MHI to Establish New "Research & Development Center" Consolidating 5 Existing In-house R&D Facilities
5 February 2015
Shift to Cross-organizational Structure Targeted at Stronger, more Efficient Development of Technologies and Human Resources
Effective April 1 Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) will undertake reorganization of its research and development structure. The core of the reorganization initiative calls for the creation of a comprehensive Research & Development Center consolidating the five currently existing Research & Development Centers. The move is targeted at shifting to a cross-organizational system based on companywide business units, timed to coincide with the company's transition from its earlier structure of business segments to its current systems of business domains and strategic business units (SBU). By consolidating its research and development operations, MHI anticipates new synergies in technologies and skills, enhanced development of human resources, and greater efficiency in work performance and facility utilization.
Yoji Kawamoto, currently Deputy Head of the Technology & Innovation Headquarters (Executive Officer), will concurrently serve as General Manager of the new Research & Development Center to be located in Kobe. Under the General Manager, three Deputy Heads will be responsible for product development support. At its launch, the new Research & Development Center will have a workforce numbering approximately 1,440. Research duties will be performed by 10 newly establishing departments reorganized according to field of technology: the Materials Research Department, Manufacturing Technology Research Department, Chemical Research Department, Strength Research Department, Vibration Research Department, Machinery Research Department, Fluid Dynamics Research Department, Combustion Research Department, Heat Transfer Research Department and Electricity & Applied Physics Research Department. The new Research & Development Center's administrative duties – accounting, safety management, personnel, facilities management, etc. - will be comprehensively performed by the Administration Department already in operation since October 2014.
The new Research & Development Center will also control R&D activities to be conducted at other places. At each of the three principal domain bases - in Nagoya, Takasago (Hyogo Pref.) and Nagasaki - will be located the various Laboratories under each research department's oversight. This arrangement is being taken to eliminate personnel and facilities waste or redundancy and to put in place a system enabling more timely and efficient response with respect to product development, new technology development, urgent support of important projects, etc. Meanwhile four other locations - Hiroshima, Mihara (Hiroshima Pref.), Sagamihara (Kanagawa Pref.) and Yokohama - will become home to technology support structures including Laboratories and Teams, to provide greater support to product business operations.
MHI's current research and development structure traces back to the company's launch in 1964 from the consolidation of what had previously been three separate entities in heavy machinery; at that time Research & Development Centers were established in each district - Yokohama, Nagoya, Takasago, Hiroshima and Nagasaki - to conduct product and technology development for the works within their respective locations. However, with the companywide changes now being effected to MHI's organizational operations - illustrated by the total transition starting this business year from the earlier business segments to the new system of business domains and SBUs - having an R&D structure based on separate entities for each of the company's works was seen as a hindrance to optimal human resources development and to efficient management and operation of the company's physical plants.
MHI's organizational operating structure is currently undergoing a variety of improvements to enable the company to grow as a global enterprise, including the introduction of the system of business domains, the launch of a system of chief officers, and the full implementation of a system of strategic business evaluations. By undertaking the reorganization of its research and development structure in tandem with the foregoing moves, MHI looks to respond more flexibly and dynamically to changing parameters and to achieve greater technological strength and more efficient management, in a quest to continue making robust contributions to the growth of the MHI Group.