YKK AP implements an integrated production system for in-house development and production, encompassing everything from materials to manufacturing equipment and products. We have established processes to consistently offer high-quality products, including elemental technologies for the development of various materials such as aluminum and vinyl; recycling technologies suited to the environment; and even the construction of logistics, sales, and manufacturing systems. We are aiming for greater levels of quality by being committed to such monozukuri efforts in our business.
Inheriting the DNA of our founder to deliver highquality monozukuri
Our company has an in-house system to develop and produce materials, components and manufacturing equipment that are ideal to monozukuri. For our main products such as vinyl windows, we order the glass sheets from a glass manufacturer, but we do the processing ourselves to create Low-E and triple glazing. Furthermore, we also manufacture our own screws, vinyl components and the netting for insect screens. As we manufacture all this in-house, instead of outsourcing everything, we can develop new technologies, ensure quality and adjust costs by looking at the supply chain as a whole. This dedication to quality can be traced back to the company's founder, Tadao Yoshida. In 1940's, the U.S. was seen as an industrially advanced nation and, wanting to compete with their fastening products, Tadao spent 2.5 times the company's capital at the time to import U.S. made equipment. He studied them and then created his own improved versions to build the foundation of the YKK Group. This spirit has been passed down through the generations and has taken root in the teaching to “start at the source” – to pursue not only the end product but also its materials and manufacturing equipment. We will continue to protect this spirit and deliver high-quality monozukuri in the future.
Implementing an original certification system at all production lines to prevent human error
In order to curb defects caused by human error during the manufacturing process, we have implemented an original certification system known as the “Zero Defect Line.” Production lines that produce zero defects that stem from errors during the manufacturing process over the past 12 months are presented a Zero Gold certification, and production lines that produce zero defects for 11 of the 12 months are presented a Zero Silver certification. This system began in FY 2014 at nine large-scale manufacturing plant lines and is now implemented at all production sites. In FY 2018, 234 lines were presented Gold certifications and 90 were presented Silver certifications.
Engaging in health and safety efforts that prioritize the health and safety of our employees
In order to ensure that all our employees can work safely, we comply with laws and regulations and conduct safety inspections for our machinery and equipment according to the YKK Group Safety and Health Standards. Only those that pass the inspection are allowed to be used. However, safety measure technologies are improving year by year, and additions and changes are frequently being made to laws, regulations and the Safety and Health Standards. As a means to keep up with such changes, we began to conduct the Periodic Equipment and Machinery Safety Inspection once every three years starting from FY 2017. To do this, we created a database of the 7,159 equipment and machineries used by all manufacturing lines. Inspections are carried out systematically based on this database as we aim to make the essence of the machinery and equipment even safer. In terms of health initiatives, we are working to reduce noise to create healthy and comfortable working environments. Noise produced by the cutters and processing machines can be highly stressful for the working employees. We are working to address the issue, such as by covering the source of the noise with various sound absorbing materials. Efforts that prove to be effective are then carried out at manufacturing facilities nationwide. We are engaged in such continuous efforts to prioritize the health and safety of our employees.