Language

What's new

August 1, 2018
"With Business Partners - Comments from suppliers" has been renewed.

Product development that meets various customer demands

After listening to customer demands and thoroughly analyzing its competitors' products, Brother formulated the product concept of "black-and-white laser printers for small-office users all over the world to use with less stress."

Operability test
Operability test

Demands from customers across the world vary, including high-speed printing, a high-capacity toner cartridge, a multipurpose tray, and printing in hot and humid conditions. To embody these demands, Brother decided to newly develop 14 key element technologies and also launched a working group composed of only several members to concurrently develop these technologies and make swift examinations and decisions. These efforts helped to incorporate user-friendliness into the process of the development. Employees who did not belong to development departments also joined and supported the working group and conducted many operability tests with the aim of developing products that satisfy customers.

Visualized air flows
Visualized air flows

Adding those many functions in a compact body, a strength of Brother's existing models, was a challenge. To solve this challenge, the working group downsized the basic mechanism of Brother's standard models and optimized its position to create a new space inside a product body, and designed a high-capacity toner cartridge and a functional unit for a multipurpose tray which fit into that space. They thus succeeded in developing models with additional functions in a compact body. Although this compact body with many additional functions required a more effective cooling system than that equipped with the existing models, the working group was able to develop an effective one by running visualized air flow simulations in cooperation with related departments. This system enabled continuous full-speed printing under high temperature and humidity conditions.

Aiming to realize customer demands continuously and speedily, the Brother Group seeks to deliver value while sharing information and making swift decisions based on its product concept.

For more information on "Developing Products with 'Customers First' in Mind" 

To the top on this page

April 2, 2018
"With Business Partners - Comments from suppliers" has been renewed.

Participation in the Golden Ring Project has been increasing

The Brother Group has been promoting participation in charity events to support cancer patients, aiming to conduct social contribution activities with its employees and with a sense of unity on a global scale. In 2011, the group named such activities the "Golden Ring Project," imagining a ring of support on a world map drawn by connecting the support activity conducted by each group facility with a line. In FY2017, the Brother Group employees and their families at 19 facilities all over the world participated in this project.

BISK employees in pink T-shirts walked the course
BISK employees in pink T-shirts walked the course

In June 2017, Brother Industries (Slovakia) s.r.o. (BISK), one of the manufacturing facilities of the Brother Group in Europe, joined the charity event "Run for Life" in Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, as part of the "Golden Ring Project."

This event aimed to spread correct knowledge about breast cancer and raise funds to fight against it. Each of approximately four thousand participants purchased a T-shirt in pink, the symbol color for the fight against cancer, as a participation pass and walked a 4 km course. The sales of the T-shirts, which amounted to about 24 thousand euro, were donated to an organization supporting breast cancer patients.

One of the BISK employees who joined the event said: "I took my baby daughter to this walk, hopefully when she is grown up nobody will suffer from breast cancer thanks to scientific research and improvements in treatment."

The Brother Group will continuously promote the "Golden Ring Project" to support cancer patients and contribute to society with its employees and with a sense of unity on a global scale.

For more information on "Social Contribution Activities on a Global Scale" 

To the top on this page

March 19, 2018
"Evaluation by an External Entity - Outstanding health and productivity management organization" has been renewed.

Brother helps improve clinical efficiency with point-of-care mobile printing

In the USA, there is a growing trend toward medical rehabilitation in the home, and the number of home health care agencies and home health care visits is on the rise.

Patient visit
Patient visit
Medical data printing at the point of care
Medical data printing at the point of care

In January 2017, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), an organization that administers major health care programs in the United States, updated its regulations for home health care providers. The update includes a provision that home health agencies involved in CMS programs must provide patients with a written plan of care; which might include medication lists, treatment schedules, therapy instructions and more.

These two factors-the growth in the number of home health providers and the requirement by CMS-have created new need for printing, such as a plan of care, at the patient's residence.

Understanding such a situation, Brother Mobile Solutions, Inc., a US-based sales facility of the Brother Group, proposed the introduction of PocketJet® printers to the home healthcare agency. They are small, light, easy-to-carry mobile printers capable of printing on letter-sized paper (8 1/2 x 11 inches), the standard paper size for many software applications.
With the introduction of PocketJet mobile printers, the home health agency has become able to print the necessary documents required by CMS's regulations at the point of care, and also become able to provide patients and caregivers with a clear and accurate written plan of care. Furthermore, the introduction, which saves the efforts of making a handwritten document, has led to a 20-minute reduction in clerical work per visit, thus enabling clinicians to spend more time providing patient care and to increase the number of patient visits per day.

