Top page > KASEI-JIN > File.4 Daisuke Yamashita

Successfully developing and introducing new production systems and devices

After entering the company in 2003, I spent my first two years in the Production Facilities Division, where I maintained cosmetics production line equipment.  I later became involved in the development of cosmetics production technology from a facilities technology standpoint at what is now the Technical Development Center.
I am currently assigned to the Production Structure Reform Team, which is part of the Product Development Department’s Technical Development Center.  There I am involved in two main operations.
・Production Structure reform project: I have been involved with the project for four years, which includes time spent with the current project team’s predecessor.  I am involved in planning and execution of work to renovate the production structure at the Shizuoka and Fukuroi Plants.  This work is centered on a new production system that was completed after a three-year development period.
・Collaboration with an overseas Group company: I am working to raise production line efficiency at H2O PLUS, a company that became a member of the POLA ORBIS Group in 2011.  I am helping propose and execute various measures to improve production sites with onsite technicians (in Chicago, USA).
I formulated a unique and new production system concept and helped develop and introduce a production system and devices that make fundamental streamlining possible.  This system is not dependent on conventional production methods; instead, it pursues and realizes the “ideal form” of cosmetics production from the ground up using entirely different mechanisms.
The establishment of technology for this new production system that minimizes production waste and loss has made it possible to engage in production management with the smallest number of workers while achieving the highest production quality.  In addition the new system helps operators respond quickly to customer orders.  As a result, we built a system that contributes to efficient management because it lowers personnel costs by reducing work-in-process inventory and the number of working plants.
The most attractive aspect of the new production system is its expandability.  After bringing the first system on line last year, this year we have further developed it by, for example, advancing to a third generation, expanding the system’s ability to handle various formulations, and increasing the number of units.  There are plans to continue developing it into the main plant production system.  The building of basic technology to support the system has successfully generated new value that will sustain future production management.
Ever since joining the company, my dream was to “create a cosmetics production system unlike any other in the world.”  Now that I’ve achieved this, I feel like I’m watching over my child.  I feel just like a parent―I think the machines and facilities are so cute.  I just want to make them better and look forward to seeing their future growth and development.
The biggest hardship I had to overcome was “realizing innovation.”  Even now, I cannot forget how all of us team members had to work late each day and give up holidays to build a concept and tackle technical issues in order to give shape to this theme as demanded by management.
I feel it is important to “take on new challenges that no one else has tackled.”
What I learned through my experience in developing the new production system is that it is very important to break away from my own thinking and general opinion to take on challenges that at first glance seem “impossible.”  The reason is because executing new ideas requires a considerable amount of energy to overcome technical issues and build surrounding consensus.   Consequently, people tend to find various ways of rationalizing impossibility when they run into a difficult situation.  However, if you push forward as far as possible, you will discover “new knowledge” that you never knew existed, and that can lead to new ideas.  Since entering the company, my more experienced colleagues as well as my own work have taught me that seeing this process as a cycle can lead me to even more new knowledge, a broader forward-looking perspective, smooth work execution, and personal growth.  Given today’s rapidly changing environment, I feel it is important to always be ready to move forward rather than maintain the status quo.
・When there is no correct answer...  Although it is sometimes difficult and sometimes fun, my job allows me to find (or create) a “correct answer” on my own.  I am involved in all stages of planning and development and even execution of technical development, plant orientation, etc.  I don’t think there is another job in the company that covers such a wide range.  In developing the new production system, we were able to reflect our own intentions on everything from the concept of “having one person handle all processes up to manufacturing and filling” to facility setup to realize this concept and personnel training to manage it.  Although there are a number of steps that must be cleared, such as explanation to concerned departments and consensus-building with management, I feel rewarded when I can translate my own thoughts into technologies and plant orientation.
・Seeing ideas take shape...  The beauty of technical development and facilities development is that they give shape to ideas.  Whenever I work on various themes, I feel it is very important to design a concept on paper, and thus I invest quite a lot of time here.  From this on-paper concept, I expand the image into what I see as the completed form.  I then come up with a strategy and conceptualize systems and facilities.  It is important to remember that facilities development costs a lot of money, between several tens of millions and several hundreds of millions of yen.  Thus, it is a fact that facilities development is a great responsibility.  However, whenever I see my own ideals expressed in the shape of a facility, technology, or system, I feel great satisfaction of achievement in knowing that products can be made on equipment that I designed.  Each day, I go about my duties with the goal of tasting such satisfaction after long effort.
One thing I think is important is an “inquiring mind”; i.e., a desire to know the true nature of things.  I believe that analytical ability and a way of thinking about things to learn of true nature, and understanding and interpretation that come from them, are what build an engineer’s character.
Another valuable tool is “ability to take action.”  No matter the task, I think it is important to take the initiative to act.  Rather than stuffing your head with knowledge and fretting over things at your desk, I believe many solutions can be found by simply taking action and moving work forward.  If you think of something, take immediate action!  Often, if you think about doing something later, you never actually get around to it and your idea goes to waste.  This is what I keep firmly in mind each and every day.
My favorite tools are my “technical notebook” and “writing implements.”  Whenever I get a new idea, think of a way to develop a concept for a new technology or facility, or get something complicated arranged in my head, I like to write it down in my notebook.   Although opportunities to write are rapidly disappearing today, as most work is done on computers, I prefer to arrange my thoughts by writing them down or drawing them rather than working in front of a computer.  And for this reason I always carry writing implements that make it easy to write things down at such times.
Whenever I go to a stationery store on my days off, I always like to see and try the latest products.  Even though writing things down is a simple matter, I feel it is a fairly important part of my work style.

・To fully accomplish production structure reform so as to transform POLA’s cosmetics plants into the best in the world
・To create new technologist never seen before

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File.5 Packaging Division, Fukuroi Plant
Mitsuko Kamiya


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