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About Us

Research and Development


A starting point of our R&D activities lies in creating innovative products “the world has never seen before,” through which we “truly contribute to society.”

Since its foundation in 1943, KOKEN LTD. has been committed to its credo: “Don’t be a follower, be a leader.” and “Do research thoroughly.” As a matter of fact, our company’s Japanese name conveys the drive for “developing research,” “creating new business” and “refining business.”

With our R&D philosophy of “Create innovative products the world has never seen before,” and “Contribute to society with truly useful products,” we aim to become a strong company which has “only one” as well as “number one” original technologies and products that competitors in the world cannot imitate, namely a technology-driven company: We don’t mind being called ‘a small company’ as we are seeking a steady increase in sales volume rather than becoming a large company too quickly.

To this end, rather than responding quickly to changing market trends and customers’ explicit needs, we are always striving to create a new market itself by finding out subconscious “wants” of which customers themselves are not aware and commercializing them faster than our competitors.

Fostering an engineer group who embodies the motto of “Don’t imitate others!” and “Do research thoroughly!”

We have to admit that the motto in itself of “Don’t imitate others!” and “Do research thoroughly!” may be just a commonplace expression any manufacturer adopts for its R&D policy. Our motto, however, is completely different from others as we have established and maintain the unique systems described below in order to ensure that this policy is thoroughly understood and shared by all members of R&D division.

Matrix Management in Research and Development
Engineers who make up about one-third of all employees are assigned to one of four organizations: (1) Laboratory, (2) Department of Development, both of which belong to Engineering Group, (3) Engineering/Development Section in each division, which belongs to Marketing Group, and (4) Engineering/Development Section in each Technoyard, which belongs to Manufacturing Group. They are engaged in development of creative technologies and their application to multiple purposes for each division or section in a free and vigorous atmosphere on a daily basis. In addition the Company forms cross-departmental project teams for each theme and engineers from various divisions and sections are required to participate in them under matrix management.
  1. Laboratory: R&D center to take up the challenge of technology innovation
  2. Dept. of Development: Design center to materialize customers’ wants, subconscious needs
  3. Each Division: Discovery center to discover customers’ wants
  4. Technoyard: Manufacturing center to produce high value-added products
Career Education “Meister” system in HR policy
KOKEN has introduced a unique career development system called “Meister system” to enhance employees’ professional skills.
In this system, for example, technical engineers are encouraged to enroll in in-house training courses for which four programs involving 14 courses are provided. According to the level of achievement, a title from “Fellow” to “Nickel” is given to those program participants who have (1) completed the courses (passing an exam), (2) achieved satisfactory results of giving lectures to peer staff members and (3) passed the company-designated national examinations. Employees are evaluated and treated appropriately to reflect their professional expertise under “Meister” system. Knowledge that is obtained in the Meister system is sure to be put to good use in the fields of research, technology/product development and product manufacturing.
Regular monthly workshop
Regular workshops are held every month which are attended by all directors and all engineering staff (about 70 employees). Each workshop comprises six to seven presentations of research results. There almost no restrictions on research themes as far as they are related to “cleanliness, health and safety.”
Questions are raised by colleagues, bosses and top management. They are about legitimacy of new technology, logical correctness of presentations, originality and return on investment of new technology and many more. As presentations in a workshop are fully scrutinized, presenters are encouraged to take their studies to the next level of research, leading to further commercialization on a company-wide level. Workshops not only help improve engineers’ skills but also provide top management with important opportunities to accurately grasp the company’s technology development trends and its future direction.

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