Relationships with Our Customers

Based on the "Customer First Principle", Kubota aims to offer products, technologies, and services that exceed customers' needs at a speed beyond their expectations. We seek what we have to do to maximize customer satisfaction based on the "Onsite" approach policy perspective, which includes going to the actual site, seeing the product, and confirming actual facts, and put into immediate action whatever we can.

Kubota will continue to promote initiatives in all aspects of its operations, including development, production, sales and services, aiming not only to improve sales and profits, but also to establish itself as "Global Major Brand" trusted by a maximum number of customers and capable of making a maximum contribution to society.

Production / Quality Control

Strengthening Production Systems

Building a global production system

In order to achieve the goal of becoming a "Global Major Brand," Kubota has established production bases around the world in locations close to their respective markets, with the mother plant supporting all the other plants in order to secure consistent quality. Furthermore, Kubota is promoting the deployment of the Kubota Production System (KPS) at each of its bases and implementing initiatives to raise the QCD level throughout the entire supply chain.

Figure:Building a global production system

Establishment of overseas bases (from 2010)
  • 2010: Kubota Sanlian Pump (Anhui) Co., Ltd. (China) Manufacturing and sales of pumps
  • 2011: Kubota Engine (Thailand) Co., Ltd. (Thailand) Manufacturing of vertical type diesel engines
  • 2011: Kubota Precision Machinery (Thailand) Co., Ltd. (Thailand) Manufacturing and sales of hydraulic equipment components
  • 2011: Kubota Construction Machinery (WUXI) Co., Ltd. (China) Manufacturing and sales of hydraulic shovels
  • 2012: Kverneland AS [made part of the group] (Europe) Manufacturing and sales of implements
  • 2012: Kubota Engine (WUXI) Co., Ltd. (China) Manufacturing of diesel engines * Click here for acceptance of technical trainees
  • 2013: Kubota Farm Machinery Europe S.A.S (Europe) Manufacturing of large upland farming tractors
  • 2016: Great Plains Manufacturing, Inc. [made part of the group] (United States) Manufacturing and sales of implements
Shift to local production at existing bases
  • 2013: Kubota Industrial Equipment Corporation (United States) Manufacturing of medium-sized tractors
  • 2016: Kubota Industrial Equipment Corporation (United States) Manufacturing of 4W compact construction machinery (SSL)

Deployment and dissemination of the Kubota Production System

Kubota Production System
  • Kubota’s basic principle for manufacturing
    Kubota aims to achieve manufacturing that impresses customers by offering products and services that exceed customers’ needs at a speed that exceeds their expectations.
  • Kubota Production System
    Kubota Production System (KPS) is the fundamental concept and perspective of the Kubota Group’s manufacturing.
    While adhering to the basic philosophy, KPS is based on “just-in-time” and “automation” and continuously pursues thorough elimination of waste.
In 2016 Kubota started deploying KPS throughout the company.
  • In Japan, activities for dissemination began from four major machinery-related sites (Sakai, Tsukuba, Utsunomiya, Hirakata Construction Machinery), and have now spread to 19 sites including other sites and affiliated companies.
  • Kubota will expand these activities to overseas. Kubota will also broaden the range of its KPS activities from plants to both upstream and downstream of its supply chain, such as suppliers, sales, dealerships, and logistics.

Figure:Structure of KPS

Maintaining and Improving Quality

Quality control in design and development

Photo:A design reviewA design review

Kubota endeavors to prevent quality problems, and a representative activity in this effort is the initiative to strengthen design reviews (DR). Integrating the DRBFM*1 approach, we discuss, test and verify even the smallest item changed when developing new products, and reflect the results in the product in order to prevent quality problems.

*1 DRBFM is the abbreviation for "Design Review Based on Failure Mode," a method of preventing potential problems from arising by focusing on changes in design and development.

Quality audits

Kubota periodically conducts quality audits for the purpose of providing its customers with even better products and services.

Raising awareness of quality

Photo:Quality Forum (November 7, 2016)Quality Forum (November 7, 2016)

In November 2016, Kubota held a Quality Forum led by a visiting lecturer as an awareness-raising activity for improving quality.

The lecturer spoke about the value creation and quality assurance necessary for sustainable growth of a company, based on the theme “Implementation of the Quality-Creating Management at Toyota—to continually satisfy customers.” Around 400 people attended, including management, and renewed their awareness of the importance of quality management.

Recent recall status (As of December 31, 2016)
  • Recall of ER combine harvester ER572 and others: Total 3,650 units (began March 25, 2016)
  • Recall of ER combine harvester ER575 and others: Total 1,234 units (began March 25, 2016)

We deeply apologize for the inconvenience caused to our users.

