukuri

Skills Training at Canon High-Tech (Thailand)

Monozukuri always has been and always will be predicated on the skills of people. While Canon is working toward full automation of production systems, it is important to remember that automation is fundamentally about using human ingenuity and expertise to design machines to perform generally manual processes. Human input into this process is vital; otherwise, we may end up with machines performing unnecessary or wasteful tasks. Automation cannot evolve unless there are people capable of performing higher-level tasks than machines. Therefore, we need to train and equip workers with extremely high levels of technical skill and expertise that can be passed on to future generations. This is how monozukuri will evolve.

Comprehensive training in the monozukuri way

Monozukuri training for new employees

Increasingly, training and skills development programs fail to provide a proper grounding in basic concepts or fundamental principles. This is true not just in the field of monozukuri but elsewhere as well. At Canon, however, our training programs always begin by examining basic principles and concepts. This is predicated on the human respect ethos that is part of our corporate DNA.

New employees who have joined Canon after graduating high school (typically from a vocational, business, agriculture or standard school) spend around six months studying the fundamental principles of manufacturing. They learn how to make and interpret design schematics and gain such practical skills as basic metalworking. They also study important life skills including determination, communication and teamwork as espoused in the Canon Group Code of Conduct and the Three Selfs (San-ji) spirit:

  • Self-motivation to do every job right;
  • Self-management and
  • Self-awareness of one's working environment and responsibilities.

Column: Monozukuri Institutes

Canon provides training programs at its three Monozukuri Institutes. The largest is Toride, with some 9,700 m2 of floor space, which provides overall coordination of training programs and runs a number of courses as well as practice sessions for the National Skills Competition. The Utsunomiya Monozukuri Institute provides training mainly in lenses and optical systems, while the Oita Monozukuri Institute is located in Kyushu, a major center of camera production.

The Toride Monozukuri Institute

Skills development and technical training

Training in machinery courses

After the newly inducted high school graduates have finished their half-year of basic training, the next half-year is spent specializing in areas more relevant to their future roles, such as mechanics or device assembly. Alternatively they can choose to practice for the National Skills Competition, subject to a preliminary screening test.

Of course, training and skills development programs are not limited to new recruits. Committees for the Development of Engineering Human Resources in such fields as mechanical, electrical, optical, materials and software offer a range of training options available to all employees, from new inductees and younger workers through to technology leaders, all tailored to expertise level. These provide opportunities to enhance existing skills, acquire new skills and even obtain external accreditation and qualifications. Canon employees can also enroll in higher-level courses, such as analytics, which span multiple fields and provide a broader outlook on monozukuri.

Monozukuri training at the global level

Every year Canon dispatches trainers to manufacturing sites all over the world to conduct monozukuri courses. Canon also conducts Instructor Development Training programs throughout the year for administrators and factory engineers at overseas production facilities. The aim of such programs is to empower local leaders to run their own skills development and management training courses in their workplaces.

Training by employee trainers (Canon Vietnam)

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