Value Creation Activities

Development Design, Production Engineering



Brother Maximizes Synergies through Joint Development with Domino

Brother incorporates its own print head with proprietary inkjet technology into the Domino brand products

The N730i digital label printer is a product jointly developed by Brother Industries, Ltd. ("BIL") and its subsidiary, Domino Printing Sciences, plc ("Domino Printing"). The N730i is equipped with BIL's own BITSTAR™ print head, which utilizes the inkjet technology that BIL has cultivated over the years. In addition to a high resolution of 1200 dpi, the combination of the industry's smallest ink droplet sizes improves print quality and achieves a print speed of 70 m/min, including white printing. Furthermore, as the main unit, print head, and ink are all developed by the Brother Group, Brother also focuses on providing prompt maintenance service from the customer's point of view.

N730i digital label printer N730i digital label printer BITSTAR™ print head developed by Brother BITSTAR™ print head developed by Brother

Since BIL made Domino Printing its wholly-owned subsidiary in 2015, it has been striving to maximize synergies through group-wide business operations. The joint development of products between BIL and Domino Printing is a synergy that Brother has been aiming for since the acquisition of Domino Printing, and their knowledge was applied to N730i. Brother Group will continue to work as one to achieve further development in the industrial printing area.

Brother Tackles the Simultaneous Development of Four Models

Brother quickly addresses parts shortage and continues to provide value to customers

In the concurrent chain the development department, manufacturing department, and suppliers work closely together to give concrete shape to the product concept created in the demand chain so that it can be produced in the supply chain. Brother promotes the concurrent chain by forming concurrent teams across divisions for product development. In FY2022, the COVID-19 pandemic caused a critical shortage in the supply of major components. In response, a concurrent team was formed to maintain the production of four major products in the labeling business that used parts that were in short supply, by changing the design to replace them with parts from other suppliers.

Upon sharing wisdom among the concurrent team to review the process using accumulated know-how, the concurrent team implemented various initiatives while ensuring that quality was maintained, including simplifying processes such as prototyping and meeting bodies, and strengthening collaboration among the team through clarification of the workflow. By efficiently developing and manufacturing products that accommodated changes in parts in a short period of time, Brother was able to deliver products to its customers without interruption.

Four major products in the labeling business that underwent design changes Four major products in the labeling business that underwent design changes

The concurrent team has accumulated expertise in product development. Brother will utilize the knowledge and experience gained through this initiative in future development and carry out various initiatives to ensure stable procurement of parts.

Brother Develops Industrial Thermal Printer to Expand Sales in Asian Markets

Brother realizes high-quality printing at any speed by utilizing its printer technologies

Thermal transfer* (thermal) printers are typically installed in food production lines because they do not use liquid ink for printing, and therefore, there is no risk of ink migration. Brother has developed the Vx150i industrial thermal printer, which is used to print expiration dates and barcodes on plastic film packaging materials, by utilizing the thermal transfer technology used in its P-touch label makers. With this product, Brother aims to expand sales in Asia, which is the most important market for Domino Printing's thermal printer business.

By enhancing product quality and reliability, Vx150i has achieved stable high-speed continuous printing even in the harsh environment of Asia, with its high temperature, high humidity, and dust, while significantly reducing the frequency of parts replacement compared to previous models. The Vx150i basic model also features the cassette loading system for ink ribbons that was previously available only on higher-end models. This system makes it easier to replace ink ribbons, reducing the workload when replacing ink ribbons and contributing to improved productivity of customers. Furthermore, in addition to the low cost achieved by combining resin and metal in its design, the use of more resin to reduce product weight also reduces CO2 emissions during transportation. Vx150i has been highly rated in the Asian market as a basic model that offers productivity and reliability comparable to higher-end models.

domino-Vx150i High-speed continuous printing performance domino-print-samples Print samples

The Brother Group will remain committed to advancing its technological capabilities to provide the best products for customers.

  • A technology that creates an image by transferring heat-sensitive ink from a ribbon onto a substance such as paper

Brother Ensures Stable Procurement of Cost-Competitive Parts

Brother enhances collaboration with its suppliers through parts exhibitions at manufacturing facilities

The Purchasing Department of the Quality, Production & Engineering Center at Brother Industries, Ltd. has been strengthening ties with Brother's suppliers through parts exhibitions held at Brother's main facilities outside Japan to better procure parts.

The parts exhibition in FY2022 at manufacturing facilities of P&S business in Vietnam, the Philippines, and China had approximately 400 visitors from more than 150 partner companies and provided a productive opportunity to exchange various opinions.

In such parts exhibitions, the Purchasing Department provides information about precautions in product assembly, key points in quality management, packaging forms, and so forth to participating suppliers while working together with the procurement, production, and quality management departments in Brother's manufacturing facilities. Subsequently, the departments solicit those suppliers' ideas and suggestions on cost reduction and the possibility of local procurement. The suppliers, meanwhile, aim to expand their business by considering how to contribute to Brother's manufacturing with their production technologies.

One of the participating suppliers commented that participation in the parts exhibitions enables him to get a deeper understanding of even the parts that his company has never supplied, and thus gives him a good opportunity to identify his company's strengths and weaknesses and reflect them in quality and cost improvement efforts for further business development.

Printer parts on display Printer parts on display Participating suppliers in a parts exhibition Participating suppliers in a parts exhibition

The Brother Group will continuously strive to build strong trusting relationships with its business partners and grow and develop together to ensure stable procurement of high-quality and cost-competitive parts in dramatically changing business environments.

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