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Production System Types Case Study

The Three Basic Structures of CPS

Quality Assurance (QA) System. Canon tries to ensure the best quality in all stages of development, production, and delivery to gain worldwide respect for their products.

Production Assurance (PA) System. PA is aimed to achieve just-in-time manufacturing, fast delivery, low cost, and also adopt the "visual control" philosophy. Canon has devised two subsystems to attain these PA goals: Canon's HIT System (equivalent to just-in-time) and Signal System. The HIT System means making parts and products only when needed and only in the quantity needed. Canon uses either HIT cards or signals for this purpose.

Personnel Training (PS) System. Under this system, Canon's employees are continually educated through a life-long education program.

The other critical instruments for realizing CPS objectives are the "four investments" (technologies, human resources, facilities, and welfare) and "elimination of 9 wastes."

Each Canon employee receives a 55-page pocket-size CPS Notebook that explains the CPS, how to get Kaizen targets, and the award system. These CPS Notebooks also have special pages entitled "My Self-Development Goals – Method, Tools, and Investment" to be filled in by the worker. 

Human Resources Development

At Canon, it is the supervisor's responsibility to attempt to give each employee the widest possible range of skills. This is achieved both by formal training and through job rotation.

Managers attach considerable importance to the direct involvement of employees in process design, process improvement, and the achievement of smooth harmonious production.

In each working area, matrix charts are displayed. The vertical axis lists the names of all operators in the department and the horizontal axis is divided into columns, each describing a specific skill or task. The boxes in the chart are shaded against each employee to show at a glance the skills each has acquired.


A unique feature of Canon's suggestion system is the lifetime cumulative award system. Each suggestion is given a certain number of points, and every year President's Awards are given to the 20 people who have accumulated the most points since the system's inception. Each recipient receives a certain amount of money and a gold medal.

Since this can get a bit repetitious, there are also Presidential Awards for the most points in a given year, the top 30 people receiving a smaller amount of money and silver medals. The list of Annual Awards provided at Canon includes: Model Workshop Award, Runner-up Model Workshop Award, Award for Eliminating 9 Wastes, CPS Performance Award, Excellent Small-Group Activities Award, Cumulative-Point Presidential Award, Annual-Points Presidential Award, Special Presidential Award.

Canon gives also Gold, Silver, and Special awards to their suppliers that have built promising systems for Quality, Cost, and Delivery.

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