Tradition - Techniques and Spirit of Craftsmen -

Spirit of turning failures into advantages

Spirit of turning
failures into advantages

Aircraft Production Department, Aircraft Division
Mr. ASAO

Mr. Asao

Spirit of turning failures into advantages

Aircraft Production Department,
Aircraft Division

Mr. ASAO

 Mr. Asao has been dedicated to assembly for more than 30 years, even though the product he was in charge of changed from the "P-3C (Anti-submarine Patrol Aircraft)" to the "US-2."

The assembly work consists of very simple processes, such as mainly drilling holes in parts and fixing the parts with bolts. However, when Mr. Asao was younger, he could not complete his assembly work accurately like his superiors. He mentioned that "I continued to fail, no matter how hard I tried to copy my superior's work to learn their skills." "I asked my superiors how to do it, but they only gave me hints and did not give accurate answers." While he was disappointed due to his repeated failures, he continued to work with aircraft. "After all, I gradually understood what would happen if I did this here."

"Assembly work must be performed while making slight gap adjustments by ascertaining the condition of the aircraft which changes subtly by the external environment, such as the temperature and humidity." No matter how much experience is gained, the result may be different than what was expected. "This is the interesting part. I think about it so deeply that I see it in my dreams." I feel great accomplishment when an aircraft that I carefully assembled over a long period is completed and takes off safely, which makes me feel like "my own child is leaving home."

Currently, he also trains young engineers while manufacturing new amphibian aircraft. Even though manufacturing technology progresses, it is difficult completely mechanize the work for amphibian aircraft which take off and land on both water and land due to the special structure of the aircraft, which is also influenced by the external environment. He deeply understands the importance of passing on the technical skills, because "it is not possible to create a manual for everything." "I try to make younger employees think for themselves," not to teach them everything to begin with. Compared to when I was young, "today's young people are very aggressive in many ways." Mr. Asao mentioned that, "taking advantage of such an attitude, I would like young people to challenge things without worrying about failing. My role is to connect such experiences to the opportunity of learning." He is watching the growth of the younger employees, which he once was himself when he was improving his skills while learning from his failures, and the future of aircraft.

Work Partners

Cleco pliers (right in photo), rivet gun (center in photo), drill (left in photo)

A drill for making holes, rivet gun to join aluminum plates by high pressure air, and Cleco pliers which temporarily fix rivets. All of these tools are required for assembly work however, the rivet gun is particularly a special partner that he carefully maintains and still uses today, because it was passed on from his superior. He mentioned that "this tool is like a part of me, because I have used this tool for many years."

Work Partners
Longing for a senior Craftsman

Longing
for a Senior Craftsman

Longing for a senior Craftsman

Mr. Hashiguchi (left in photo) and Mr. Tsuji (right in photo) who are both engaged in assembly work with Mr. Asao, mentioned that their goal is to become "a craftsman like Mr. Asao." Mr. Hashiguchi mentioned that "Mr. Asao always pays attention to the surroundings. When I am having trouble, he casually asks me if everything is OK so I can comfortably perform my daily work." Mr. Tsuji mentioned that "he always gives accurate advice, and it is so easy to understand. I can learn a lot from him, and his advice leads to the next step." Mr. Asao smiles at them and says they are "reliable young workers who are steadily gaining skills." Listening to these three engineers who are actively working in a friendly work environment, I had an impression that the wish of craftsman Mr. Asao, where he wants the young generation to continue taking on challenges without worrying about failing is firmly rooted in the minds of the younger engineers.