The Brother Group continuously listens to customer opinions and flexibly responds to demands in the market.

For more information on "Sales and Service System" 

To the top on this page

Brother has planted 5,906 trees in its activities so far

The wooden letter of gratitude presented by the mayor of Gujo City
The wooden letter of gratitude presented by the mayor of Gujo City
Commemorative tree planting by the employees who have joined all the tree planting activities so far
Commemorative tree planting by the employees who have joined all the tree planting activities so far

Brother Industries, Ltd. (BIL) concluded an agreement with Gifu Prefecture and Gujo City therein to designate three areas in the city, including a former ski area, as the "Brother Forests in Gujo" in 2008 and since then has conducted reforestation activities.
BIL has implemented tree planting twice a year, in the spring and the fall, since the execution of the agreement and planted a total of 5,906 trees during the period from the first activity in June 2008 to the 20th activity in October 2017.

In the tree planting activity carried out in October 2017, BIL received a letter of gratitude from the mayor of Gujo City in commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the agreement, and also conducted commemorative tree planting by four employees who had took part in all 20 activities since 2008.
One of the four employees said: "I just enjoyed planting trees as recreation at the beginning. I, however, have grown a strong attachment to the Brother Forests and now plant trees with a desire to see the forests grow up. I would like to nurture the forests together with people concerned with tree planting."

Brother continues to promote reforestation at the Brother Forests in Gujo with its employees while consulting with local residents.

For more information on "Social Contribution Activities in Various Regions" 

To the top on this page

Employees develop a broad perspective and high expertise through various experiences

Since FY2008, the Brother Group has conducted the "trainee program," a training program in which trainees are dispatched from Brother Industries, Ltd. (BIL) to group companies and vice versa, aiming to foster talent who have a broad vision, high expertise, and the ability to respond to global business challenges.

This training is designed for young employees selected based on Brother's talent development plan to receive on-the-job training (OJT) ranging from three months to two years in line with the training plans formulated beforehand by both their dispatchers and receivers.

The trainee program had mainly focused on providing trainees with training associated with their area of expertise. However, in FY2015, it also started offering training outside trainees' specialty to help them gain new knowledge through experience. Such training, for example, includes giving an opportunity for a developer to visit a customer with a sales person to listen to on-site needs and usage conditions directly from the customer.

Adjustment with a microscope
Adjustment with a microscope

During FY2017, BIL sent 31 trainees to group companies in the UK, India and so forth while it received 13 trainees from group companies in the Philippines and China. An employee, who was in his second year in BIL, was dispatched to Taiwan Brother Industries, Ltd. (Taiwan Brother), the manufacturing facility of the Brother Group in Taiwan, to acquire techniques and skills. There, he was engaged in assembly work and improved the operational techniques which he found difficulty in acquiring by asking skilled workers for advice. He eventually completed the assembly of a whole commercial embroidery machine and felt his efforts in learning bore fruit.

In a questionnaire conducted in November 2017 for the employees who had been sent from BIL, an employee commented that his experience in the sales field helped him to further incorporate customer perspectives into product development, and another said that new knowledge and perspectives gained through the program made her more conscious of overall optimization.

The Brother Group will continuously cultivate global talent who can deliver superior value.

Production Innovation Dept., Personal & Home Business Division, Brother Industries, Ltd. Takuro Kanada

Comment from an employee who participated in the trainee program

Active interaction leads to lots of learning

Production Innovation Dept., Personal & Home Business Division, Brother Industries, Ltd.
Takuro Kanada

When I was in my second year of joining BIL, I took training mainly in the sewing machine assembly lines in Taiwan Brother for the three months from September 2017 in order to learn the fundamentals of manufacturing, which were hard to directly experience in BIL with few production sites, based on three facts (real place, real thing, and real situation).
In the training, I always made conscious efforts to proactively interact with local employees in Chinese or the Taiwanese that I learned from them, in order to absorb on-site opinions, manufacturing awareness, daily production processes, and actions to be taken, to the extent possible. Consequently, I was able to identify the challenges and areas for improvement in my assigned task in Japan, the promotion of various collaborations between BIL and overseas facilities, and also gain lots of insight. This program provided me with such an excellent experience.

