Quality Management Technologies
In order to maintain and improve quality, on which peoples' trust in the Canon brand is based, the company employs evaluation technologies, simulation technologies, and analysis technologies. The company's dedication to "quality first" supports its continually evolving products.
To achieve Canon's corporate objectives of creating the world's leading products, offering the highest levels of quality and service, and contributing to the betterment of culture throughout the world, the company continually makes efforts to enhance quality by:
- Identifying customer needs and utilizing the latest technologies to offer excellent high-quality products and speedy service
- Making every effort to avoid causing harm or damage to consumers and their property as a result of nonconforming products or services
The message behind Canon product quality is to provide "safety, smartness, and satisfaction to customers." In order to deliver products and services to customers that fulfill these three objectives, Canon carries out quality assurance activities at every stage, from planning and development to production, marketing, and post-purchase services.
"Canon quality provides safety, smartness, and satisfaction to customers"
- Safety: No breakdowns, no injuries, no defects
- Smartness: Easy to use, well designed, reliable
- Satisfaction: Great! Glad I bought it. It's Canon for me from now on.
Tamagawa Plant's General Measurement Testing Laboratory
Quality Assessment Center Contributing to Improved Product-Quality Levels
Canon has constructed a General Measurement Testing Laboratory at the Tamagawa Plant to serve as a center for quality evaluation and testing. The Laboratory comprises a number of different testing facilities: In the semi-anechoic chamber (EMC), for example, levels of electromagnetic radiation emitted by products are measured, and the shield room makes it possible to investigate the possibility of product malfunction due to the effect of static electricity discharge and lightning surges; meanwhile, the hemi-anechoic room (Acoustics) and acoustic test lab are used to measure operation noise levels and other acoustic properties of products, and the safety evaluation room allows for flame resistance testing of the plastic used in products and components.
The semi-anechoic chamber (EMC) and hemi-anechoic room (Acoustics) are certified testing facilities based on ISO / IEC 17025, and enable safety and EMC certification tests required for the confirmation of compliance with regulations such as VCCI, EN55022 and FCC Part 15, and the noise tests required for acquiring environmental marks based on standards such as ISO 7779. All of Canon's EMCs were promptly modified to support EMI testing for the measurement of radio signals in the frequency range above GHz when that bandwidth first fell under full-fledged regulatory control in 2011. Some semi-anechoic chambers also support measurement of radio signals in the frequency range above GHz for large products such as DreamLabo commercial photo printers.
With the construction of this General Measurement Testing Laboratory, Canon is able to perform EMC certification tests, noise tests, and plastic flame resistance tests, based on regulations such as UL60950-1 A1 and A2 to be performed in-house, ensuring security and significantly reducing the time required for testing.
By conducting a variety of measurements utilizing the industry's top class of testing facilities, from the design phase, Canon is able to check safety, evaluate compliance with public regulations, and select safe components and materials.
The General Measurement Testing Laboratory is contributing to the further improvement of the quality of Canon products.
Human-Scale Measurement and Evaluation Technologies
Evaluating Comfort and Ease-of-Use
Canon is currently working on the development of technologies capable of measuring and assessing the physiological reactions of users. By measuring such reactions in the form of brain waves, myoelectric potential, blood circulation, perspiration, and eye movement, it is possible to digitize the way in which people respond to products using their senses of sight, touch, smell, and hearing. Canon's Human-Scale Measurement and Evaluation Technologies can combine the physiological data measured with subjective observations, thus realizing a high-value-added product evaluation for human physiological evaluation.
For example, in order to create products that are easier to use, Canon evaluates the amount of effort involved in carrying and operating products by simulating muscle load and measuring myoelectric potential, and by then combining this empirical data with subjective values. This technology has been used in the evaluation of the setting of paper rolls in large-format inkjet printers, the unpacking of inkjet printers, and the loading of copying units into devices, helping reduce the burden placed on users.
Canon will continue to work to evaluate empirical data pertaining not only to operating effort, but also to visual fatigue, mental stress, and other similar factors in the pursuit of products that are even more friendly to users.
Chemical Safety Evaluation Technology
Preserving the Environment During Product Usage
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs), dust, ozone, particulates, and other chemicals emitted when a product is used must be reduced in order to minimize any harmful effect on the environment. Canon began full-scale measurement of these chemical emissions in 2000, utilizing its measurement data in product development. Recently, it has focused on the release of particulates, introducing a number of new measurement devices. Canon maintains the highest level of measurement capability in this field in the industry.
In 2005, the company also became one of the first in the industry to have its chemical emission measurement laboratory awarded ISO / IEC 17025 and German eco-label certifications, and continues to strive to improve the reliability of its measurement data. These certification based measurement technologies have led to many Canon products receiving eco-label*1 certifications such as Germany's "Blue Angel" label.
Further, Canon has taken a proactive approach to the standardization of the methods used to collect the chemical emissions produced by its business machines, as well as the methods used to analyze them, and has made significant contributions to the creation of JIS*2 and ISO standards. It has engaged in similar initiatives with regards to particulates, contributing to the 2010 ECMA-328 5th edition*3 revision.
- *1 Eco-labels
Labels indicating the environmental friendliness of products. Products with eco-labels are certified as having reached the level specified in the labeling system. Germany's "Blue Angel" label, the first eco-label established in the world, has stringent certification standards.
- *2 Japanese Industrial Standards
JIS standards define the product-specific testing methods used to confirm the quality, functions, and safety of products. The Japanese Industrial Standards Committee coordinates and deliberates regarding the establishment and revision of JIS standards, and participates in the development of international standards as a member of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).
- *3 ECMA-328
ECMA-328 is a measurement standard created by Ecma International (formerly the European Computer Manufacturers Association), an international information system standardization organization. It specifies measurement methods used for measuring chemical emissions from electronic devices. ECMA standards are closely tied to ISO standards.
LSI Failure Analysis Technology
Guaranteeing Reliable Quality in Electronic Components
Absolute product quality can only be achieved by assuring reliable quality in each and every component part. At Canon, this quality assurance is undertaken for LSIs and other electronic components contained in company products by employing a unique component certification system and by also applying advanced technologies for evaluation and analysis.
An approach known as IR-OBIRCH*4 is widely used in LSI failure analysis. This technology visualizes changes in resistance induced by applying heat locally via laser irradiation and identifies areas with abnormal current.
The infrared lasers used for this purpose have a wavelength longer than the bandgap*5 of silicon, and as this allows the light to pass through LSIs with a silicon substrate, analysis can be performed at the rear, where no wiring layers exist. In the case of LSIs with multiple wiring layers, the passage of laser light is often obstructed by metal-film wiring, making it extremely difficult to identify the locations of defects through analysis of the front surface alone; however, the microscopic flaws causing current abnormalities can be detected via the rear. By investigating the causes of defects occurring during production or in the marketplace and ensuring that findings are fed back to component manufacturers, Canon can contribute to the assurance of much higher levels of product reliability.
- *4 Optical Beam Induced Resistance CHange
IR-OBIRCH is a variation on this approach using infra-red light.
- *5 Bandgap
A bandgap is an energy range within which electrons cannot exist. In the case of silicon, this occurs at approximately 1,100 nm.