Small group activities

Photo:Small Group Activities Presentation CompetitionSmall Group Activities Presentation Competition

The Small Group Activities Presentation Competition was held, participated in by 13 circles selected from approx. 400 Kubota circles. The Honeybee Circle won the first place, and also won the President’s Special Award for its initiatives to train members and activate workplaces.

At the same time, three circles from the Sakai Plant and a Kubota affiliated company in Thailand participated in the International QC Circle Competition 2016 held in Bangkok, Thailand, where all of them won the Gold Prize, the highest prize.

ISO 9001 certification status

Kubota [Farm & Industrial Machinery Division]
Business divisions/Offices Certification scope (excerpt) Date of certification Certifying body
Engines, tractors,
farm machinery, construction machinery
Sakai (including Okajima)
Rinkai
Engines, tractors, farm machinery, construction machinery 1994.06 LRQA
Tsukuba Engines, tractors 1994.06 LRQA
Utsunomiya Rice transplanters, harvesters 1997.02 LRQA
Hirakata Construction machinery 1996.04 LRQA
Electronic equipped machinery Vending machines Ryugasaki Vending machines for cigarettes, and paper-carton and canned beverages 2008.09 DNV
Precision machinery Kyuhoji Electronic weighing equipment and load cells 1994.08 DNV

Abbreviations of Certifying Bodies

LRQA:
Lloyd’s Register Quality Assurance Ltd.
DNV:
NV GL BUSINESS ASSURANCE JAPAN K.K.
Kubota [Water & Environment Division]
Business divisions/Offices Certification scope (excerpt) Date of certification Certifying body
Pipe Systems Iron pipes Hanshin
Keiyo
Ductile iron pipes, fittings, accessories, other Ductile iron products and related products 1999.01 JCQA
Valves Hirakata Valves, gates 1994.09 LRQA
Pumps Hirakata Pumps, pump stations, sewage treatment and water purification plants 1997.10 LRQA
Water treatment Water treatment (waterworks and sewerage, membrane systems) Tokyo
Hanshin Office
Sewage and sludge treatment, water purification and wastewater treatment, membrane modules and anaerobic MBR technology 2014.07 Intertek
Purification tanks Shiga Plastic water purification tanks 2003.04 JUSE
Materials Materials (Steel castings, rolls, new materials) Hirakata
Amagasaki
Rollers, tubes, piping, fittings, spools, steel columns, steel piles, sleeves and cylinders; basic cast steel, stainless steel and heat-resistant cast steel for general cast products; sintered materials (ceramics, metals, compounds); rolling mill rolls; and non-metal mineral products (titanic acid compounds) 1993.03 LRQA
Steel pipes Ichikawa Spiral welded steel pipes 1998.07 JICQA

Abbreviations of Certifying Bodies

JCQA:
Japan Chemical Quality Assurance Ltd.
LRQA:
Lloyd’s Register Quality Assurance Ltd.
Intertek:
Intertek Certification Japan Ltd.
JUSE:
Union of Japanese Scientists and Engineers
JICQA:
JIC Quality Assurance Ltd.
Affiliates in Japan
Affiliates in Japan Certification scope (excerpt) Date of certification Certifying body
Kubota Seiki Co., Ltd.
  • Design, develop and manufacture hydraulic valves and hydraulic cylinders for agricultural and construction machinery.
  • Manufacture transmissions and hydraulic pumps for off-road vehicles and agricultural machinery, and hydraulic motors for construction machinery.
2007.04 LRQA
Kubota ChemiX Co., Ltd. Design, develop and manufacture plastic pipe, joints and accessories 1998.04 JUSE
Nippon Plastic Industry Co., Ltd.
  • Design, develop and manufacture hard vinyl pipe and secondary processed products
  • Design, develop and manufacture polyethylene and other plastic pipes
  • Design, develop and manufacture polystyrene/polyethylene and other plastic sheets/plates
1998.12 JSA
Kubota Pipe Tech Co.
  • Construction and construction management of various pipelines
  • Investigate and diagnosis pipelines and attached facilities
  • Installation training for fittings and pipe layin
  • Pipe-laying equipment rental
2002.03 JCQA
Kansouken Inc.
  • Design and develop package software for supporting water-supply business
  • Support operation of package software for supporting water-supply business and provide date-input service
  • Provide survey and consulting services for water network
2004.04 JCQA
Kubota Environmental Service Co., Ltd. Design, construction, maintenance and servicing of plant facilities for water supply, sewer drainage, solid waste processing, excreta disposal and garbage 2000.02 MSA
Kubota Kasui Corporation Design and construction of environmental conservation plants 2000.01 BCJ-SAR
Kubota Air Conditioner, Ltd. Design, develop, manufacture and ancillary services for large-scale air-conditioning equipment 2000.02 JQA
Kubota Systems Inc.
  • Consigned development of software products and software packaging, design, develop and construct network structures, and maintenance services
  • Information system operation, and operation and maintenance of networks
  • Sales of purchased products
1997.05 BSI-J
Heiwa Kanzai Co., Ltd. Design, develop and supply cleaning services for buildings and facilities 2002.07 JICQA
Kubota Construction Co., Ltd. Design and construct civil engineering structures and buildings 2011.12 JQA