For more information on "Talent Development" 

To the top on this page

Employees make donations to Shichigahama Town, Miyagi Prefecture

From the left: Mayor Terasawa and Brother's president
From the left: Mayor Terasawa and Brother's president

In July 2017, Brother donated the money raised by the Brother Group employees (Kizuna Fund) to Shichigahama Town, Miyagi Prefecture, where the company had been supporting since the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake.
The donated money will be used for the "global human resources development program," which is currently conducted by the town based on its reconstruction theme.

In the donation ceremony held in Shichigahama Town, Town Mayor Terasawa expressed his gratitude for Brother's support so far for Kizuna Park, Kizuna Library, and so forth. The mayor also told that the donations this time would be used to purchase picture books, books, and English educational materials designed for children to get familiar with English, and that he would further promote the reconstruction of the town to make it attractive.

Brother contributes to the reconstruction of disaster-hit areas by purchasing their local products

An employee buying an item in the market
An employee buying an item in the market

Aiming to help the reconstruction of quake-hit areas by purchasing goods made in such areas, Brother has regularly hold markets for employees since 2013.

In November 2017, the 14th market by the Brother Group was held in the commemoration event for the 75th anniversary of the founding of Nissei Corporation, one of the Brother Group companies. This event invited not only group employees but also community residents, and about 200 people bought goods from the quake-stricken Tohoku region and Kumamoto Prefecture.

The Brother Group will continuously provide reconstruction assistance in order not to let the memories of the earthquake disasters fade away.

For more information on "Brother's Response to Large-scale Disasters" 

To the top on this page

Employees serve as teachers and give classes on various themes

Brother International Corporation de Argentina S.R.L. (BIC(Argentina)) began offering classes to economically disadvantaged students in 2017 in cooperation with the non-governmental organization "Fundación Caminando Juntos."

A class given by an employee
A class given by an employee

During 2017, 19 employees of BIC(Argentina) served as teachers and gave a total of twelve weekly two-hour lessons to 14 students aged 17 and 18 from Esteban Echeverria School. Aiming to help these students, who would enter the work force in the near future, to acquire necessary knowledge and skills, the classes focused on themes that might be of interest to them, such as financial strategy, ethics, leadership, personal finance, and tax. The classes were also designed to be easy for the students to understand by using presentations and movies.

Some of the students told that the program helped them prepare for the world of work and know today's business environment.

One of the employees said that the activity was very interesting and highly positive for both the students and the employees, and also gave a message to young people that it is possible to achieve their goals and grow professionally and humanly if they strive and commit to doing so.

BIC(Argentina), together with its employees, will continuously work to make its local community a better place.

For more information on "Social Contribution Activities in Various Regions" 

To the top on this page

Employees donate books and clothes

In 2017, Brother System Technology Development (Hangzhou) Ltd. (BSH), the R&D facility of the Brother Group in China, donated books and clothes to needy people.

The employees who donated many books
The employees who donated many books

In September, BSH donated books to a school with poor educational resources to provide an opportunity for children to enjoy stories and deepen their knowledge through book reading.
The company sent 95 picture books and novels gathered from its employees to the children of a school located in Liu Pan Shui City, Guizhou Province.

In October, BSH gave clothes to deprived people so that they would be able to stay warm during the severe cold winter months. In response to the company's call for clothing donations, employees donated a total of 45 clothes, including coats, mufflers, and gloves, and these clothes were delivered to people living in Baoding City, Hebei Province through a non-profit organization.

The employee responsible for these activities told that he was delighted to be of any help to people by providing books and clothes, and that he would like to further enlist associates to offer more books and clothes in the following year and beyond.

BSH will continuously advance its efforts, always keeping local contribution in mind.

For more information on "Social Contribution Activities in Various Regions" 

To the top on this page

Participants share their approaches to realizing "Talent Transformation" and talk about future measures to promote talent development

At Brother, a talent development conference is held once a year by Brother International Corporation (BIC(J)), which supervises Brother's sales subsidiaries in the Asia and Pacific region, to share and learn the approaches taken by each of these subsidiaries beyond countries and regions.

In the conference held in Nagoya in September 2017, fifteen participants from nine subsidiaries in Singapore, the Philippines, Thailand, Hong Kong, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Taiwan, India, and Japan shared their activities for achieving "Talent Transformation" set forth in the Brother Group's mid-term business strategy "CS B2018" and also discussed future measures to promote talent development.

BIC(J) introduced its system for formulating a career plan for each employee, and conducting employee interviews and managing the development progress of each individual based on the plan. It also introduced weekly one-on-one dialogues between a supervisor and a subordinate over eight months to help the subordinate get insight for improvement by reviewing his/her actions and thoughts.

