The perspective of the consumer, the perspective of the professional user,
and the needs of society are indispensable elements in monozukuri.
The three technology facilities in Kurobe City, our Technology Headquarters, work together as one
to capture the multiple perspectives and needs, share, and consolidate them to realize monozukuri to solve issues.
We also share information and findings with international teams to engage in monozukuri to provide new value to homes.
These findings and data, infused with the spirit of co-creation, are invaluable for monozukuri.
Pursuing high quality and advanced technology through co-creation with stakeholders
The cycle of development, evaluation/verification, technology proposals, and information sharing serves as the foundation of the monozukuri process at YKK AP. This is carried out by "YKK AP R&D Center," "Value Verification Center," and "Partners Support Studio."
YKK AP R&D Center is where YKK AP's technology and knowledge is gathered. Here, teams delve into research and deepen their knowledge in their specialized fields to deliver high-quality product development and propose advanced technologies. The Value Verification Center conducts the evaluation and verification that is indispensable for product development and providing new product value. To collect in a broad range of findings and data, verification is conducted from three perspectives-"user verification" by consumers, "field verification" in which various usage environments are recreated, and "analysis and simulation" through numerical simulations. In field verification, we work with the Disaster Prevention Research Institute, Kyoto University to conduct verification under actual conditions or in recreations of actual conditions for windows and shutters in typhoons and strong winds as well as for energy conservation and sound insulation for internal windows and insulating glass in schools. User verification, on the other hand, verifies product value from the user's perspective. We ask consumer monitors of different age groups and physical attributes to operate products so we can check the products' safety and usability. With the spread of COVID-19, we are beginning efforts to conduct online verification of architectural products, etc. in the monitors' homes. The Partners Support Studio presents proposals based on our technology and quality in response to issues and requests from professional users. We share issues via joint installation verification and more as well as exchanging opinions and information to work toward solutions. In addition, the "Central Research Laboratory" works with external research institutes to research window engineering and architectural physics from its locations in Tokyo and Kurobe.
Field verification for typhoon and strong wind conditions
Field verification in a school
Online user verification
Joint installation verification in the Partners Support Studio
The Central Testing Center works to ensure the quality of our products. It is registered as a JNLA testing laboratory that conforms to the standards established by the International Organization for Standardization and the International Electrotechnical Commission. Strict testing from a third-party stance bolsters YKK AP's product quality assurance system.
Sharing information on warm, cold, and hot-humid regions to develop the optimal products
YKK AP has also strengthened its global research and development structure. We opened the YKK AP R&D Center in Germany in 2017, and in Indonesia in 2018. This has made it possible to accumulate and share information from the warm climate of Japan, the cold climate of Germany, and the hot-humid climate of Indonesia, leading to the development of the optimal products.
At the YKK AP R&D Center (Germany), we investigate and research innovative European technology in the fields of energy conservation architecture and building materials, and promote high added-value in windows and doors through functional parts, thermal insulation of windows and doors, and frames and glass, etc.
At the YKK AP R&D Center (Indonesia), we conduct investigations, research, and development related to energy conservation construction methods and windows and doors suited to hot-humid regions. In addition, we are engaged in research on passive design (the design of comfortable living environments that utilize natural energy) as well. Further, we are participating in an industry-government-academia joint research project on the theme "Energy conservation multi-family residences for middle-income earners." We propose windows and entrance doors that provide effective ventilation for housing used in demonstration experiments aimed at achieving comfortable rooms that utilize coolers and other air-conditioning devices as little as possible. In the fall of 2020, we participated in "Arte-Polis8 2020," an international conference that gathers professional engineers and researchers in the fields of architecture and urban planning. We will continue to contribute to the improvement of living environments based on the knowledge we have gained from such projects.
Demonstration experiment housing in Tegal, Indonesia
A virtual stage at "Arte-Polis8 2020," which was held online
Higher levels of customer satisfaction by thoroughly ensuring product safety and quality
Ensuring the safety and quality of products is absolutely critical in manufacturing. In 2008, YKK AP formulated the "YKK AP Product Safety Basic Policy" aimed at contributing to establishment of the "culture of product safety" being promoted by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, and providing customers with safety and security. We have worked to ensure product safety. YKK AP was selected as the recipient of the "METI Minister's Award" at the "Best Contributor to Product Safety Awards (sponsored by METI)" in 2017. This was the third time we won the METI Minister's Award, and we were certified as a "Gold Contributor to Product Safety" as a result.
In 2019, we established the "Quality Assurance Department," and have encouraged operation of processes to ensure quality throughout the entire supply chain, from product development to production and sales, thereby ensuring quality. Further, we are working to integrate requests from customers and business partners, reports of faults, and opinions regarding inspections and repairs as quality information. This has led to elimination of faults at an early stage as well as prevention of faults, contributing to providing social value through products that create a high level of customer satisfaction.