Activities to Improve Quality

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We take a variety of steps to ensure that the company's focus remains on quality, so that our customers receive only products that conform 100% to requirements.

E-KAIZEN Activities

E-KAIZEN activities are carried out by teams across the company to maximize teamwork and increase quality. Every year a worldwide E-KAIZEN team presentations convention is held in Japan to provide our people with an opportunity to learn from one another and to foster the ability to accomplish ever more ambitious goals. In 2011, a total of 27 teams from nine countries presented their activities at the convention.

This year's gold prize winner was a team from Indonesia that achieved significant improvements in the quality of inkjet printer heads. The team carefully observed and analyzed manufacturing processes and line staff movements to identify problems with the way piezoelectric elements were being handled and with the tools used to handle them. They used their findings to improve both processes and tools, thereby reducing the defect rate on their line. They then went a step further and contacted Engineering, which effected the same changes on other lines within a month. These efforts were instrumental in stabilizing manufacturing.

E-KAIZEN team from Indonesia

Poster summarizing the gold prize-winning
team's activities in Indonesian

In-house poster for
CS & Quality Month

"CS & Quality Month" Programs

Epson has designated November as CS & Quality Month. During the month we reassess, for example, whether our day-to-day quality improvement activities are aligned with our goal of achieving 100% conformance and whether we have an effective mechanism for incorporating the voice of the customer and past experience into the product and services. We have chosen two of those activities to present here.

Case Study 1: Roundtable Discussions

Teams in the workplace held roundtable discussions to talk about obstacles to achieving 100% conformance and how to remove them.

Design engineering teams discussed what they need to do to ensure that they correctly understand and incorporate customer usability requirements in products. Sales and marketing teams discussed actions they need to take to ensure that the voice of the customer is communicated to Product Planning in a timely manner. Teams in administrative departments, meanwhile, talked about how they can better support operations.

Case Study 2: Case Study Presentations

Presentation of design quality
improvement activities

To establish a mechanism for building quality in from the development and design stages, Epson provided a venue at which operations divisions can present their activities and learn from others. Participants presented and discussed ongoing innovations in product commercialization processes, efforts to improve the customer value creation process, and ways to raise productivity.