Participants talking about future talent development
Participants talking about future talent development

Brother International Singapore Pte. Ltd. made a presentation on a method for increasing its organizational power in which the characteristics of each employee, such as thought and an action pattern, are analyzed, and that analysis is utilized to promote collaboration in the company.

In addition, the participants brought a variety of ideas as measures to further promote talent development, such as personnel exchanges across countries and regions.

One of the participants said: "The one-on-one dialogues that provide a growth opportunity for employees is interesting. I would like to initiate the efforts in my facility." Another said: "I would like to further discuss talent development systems across countries and regions."

The Brother Group will be continuously committed to talent development that helps employees maximize their capabilities and skills for long years.

For more information on "Talent Development" 

To the top on this page

BIMH contributes to bringing smiles to children and establishing a medical system in its local community

Brother Internationale Industriemaschinen GmbH (BIMH), which is a sales subsidiary of Brother located in Emmerich, a city in the northwest of Germany, conducts a variety of local contribution activities throughout the year.

A long procession of trucks carrying children drove through a town
A long procession of trucks carrying children drove through a town

In May, BIMH co-sponsored the "Truckers Run," an event where children with serious diseases or disabilities, who were limited opportunities to go out, enjoyed a driving trip by truck. This event aims to enable such children to feel the joy of going out by making a four-hour, 65-km round trip from Kalkar to S´Heerenberg through Emmerich and some small villages, with one child in the front passenger seat of each truck.
At the end of the tour, 130 teddy bears donated from BIMH were given to the participants so that they would be able to recall the joyful feeling during the driving trip at any time.

The AED donated to the municipal theater
The AED donated to the municipal theater

In October, in response to a request from the local ambulance service institution in Emmerich, BIMH donated part of the purchase cost of teddy bears. The teddy bears are used by the staff of the institution as gifts to young children who are taken to the hospital by ambulance in order to alleviate their anxieties. The institution got about 2,000 bears through donations from BIMH and other local companies.

In November, BIMH donated an automated external defibrillator (AED). In Germany, public facilities, such as theaters, have started the installation of an AED to respond to emergency situations. The donated AED was installed in a municipal theater, which had been familiar to local residents, at the beginning of November and helped prepare the theater for emergencies.

Comment from the employee responsible for these events

We will respond to local needs.

Brother Internationale Industriemaschinen GmbH
Stachetzki, Folker

We were able to conduct activities that brought smiles to children suffering from serious diseases or disabilities and also support the establishment of a medical system in our local theater. We will respond to local needs continuously.

BIMH will continuously conduct social contribution activities, always considering how to contribute to the local community.

For more information on "Social Contribution Activities in Various Regions" 

To the top on this page

The simultaneous realization of printing time reduction, a non-sticky soft texture, and bright color

At Brother, we decided to adopt a new print head for the latest garment printer at the request of the users of Brother garment printers, which are capable of printing images drawn on a PC on clothes such as T-shirts, to shorten printing time. However, the characteristics of the new print head were not compatible with the ink used for the previous models. In addition, some customers who wore clothes printed with Brother garment printers requested a non-sticky soft texture on the printed surface and bright color. To meet these different two demands, we needed to develop a new ink urgently.

Employees checking the texture of the printed surface of a garment
Employees checking the texture of the printed surface of a garment
Discussion to solve the problems
Discussion to solve the problems

A drastic reduction in the viscosity of the conventional ink was necessary because it was too high for the new print head used for the latest model. However, the conventional ink with lower viscosity was not able to prevent color fading by washing.
To achieve an ink quality that can provide both low viscosity and washing durability, we largely altered the chemical structures of the polymer components in the conventional ink, and thereby succeeding in creating an ink that has less than half the viscosity of the conventional ink, yet provides washing durability and a non-sticky and soft texture on the printed side of a substance.

As for color, although brightness was improved by making the size of ink pigment particles smaller, the finer particles decreased the long-term storage stability of ink.
To solve this problem, we repeatedly fine-tuned the fineness of the particles and the balance of polymers and other materials contained in the conventional ink and finally found the best combination of these components. Our review of the production process also contributed to achieving both bright color and long-term storage stability.

Resolving such various challenges, we have finally developed a new ink which is compatible with the print head adopted to reduce printing time and provides a non-sticky soft texture on the printed surface of a garment as well as bright color.

The Brother Group will continuously devote itself to value creation by constantly thinking about what technologies it can apply to satisfy customers and what kind of products will support customers.

