What's new
What's new

Fanuc founder Inaba, king of industrial robots, dead at 95

serview

Aluminum
Joined
Sep 14, 2012
Location
NJ
To pay respect and honor to the full life and extraordinary achievements of Dr Seiuemon Inaba - founder of Fanuc, I thought it was worth noting here on PM that he passed away this past week. He was a pioneer and visionary, and achieved remarkable success and his legacy will continue far into the future.

Here is part of his obituary that appears in Nikkei Asia on October 7, 2020:

TOKYO -- Seiuemon Inaba, the charismatic founder of Fanuc, who turned a fledgling startup into a global manufacturer of industrial robots, died on Friday from natural causes. He was 95.

Inaba graduated from the University of Tokyo with an engineering degree and joined Fuji Tsushinki Manufacturing (currently Fujitsu) in 1946. As an engineer, he led the development of the first numerical control device, used in machine tools, by a Japanese company.

The NC device has made possible the precise maneuvering of cutting tools and enabled advanced metal processing, contributing to the modernization of Japanese manufacturing. The company's machining center, Robodrill, is used to make metal casings for Apple's iPhones.

In 1972, Fujitsu Fanuc was founded as a spinoff of Fujitsu, with Inaba as managing director. He became president in 1975.

With its main base in the village of Oshino, Yamanashi Prefecture, Fanuc was instilled with Inaba's unique management style, which colored everything from research and development to production. He offered high salaries to graduates of top colleges willing to work day and night and housed them in dorms built at the foot of Mt. Fuji. Some called the practice "bizarre" but Inaba shrugged off the criticism.

Inaba pursued original product development while streamlining of production. Fanuc grew globally, thanks to its industrial robot business, but it also streamlined the manufacturing industry and contributed to its automation.

Under his leadership, the company developed an extensive network of maintenance and repair services overseas, which helped Japanese automakers and machinery manufacturers make inroads into foreign markets. By setting up joint ventures with General Motors and other foreign manufacturers, Fanuc aggressively cultivated overseas clients. It currently claims 50% of the market for computer numerical control (CNC) devices and holds a hefty share of the robot market.

Famously loath to incurring debt, Inaba let the company accumulate cash on hand, a stance often derided by investors. Boasting his own "strict" and "obsessive" management style, he paid attention to price changes as small as a penny. That spirit still lives on at the company. Fanuc's operating profit margin stood at 17.4% in the year ended March this year, a respectable level for manufacturers.

Inaba stepped down as president in 1995 and left his director post in 2000.

Here is a link to the full article.
Fanuc founder Inaba, king of industrial robots, dead at 95 -
Nikkei Asia
 
Joined
Apr 14, 2018
Location
Airstrip One, Oceania
Thanks for the posting. A highly consequential individual, certainly for us...
Basically, he copied and stole American IP, used government backing to engage in unfair competition, destroyed American jobs and businesses, and generally acted exactly the way you guys scream about China.

What is there that is so attractive about hypocrisy ?
 
G

Guest

Guest
Basically, he copied and stole American IP, used government backing to engage in unfair competition, destroyed American jobs and businesses, and generally acted exactly the way you guys scream about China.

What is there that is so attractive about hypocrisy ?

Can you give it a rest? Get a life. Bringing politics into a post honoring an industrial icon, that is even gutter trash low for you. So it appears Fanuc was born in 1972, sounds about right. I believe the earliest birthdate of a Fanuc machine I operated was probably 1979-1980.
 
Joined
Apr 14, 2018
Location
Airstrip One, Oceania
Can you give it a rest?
You give it a rest. That's exactly what he did, stole American IP. Was subsidized by the Japanese government to crush Bendix, who invented nc, General Automation, Allen-Bradley, Westinghouse, GE, Tera, Cincinnati, K&T, G&L, and several others, all based in the US using US engineers and designers and labor, paying US taxes and creating the cnc world.

I find it funny how patriotic you guys are, until it involves supporting your own country. Fanuc sucks dick.
 

Milland

Diamond
Joined
Jul 6, 2006
Location
Hillsboro, New Hampshire
Basically, he copied and stole American IP, used government backing to engage in unfair competition, destroyed American jobs and businesses, and generally acted exactly the way you guys scream about China.

What is there that is so attractive about hypocrisy ?

You know, you might be right. But you'd still be wrong. What the Japanese did that the Americans DIDN'T do is "democratize" CNC; made it affordable for the common man, err, shop. Where the American companies wanted to keep it as an expensive, rarely purchased product, and only used by the Big Boys.

So yeah, perhaps it was born from US efforts, but we benefited ultimately. If the American managers and bosses had been more foresighted, they could have done the same.

But they didn't.
 
Joined
Apr 14, 2018
Location
Airstrip One, Oceania
So yeah, perhaps it was born from US efforts, but we benefited ultimately. If the American managers and bosses had been more foresighted, they could have done the same.