Abbreviations of Certifying Bodies

LRQA:
Lloyd’s Register Quality Assurance Ltd.
JUSE:
Union of Japanese Scientists and Engineers
JSA:
Japanese Standards Association
JCQA:
Japan Chemical Quality Assurance Ltd.
MSA:
Management System Assessment Center Co., Ltd.
BCJ-SAR:
The Building Center of Japan
JQA:
Japan Quality Assurance Organization
BSI-J:
BSI Group Japan K.K.
JICQA:
JIC Quality Assurance Ltd.

Ensuring Skills to Maintain Customer Satisfaction

Kubota holds the Kubota Group Technical Skills Contest

Every year with the aim of fostering a sense of unity and improving technical skills throughout all companies in the Group. During the contest for fiscal 2016, a total of 238 contestants from six countries (26 bases) put their technical skills to the test in 15 categories, including lathing, welding and machine maintenance. In this contest, representatives of suppliers who had won the preliminary contests participated for the first time.

This contest provides an opportunity to evaluate the skill levels and initiatives of each base and motivate the contestants to hone their skills even further. In FY2017 and the subsequent years, Kubota will continue to hold this contest as an opportunity that help further improve the manufacturing capabilities of the entire Group.

Photo:Group photo of Gold Prize winners (at Sakai site)Group photo of Gold Prize winners (at Sakai site)

No. of participants in the Technical Skills Contest

Participating in National Skills Competition

Photo:Mechanical assembly matchMechanical assembly match

Kubota has participated in the “lathing” and “mechanical assembly” categories at the National Skills Competition*, for the purpose of demonstrating the Group’s attitude of pursuing the improved skills of manufacturing and developing human resources who acquire advanced skills and play a leading role in the workplace. At the Competition for fiscal 2016, the Kubota representatives won the Silver Prize and the Fighting Spirit Prize in the mechanical assembly.

* National Skills Competition: National competition for young technicians (23 or younger). Representatives for the international competition held every two years are selected at this competition. It is the “Olympics” of skills, in which young engineers from all over Japan compete in terms of skills.

Fostering manufacturing personnel to establish Kubota as a Global Major Brand

Photo:Employees of a German Kubota Group company in training at the 5-Gen Dojo (Japan)Employees of a German Kubota Group company in training at the 5-Gen Dojo (Japan)

Kubota promotes the Kubota Production System (KPS) at its domestic and overseas bases with the aim of becoming a "Global Major Brand." The "5-Gen Principle" is implemented to achieve site improvements necessary to advance KPS. The 5-Gen encompasses a philosophy based on the actual site (Genba), actual things (Genbutsu), actual facts (Genjitsu), principles (Genri) and basic rules (Gensoku). It is a place for fostering employees who will implement improvements aimed at closing the gap that can arise between the actual and the ideal. Approximately 470 people attended this training program in fiscal 2016.

Starting from 2014, Kubota has introduced the 5-Gen Dojo at its major overseas sites, with the goal of strengthening manufacturing capability and localizing human resource development.

In May 2016, Kubota established the 5-Gen Dojo in Thailand, where human resources capable of strongly promoting improvement are developed through lectures and on-site improvement training by local instructors.

Participants by country (Jan. 2016–Dec. 2016)
  • Japan: 313
  • North America: 40
  • Thailand: 55
  • China: 27
  • Europe: 14
  • Indonesia: 10
  • Myanmar: 11
5-Gen Dojo History
  • Apr. 2002-Mar.2003: Established 5-Gen Dojo at the Sakai plant in Japan
  • Apr. 2005-Mar.2006: Began receiving overseas employees at the 5-Gen Dojo
  • Apr. 2014-Mar.2015: Established 5-Gen Dojo at Kubota Manufacturing of America Corporation in the U.S.
  • Jan. 2016-Dec. 2016: Established 5-Gen Dojo at SIAM KUBOTA Corporation Co., Ltd. in Thailand

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