Pandemic Stirs FUJI to Build up Unorthodox Business

FUJI Corporation’s new businesses dealing with transfer support robots and deliver locker system have been steadily expanding. To expand sales channels, FUJI has showcased these products in exhibitions and industries of different fields than exhibitions of mounters and industrial robots, in which the company used to take part.

FUJI positions as flagship business its robot solution centering on mounters, and machine tool business.

In response to Japan’s growing shortage of healthcare personnel, particularly caregivers, FUJI introduced a transfer support robot in Apr. 2016. Subsequently, the company has released new models and expanded the business. The new model Hug T1-02 released in Oct. 2019 received Japan’s Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry Award at The 9th Robot Award co-organized by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare.

Shinsuke Suhara, President and Chief Operating Officer, says, “Orders for transfer support robots increased rapidly since late 2019. At present, 100 units are produced and we commercialized the transfer support robots to reduce the burden of nursing staff. However, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the demand for transfer support robots increased further.”

Shinsuke Suhara, President & Chief Operating Officer, FUJI Corporation

Hug T1-02 adopts a new design that is friendly to people and it is lighter than its predecessor models, adds Suhara. At present, FUJI has set up distributors, including retailers of nursing care products, across Japan and cumulative sales have reached 1,300 units.

Hug T1-02 robot transfer system attracts visitors’ attention at a nursing care field exhibition.

Transfer support robots enable one caregiver to take care of transfer and toileting assistance, which previously required two people, leading to improved work productivity. The demand for transfer support robots has been increasing in hospitals and nursing care facilities.

Use of Barcodes, QR Codes

FUJI started its delivery locker system business in 2014 with the operation experiment of delivery system using online supermarket together with UNY in Aichi Prefecture and launched the reception of orders on full scale as the delivery locker system Quist in 2016.

Installation example of FUJI’s delivery locker system

Quist enables delivery and reception of commercial products using barcodes and QR codes in a simple and smart manner. It can be operated as a real-time locker management and monitoring system using the cloud system.

Japan Post Co., Ltd. has adopted Quist for its Hako Post delivery locker service and installed it in stations of JR East Japan Railway Company. Then, Quist was adopted for CAINZ PickUp Locker installed in CAINZ home center in Saitama Prefecture, and installed in about 50 stores across Japan in stages.

Meet Needs for Contactless Reception

Suhara says, “Because of the need to decrease contactless transactions, the demand for Quist has been expanding.”

In March, FUJI released a new delivery locker system with QR code payment function. In collaboration with Fukushima Galilei Co., Ltd. in Osaka City, the company deploys reception cold lockers targeting retail and food and drink industries. They can be used for receiving perishable foodstuff purchased on online supermarkets and take-out products from eating and drinking establishments.