But they didn't.
There's a contemporary retort to this, you know :D

Besides, your statement is not entirely correct, either. Many of the US control builders were extremely competitive, both on price and features. Some of the builders had their act together, too. My Eagle kicked butt over its competition at Okuma on both price and features. A friend's shop bought a new Okuma at that time and I was surprised by just how junky it was, comparatively.

Unfortunately, Japanese builders were backed by their government, while our government sold the country out to Wall Street. Hedge funds were named honestly in those days, corporate raiders, so even the places that were doing well, like Devlieg, got gobbled up for their assets then spit out on the scrap heap. It wasn't entirely the machine tool indusry's fault. They were being mauled on both sides.

Fanuc was nothing special. They still aren't. Quality is good, true, but they haven't had an idea ever since there were no more US companies to copy.
 

gregormarwick

Diamond
Joined
Feb 7, 2007
Location
Aberdeen, UK
You give it a rest. That's exactly what he did, stole American IP. Was subsidized by the Japanese government to crush Bendix, who invented nc, General Automation, Allen-Bradley, Westinghouse, GE, Tera, Cincinnati, K&T, G&L, and several others, all based in the US using US engineers and designers and labor, paying US taxes and creating the cnc world.

I find it funny how patriotic you guys are, until it involves supporting your own country. Fanuc sucks dick.

This is of course a distasteful place/time to discuss it, but I agree generally.

Fanuc are like microsoft. Making mediocre copies of other people's ideas and then outmarketing everyone else until they have a monopoly.

The state of the art of computer software would be decades ahead of where it is now if Microsoft had never existed, the same is true of CNC and Fanuc if we're all honest.

Of course Fanuc made some innovations and I don't mean to diminish them, but they have been far too few and far between considering the market position they've held for the last three decades.

I also understand the benefits of the extreme conservatism of Fanuc's product development history, so no need to pile on me about that either...
 

Mike1974

Diamond
Joined
Nov 5, 2014
Location
Tampa area
I don't know any history about Fanuc, but I know one place I worked we manufactured boards for them. Can't say for what as I don't know...
 

78LAZERFACE89

Plastic
Joined
Mar 4, 2017
Rest in peace, lived a long, honorable productive life. Made a difference and changed the world created many jobs worldwide.

Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk
 

78LAZERFACE89

Plastic
Joined
Mar 4, 2017
You give it a rest. That's exactly what he did, stole American IP. Was subsidized by the Japanese government to crush Bendix, who invented nc, General Automation, Allen-Bradley, Westinghouse, GE, Tera, Cincinnati, K&T, G&L, and several others, all based in the US using US engineers and designers and labor, paying US taxes and creating the cnc world.

I find it funny how patriotic you guys are, until it involves supporting your own country. Fanuc sucks dick.
Fanuc, like many Japanese manufacturers, made extremely high quality products, light years ahead of 1970`s controls by Cincinatti or whoever, also that doesn't explain why Fanuc outsold even their fellow Japanese control mfg.`s Mitsubishi, Yasnac, etc by a huge margin. HQ, fit.and finish, innovation gave them a positive reputation made them #1. Exact same situation as American vs. Japanese auto mfg. How many 80`s -90`s Japanese daily drivers are on the road today compared to Detroit from the same era? Probably 3-4 times as many.

I can walk up to a Fanuc control and find whatever I need in the locations I expect them to be, take a machinist from 1986 to a 2019 Fanuc and he`ll be able to make a part despite decades of advancements, because they were so adamant on standardization and unifomity, night and day from euro mfg. control with every screen or button 180 degrees from their previous generation

Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk
 
Joined
Apr 14, 2018
Location
Airstrip One, Oceania
Fanuc, like many Japanese manufacturers, made extremely high quality products, light years ahead of 1970`s controls by Cincinatti ....
Oh bullshit. I am so sick of this conventional wisdom crap it makes me puke.

US controls were far and away more capable and advanced and logical than Jap controls. What people did was compare the brand-newiest Jap controls with two generations old US controls, because in 1970 there weren't any Jap controls and there was plenty of older US electronics hanging around..

Jap stuff is upside-down and backwards, it works stupid. If you like standing on your head to take a shower that's fine but don't tell me this shit about how they are better. Pound for pound in 1980 a US control was far superior to anything out of Japan. They just bolted them to machines built to last, quality machine tools, not throwaway cheap crap. They were living in the past that everyone here says they want and support, but when push comes to shove, people buy cheap.

US machine tools were better than the Jap junk in 1980. Way better. They just cost too much, and were not in stock. Buyers do not put their money where their mouth is. Compare a G&L with an Okuma, you make me laugh.

Also, the US had Kirk Kerkorian where Japan had MITI. Have to admit their government supported their own industry, while the US worships self-cannibalism. That had more to do with the end result than just about anything else.
 

orakul

Banned
Joined
Jan 29, 2021
For me, coming up with a startup is something supernatural. I think that everything has already been invented, but still people appear who make discoveries and simply incredible things in their complexity. This is probably why I am not an entrepreneur, but a freelancer. But this is enough for me to live, now I have completely switched to remote control, read reviews about different payment systems and I only take money online.
 








 
Top