Creating the Best Matching of Machines to
March 28, 2007 (Japan) - Safety has become a priority
issue, and changes in individual and corporate values have
brought a growing desire for safety in all aspects of our lives.
Applying its sensing and control technologies, Omron responds to
the growing worldwide desire for safety by meeting society's
Not so many years ago, seasoned factory workers in Japan
described two of the keys to success as kan, or gut feel, and
keiken, experience. In the past, these veteran workers passed on
their know-how to the younger generation and helped them to
avoid the risks of accidents and possible quality problems.
However, with the baby boom generation beginning to retire from
2007, it will be difficult to transmit their skills to younger
workers. Also, as companies of many nations locate their plants
outside their home countries and labor has become more mobile,
they must confront a range of issues that make safety more
important than ever before.
These include managing more
ethnically diverse work forces, which have differing levels of
awareness of safety issue and working practices, and dealing
effectively with communication issues. That is why, more than
ever, equipment and systems must be designed for safety.
At the same time, there is a worldwide trend toward higher
safety standards and a growing consensus that meeting these
standards should be mandatory. One of the trends bringing
greater emphasis on safety is the rising appreciation of
corporate social responsibility (CSR) around the world.
As a top-ranking global supplier of industrial automation
equipment, Omron was one of the first to enter the industrial
safety business in the 1980s and has developed a broad lineup of
products that meet global safety standards.
In addition, for its
customers in Japan, Omron has taken initiatives to raise the
awareness of the importance of safety issues and offer them
consulting services for developing optimal accident prevention
systems that help them minimize time lost due to accidents.
Building on the base of experience, Omron today offers solutions
to meet the safety-related needs of its customer around the
world in manufacturing and other industries.
Omron's President & CEO Hisao Sakuta comments, "At Omron, our
corporate philosophy for more than 50 years has been based on
having respect for human beings, anticipating changing social
needs, and working for the benefit of society. Therefore, our
approach is to draw on our original sensing and control
technologies to develop smarter and safer equipment that is
better matched to the skills and values of the worker base.
Within the workplace, human beings must interact constantly with
The most dangerous situations, where accidents are
most likely to occur, are where people interface with machinery.
This is why Omron has worked to analyze the full extent of
dangers in the workplace and has used its sensing and control
technologies to ensure the safety of people in the workplace.
Omron, for example, has developed photoelectric switches
equipped with sensors that can detect the presence of human
beings in restricted areas and stop machine operations
automatically. More recent examples of Omron's industrial safety
solutions include Safety Light Curtains.
These devices use
beams of light to distinguish between machinery and humans, and
cut off the electric power temporarily when they detect the
presence of workers entering dangerous areas. Drawing on its
control technologies, Omron has also developed the Safety
Network Control (SNC) system, which boasts the highest level of
safety control in the world.
Omron's business activities span more than 60 countries,
including its home market of Japan as well as North America,
Europe, China, and the rest of Asia. This global network enables
Omron to offer high-quality products and services to its
customers wherever and whenever they need them.
Building on this
network, Omron has a set of goal of being the leading company in
the industrial safety area. In 2006, to move closer to its goal
of being No.1 Omron acquired Scientific Technologies
Incorporated (STI), of the United States, a leading manufacturer
of safety equipment.
As Mr. Sakuta concludes, "Today, although safety considerations
are still sometimes regarded as an additional cost, Omron
strongly believes that cost is not the issue. Companies have a
responsibility to provide safety working conditions. Omron's
long-standing philosophy, which has been the support of its
activities since its founding, is that companies should
contribute to society.
Based on this philosophy, Omron
has worked to apply its sensing and control technologies and
achieve the best matching of machines to people. This applies
not only to the workplace but also to a broad range of other
areas where we have worked to identify and then satisfy social
needs for security, safety, the preservation of the natural
environment, and health."