Introducing the Hitachi High-Tech smart factory project
Hitachi High-Tech Amata Smart Services Company Limited was established in 2018 as a joint-venture between Hitachi High-Tech Corporation and Amata Corporation Public Company Limited to explore a shared factory project and to introduce smart manufacturing services to complement the needs of manufacturers now and in the future as Amata is transforming into a leading Smart City.
As one of the largest trading organizations among the group, Hitachi High-Tech has been interested in smart cities in Thailand, especially the one currently planned and being developed by Amata. Hitachi High-Tech's expertise in manufacturing technology offers substantial opportunities for Amata to continue developing its own smart city projects.
The subsidiary operates a state-of-the-art shared manufacturing facility for use by Hitachi High-Tech's clients for their manufacturing needs in Thailand.
Making use of Hitachi High-Tech technology, those clients are able to operate the facility remotely from Japan while making use of Thailand's competitive manufacturing advantages. Especially important is a factory-wide array of cameras and communication terminals to be used for remote monitoring, inspection of data, giving instructions to personnel etc.
One explanatory concept from Hitachi High-Tech's internal plans makes the concept particularly vivid, analogizing the factory to the traditional Japanese meal of a “bento box,” in which the individual components of a single-portion meal are assembled side-by-side in a portable container. The essential layer of a manufacturing facility is analogized to the box itself. The second layer of the manufacturing process expands to contain back-office functions, such as HR, IT, and accounting/financial services; this becomes the rice component known as “gohan,” which is nourishing—if not terribly exciting. That excitement comes from the third level of services, such as sales support; in the metaphor, this becomes the meat, vegetables, and other ingredients known as “okazu.” According to this model of Hitachi High-Tech's contemplated facility, these three layers come together to form a comprehensive, integrated process of manufacturing, administration, and management services—or, to borrow the metaphor, the delicious, nourishing parts of an individual meal in the Japanese bento box.