Canon To Automate Some Assembly To Drive Down Costs

By Agence France-Presse Japanese office equipment maker Canon Inc. plans to fully automate a quarter of domestic production in order to counter cheap labor in China and other overseas manufacturing centers, a spokesman said Nov. 22. Canon plans to carry out 25% of domestic production on unmanned lines by the end of 2007, the company spokesman said, adding the Canon group's production in Japan totals about one trillion yen a year (US$9.7 billion). The effort would involve relocating about 5,000 workers to lines that are harder to automate, such as electronics parts for digital cameras, he said, adding that the move would not involve job losses. There is a possibility that Canon will automate all copier-manufacturing lines in the future, he said. The plan is expected to be included in a new management plan Canon is now working out for the five years from 2006. Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2004

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