For more information on "Design Quality That Meets Customers' Expectations" 

To the top on this page

Brother holds the Brother Global Recycling Summit to provide hints and know-how available in respective facilities

Aiming to establish a recycling-based society, Brother started the recycling of used toner cartridges at Brother Industries (U.K.) Ltd. (BIUK) in 2004 in response to demands from European customers with high environmental concerns. Subsequently, Brother has expanded its recycling efforts globally to include Slovakia, the U.S. and Japan, and now conducts various activities with BIUK's Recycle Technology Centre serving as a hub for recycling in the Brother Group.

Employees listening to presentations on activities conducted by the group facilities in the summit
Employees listening to presentations on activities conducted by the group facilities in the summit
Clean room in BIUK
Clean room in BIUK

Brother has held the Brother Global Recycling Summit every year since 2011 to efficiently produce recycled products that are high quality and as good as new. In 2017, this summit was held at Brother Industries (Slovakia) s.r.o. with attendance of more than 45 employees from BIUK, Brother Industries (U.S.A.) Inc., Brother Industries, Ltd. and other group facilities.

The summit functions as a place for participating employees to obtain hints and know-how usable in their own facilities, providing them with opportunities to share Brother's toner recycling activities and recycling technologies and to see improvements in the process of recycling on site. In addition, their interaction in the summit led to creating the opportunity of personnel exchange, in which development personnel in BIL stay in BIUK for three months and study recycling technologies to reflect recycling know-how in the design of toner cartridges.

The Brother Group will continue to share technologies and information on a global basis and promote the production of recycled toner cartridges with the quality that satisfies customers' demands to build a recycling-based society.

Managing Director of BIUK Craig McCubbin

Comment from the person in charge of the Brother Global Recycling Summit

Promote the recycling of toner cartridges on a global basis

Managing Director of BIUK
Craig McCubbin

The Brother Global Recycling Summit brings together representatives from design, production and the sales offices and is a great opportunity to share best practice and hear the voice of the customer. We should continue this event and try to promote the recycle activity of toner cartridges on a global basis.

For more information on "Sales and Service System" 

To the top on this page

December 1, 2017
"With Business Partners - Comments from suppliers" has been renewed.
November 10, 2017
"FY2017 Brother Group CSR Report (website data)" was posted on the CSR Report PDF download site.

Brother held events for individual shareholders for the first time

Brother Industries, Ltd. (BIL) strives to build a relationship of trust with its shareholders and investors by creating various communication opportunities, such as biannual shareholder newsletters (The full year's issue is integrated with the notice of a shareholders meeting.) and company information sessions.
During FY2017, BIL, for the first time, held events for individual shareholders in August and September, responding to many requests to provide more information on Brother and to increase communication opportunities in a questionnaire for shareholders.

The lecture held in the Nagoya City Science Museum (in August)
The lecture held in the Nagoya City Science Museum (in August)
The history of Brother was introduced in Museum Brother Communication Space (in September)
The history of Brother was introduced in Museum Brother Communication Space (in September)

In August, BIL held an event at the Nagoya City Science Museum in Nagoya City, Aichi Prefecture, where the head office of BIL is located. This event, attended by 235 people including those from the general public, consisted of a presentation on Brother's efforts to address various environmental issues all over the world, a lecture on endangered species, and a planetarium show in the planetarium dome "Brother Earth."
In September, BIL organized a tour in Museum Brother Communication Space.
This tour, having a total of 29 participants composed of individual shareholders and their companions, introduced Brother's 109-year history and business, changes in business performance, and so forth. The tour also provided a time for the participants to try out some Brother products and experience their attractiveness. The participants, for example, cut out a snowflake from a piece of construction paper with a "ScanNCut," a home cutting machine designed for cutting paper or cloth, and also made their own name labels with a "P-touch," a labeling system capable of creating original labels.

The comments BIL received from the participants include: "I have felt much closer to Brother than before." "I thought Brother was a company centering on sewing machines. I, however, have understood the company focuses on overseas expansion and nature conservation." "I had already known that Brother is an excellent company through its shareholders meetings, and this conviction was further strengthened through the explanation provided in the tour."

BIL values opportunities to directly communicate with shareholders and investors in order to convey the attractiveness of the company and its products, and remains committed to further generating "Brother fans."

For more information on "IR Communication" 

To the top on this page

September 28, 2017
"Brother's CSR" and "Environmental Activities" have been updated.
August 1, 2017
"With Business Partners - Comments from suppliers" has been renewed.