What is Karakuri Kaizen®?

What we do

The core of Karakuri Kaizen is not achieving greater efficiency but making work easier.

According to Dr. Toyoharu Tsumura, Professor Emeritus at Shibaura Institute of Technology, “The mechanism is simple. No money is spent. Improvements made by eliminating unreasonableness, waste, and unevenness. The result is highly creative, happy improvements that set an example for others.”

AIO also takes energy expenses very seriously by avoiding costly and wasteful production lines. Contributing to a sustainable society in the industrial field means developing lean and flexible lines, more efficient and more capable of contributing to a sustainable society.

The use of Karakuri Kaizen is crucial in making well-conceived, well-designed equipment.


Our vision

Karakuri Kaizen beliefs and values

Developing skillsets

Karakuri Kaizen is proof of the knowledge present on-site, proof of the craftsmanship needed to create mechanisms and kinematics by hand. People are key actors in this, with their amazing sense of adaptability and ingenuity. The main production tool has become the operators themselves, and not just for their workforce. Only humans know how to improve their work, how to invent different ways of working and figuring out answers to problems. The result is smart people building smart equipment, that are high in creativity and that later become a benchmark for the others. Keep in mind that bright ideas emerge from smart people, and smart people emerge from kaizen. When you think about it, it’s a virtuous cycle.

Creating smart equipment

Karakuri Kaizen come in the form of reliable, operational and easily maintainable robots. These robots are passive and lean, using as little materials as possible and borrowing kinetic energy from elsewhere. As such, developing Karakuri Kaizen keeps investments low, because the entire concept is frugal and saves energy. The aim is to avoid expensive and energy inefficient plants, to avoid wastefulness on a whole. This is part of a LCA, low-cost automation, way of thinking.

Streamlining a production line leads to gains in operation times. Though it’s not about speed or doing tasks as quickly as possible. It’s all about staying flexible and responsive to changes, reducing waste and lost time, creating a truly lean line. This actually saves money in the long run. By using Karakuri Kaizen instead of a massive robotic arm for example, there is absolutely no unnecessary movement, function or step. Everything is aimed at achieving the highest quality and most efficient end result.

Karakuri® can also perform archery! Want to see?


Promoting sustainability

It goes without saying that plants that are based on frugal and energy-efficient principals are inherently green. Becoming eco-friendly is easy and stress-free, and the results are imminent. Implementing Karakuri Kaizen reduces CO2 emissions and endeavours to conserve energy, because they need no additional energy to operate and create movement. A prime example of this is the role that simple and slim lines plays in Toyota Motor’s “Toyota Environmental Challenge 2050”. Karakuri Kaizen are referenced as a way of reducing factories’ CO2 emissions to zero through daily improvements, as an effective means of achieving the initiative’s goals.

Toyota's vision

Bringing people together

A Karakuri system is a way of stimulating creativeness and craftsmanship, figuring out solutions together as a team. It is actually one of the major benefits, because they empower production workers. This is made possible by encouraging the use of individuals’ creativity to build their own improvement solutions with other team members from process departments. Karakuri Kaizen promote on-going “kaizen” improvements by workers who want to make their work go faster, smoother and smarter. This supports the idea that there is always a better way, a truly motivational team experience.

AIO services
Supporting diversity

Supporting diversity

“Before and after bots” use smart kinematics to create movement, which in turn battles against unnecessary strain on workers. By using the gravitational pull of counterweights, a box can by lifted. By using sheaving, heavy loads can be made lighter. Kinematic is motion, a succession of parts in movement aiming to facilitate activity on a production line. Thus, reduced workloads allow workstations to become inclusive for all. Diversity is promoted since anyone with any stature can undertake the different tasks.

You too can create simple & smart devices!

Simple steps into the Karakuri Kaizen dynamic

Change your mindset

Think with your hands

Try, try & try again

Control the motion

Aim for simple

Find a Sensei

First and foremost

One must always remember; develop people first, make products later.

The most important goals that we have set up is health and safety. The smart motion created by kinematics is used to make slim and green factories, that support their most important factor: the workers. Ergonomics has a considerable part to play in designing passive robots, for the design must incorporate the human factor. The equipment can lessen the strenuousness caused by heavy loads and repetitive gestures, by replacing tedious tasks with mechanical tricks. The aim is to create a more comfortable working place for operators. Difficult jobs are thus minimized, making it easier to operate and maintain the plant and to perform kaizen.

Making the job easier for workers has never been so simple with Karakuri Kaizen. At AIO, we aim for the safest and most responsible way of moving people and items. One might even say, “a lean, agile line is capable of miracles”.

You can develop Karakuri, but Kaizen is what develops you.