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Case Study

Yokohama Litera Co., Ltd. Introduction

An MIS Using Real-Time Communication Between Separate Departments:
"I don't need to call or visit the production site anymore." (Mr. Murano, Reform Team Chief)

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The next section of PiCSYS that was installed at Yokohama Litera was Production Management. Yokohama Litera is made up of a multiple-room office in Tokyo, a shipping center and Litera Shop. As a large contributor to the in-house reform efforts, Mr. Murano wanted to be able to share information not only among departments, but between company locations.

As Mr. Saruhashi says, “The thing that really cemented my decision to install PiCSYS at my company was the amount of industry know-how that I saw ingrained within the program's functions themselves." PiCSYS has the unique feature of manufacturing process management. With production management, information is updated in the system in real-time, providing a most necessary ability.

One factor in the workflow that was a large problem before the PiCSYS introduction was the fact that information was not updated in real-time. In order for salespeople, among others, to check the status of an order, they would have to contact the office by phone, which consumed both time and money. If anything in the production schedule or otherwise were to change, each salesperson involved would have to be contacted individually. Not only was this very inefficient, but many leaks in the workflow occurred as a result.

"By using a Handy, we can keep track of production progress in real time." (Mr.Saruhashi, Reform Chief)

With PiCSYS, place a terminal at each production site to allow each production manager to keep track of production in real-time. Being able to find out the progress of orders in true real-time was also one of the main functions that the Reform Team wanted. The Handy has no wires or keyboard which allows the users to move freely around the production site, making quick production progress a reality.

“One person can now do what used to take two." (Reform Chief Mr. Murano)

Managing in real-time not only makes production management easier, but speeds up the entire project. As an example, production slips at Litera always needed to be made in mass amounts towards the evening. It was during these rushes that two people had to work together to handle the massive workload. However, after implementing PiCSYS, “…because production management became possible in real-time, the crunch for the management slip rush vanished," says Mr. Murano.

The production schedule is also made a part of the system so post-process changes in quantity, delivery time, etc. are updated instantly, making the time-consuming paper-based management style a thing of the past. Of course, a history is made of what changes were made where, allowing the user to view the past events in a given project.

ArtiosCAD, Giving You the Ability to Make the Most of Your Information:
“With the data from the CAD program tied to all of the departments, we were able to construct the most efficient flow of data." (Reform Team Head, Mr. Saruhashi)

As a result of the implementation of the NSK Solution Package, Yokohama Litera raised their productivity by 40%. One of the main factors that contributed to this amazing result was that the Litera team had been using ArtiosCAD for 6 months previously. Designs created with "ArtiosCAD" were used for making a sample with a sample cutting machine, graphic design, dieboard layout, and tying in with the CTP process. PiCSYS was then used for making quotations and managing the production process, allowing a one-source multi-use workflow beginning with ArtiosCAD data to make an efficient work flow.

The Know How of a Compounded Digital Workflow

Before Yokohama Litera introduced CAD/CAM into their company in 2001, they were unable to use some data formats or their DTP work. This costed many man-hours to convert data. Says Mr. Saruhashi, “What surprised me the most after we installed Artios was the wide range of file compatibility." Even at that time, ArtiosCAD was compatible with both Windows and Mac formats, allowing the user to not only easily manage data, but also not cause any damage to the files due to conversion.

Industrial-Grade Sample Cutting Machine Allows for Huge Quantities of Samples

In this industry of continually increasing short run, quick turnaround products, the amount of work required for making layouts, designing and samples is constantly increasing. The rise in efficiency from the technological advances made in creating layouts and graphics has made an impact in the industry. In the sample making process, instead of cutting by hand, the sample cutting machine started being used, and now using a sample cutter has become the norm. As a result,companies are now taking the next step to separate themselves from the competition.

Yokohama Litera was one of the first to take the initiative and digitalize their workflow. Now, they receive orders from customers saying that no other company can match the speed and high quality that Litera provides. However, in the midst of this surge of success there was still one problem.

As Mr.Saruashi said, “As the amount of orders we received increased, the amount of samples that we would need to make daily was staggering. With the conventional sample cutter that we had, we were completely unable to handle the volume of sample requests that came in."

It was then that the Reform Team starting combing the industry for a machine known for speed and accuracy that could handle sample cutting as well as short run, quick-turnaround orders. They found Kongsberg.

In the beginning, it was at only the Yokohama headquarters that ArtiosCAD and the Kongsberg cutting table were introduced, but after a little while the branch offices also wanted to be able to increase their ability to fill quick-response orders. With the branch offices also using Artios and Kongsberg and a data center managing the information between the various locations, Litera is now able to output hundreds of graphics designs and samples.

“We had high expectations for a rise in prodictivity, but on one expected us to be able to handle such a massive amount of samples so easily."


The Unexpected Effect of NSK System Integration

Thanks to the CAD/CAM, plate making, and integrated management systems, in-house management has been improved constantly. Every expectation that the Reform Team had for each system has been completely shattered. Additionally, there were other unexpected advantageous effects that were found.

This additional effect was found a few months after the Production Management System of the integrated management system was installed. With anyone able to check the progress of the orders, employees started looking at other production lines. As a result, managers at the production site became aware of the status of orders from other parts of the company. If among these other orders one was found to be slowing down their own order, the manager would take the necessary steps to speed it up. A sense of healthy in-house competition was born.

Reform Chiefs Mr. Saruhashi and Mr. Murano are still at work, using IC tags to create a more fluid and efficient workflow. Among all of the in-house improvements that the Reform Team has made at Yokoham Litera, there is no question that the most effective one was the introduction of the NSK solution of PiCSYS, Kongsberg, and ArtiosCAD.

Yokohama Litera's Critical Solution System

Package Manufacturing Process Management Program PiCSYS

PicsysFrom the moment the order is received all the way to inventory management, everything is tied together with the PiCSYS workflow.
PiCSYS was developed with the sole aim of connecting people in the least amount of time from the start of the order, to manufacturing, shipping, and the inventory management needed afterwards. It is because of this that no overlap occurs between company departments, minimizing the amount of paperwork while maximizing the amount of digital data accessed.

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High-end General Design CAD System  ArtiosCAD

The global standard CAD program for packaging. ArtiosCAD is not used only for making layouts, but also information management, in the form of database, allows the user to re-create repeat orders. Finally, use the wealth of saved designs to further maximize in-house efficency.

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Multi-cutting Machine Kongsberg

ウォータジェットMulti-cutting of everything, from corrugated materials to foam, and even acrylic board.

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For information regarding NSK products:

E-mail sales@nsksystem.co.jp
TEL 81-6-6578-0190

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