Preventive Measures Against COVID-19
FANUC strives to work together with our various stakeholders, including employees, customers, business partners, and shareholders. We have also implemented multiple countermeasures to ensure the safety of our stakeholders and prevent the spread of COVID-19.
We have established a COVID-19 Pandemic Control Headquarters in February 2020, headed by the President and CEO, to decide on transmission prevention measures in response to requests from the national and local governments.
Various information, such as company decisions, awareness raising, and calls for caution are communicated to employees through a special page created on the internal portal website.
Ensuring Employees' Safety
FANUC strives to ensure the safety, jobs, and income of our employees and provide a workplace environment in which they can work with peace of mind.
- Early repatriation of employees stationed in countries with a high risk of transmission
- Distribution of face masks and spray bottles of disinfectant free of charge to employees
- Health checks for all employees of the entire company using the internet and smartphone apps (temperature/health condition/3Cs*1/attendance status), Thorough insistence that employees take leave (treated as legal holidays) if they are unwell
- Company-wide transmission prevention measures (Adoption of staggered working hours/telework/shift work, Restriction of business travel, Use of online meetings)
- Provision of special days off (treated as legal holidays) for employees who need to look after their children due to school closures or who are pregnant
- Temporary closure of welfare facilities, Awareness raising among individual employees about transmission prevention measures (Wear face masks, Maintain social distancing, Avoid the 3Cs, Wash/sanitize hands)
- Conduct workplace vaccinations against COVID-19
Closed spaces with poor ventilation
Crowded places with many people nearby
Close-contact setting such as close range
Workplace Layout Changes
We are working to create safe workplaces by changing layouts and other means, to ensure the safety of our employees. Given the predictions that it will take considerable time to halt the spread of the virus, we have made improvements to ventilation in our various facilities and are taking other measures as necessary.
- The air change volume of all rooms, including offices and other workspaces, was checked and, based on that information, the capacity of each room was calculated, and each business location was notified.
As an immediate action in response to these notices, the business locations promptly reviewed their room capacities and made changes to workspaces, such as moving some desks to other rooms.
As a medium term response, desk layouts were reviewed to ensure social distancing, and environments to prevent transmission through droplets were established, including installing partitions.
Work styles were changed in ways that were conscious of the effectiveness of ventilation, with doors to private offices left open.
- Because the smoking rooms set up to keep smoking and non-smoking areas separate are close to a 3Cs situation, all smoking areas throughout the company were moved outdoors.
- The number of seats in the staff cafeteria was reduced and the table layout was changed, so that employees can avoid sitting directly across from each other. Staggered lunchtimes were introduced to allow employees to use the cafeteria in shifts.
Recruitment Activities during the Pandemic
For the recruitment selection process, face-to-face interviews on site at company premises were replaced by online interviews.
- For the recruitment of new graduates, in normal years, students are asked to come to company premises for a factory tour. These tours were cancelled this year and online meetings (Q&A sessions) were held in its place
- Welcome ceremony was cancelled
- Larger venues were used for group education sessions to ensure social distancing
The venue was thoroughly disinfected, and sanitization of hands was enforced prior to entering the venue
- New employees were given a health checkup before being assigned to their respective workplaces to confirm their COVID-19 status
- Employees moving into staff dormitories were asked to take their temperature every day, even before they started working at the company
- New employees who had traveled overseas on a graduation trip or for other reasons were instructed to self-isolate at home for a certain period before starting at the company
Responses for Expatriate Employees
- Immediate temporary return to Japan at company expense
- Arrangement of transport (company bus or a chauffeur-driven hired vehicle) from airport for temporarily repatriating employees
- Assistance with daily life requirements for employees and their families who returned to Japan temporarily (company housing, furniture, home appliances, car rental, etc. provided free of charge)
- Communication as needed of information about border control measures against COVID-19 taken in Japan
- Assistance with various procedures for return to overseas business locations
Responses for Customers
Although sales activities, service activities, various training courses, and the like were restricted due to the pandemic, we enhanced remote support responses (such as molding training) to ensure that we could continue to provide support to our customers' factories amid the pandemic. In response to the new normal era created by COVID-19, we are promoting new styles of service, such as remote diagnosis and online support, as a project for service DX. Our first step was to launch FabriQR Contact, a contact service using QR codes, in Japan in October 2020.
Response at FANUC ACADEMY
FANUC ACADEMY, which supports customers' technology acquisition, established an eACADEMY. The Academy developed two types of online training to accommodate the new normal - live seminars and on-demand seminars - and began offering them in June 2020. The eACADEMY, which enables customers to choose the training method that best suits their needs, eliminate the 3Cs, and study advanced content efficiently online, is truly an organization for the times. As well as current trainees, new groups of trainees have participated in its courses. On the other hand, after the lifting of the national state of emergency, which had been declared in April 2020 in the face of the spread of COVID-19, face to face workshops were resumed with thorough infection prevention measures put in place in compliance with the government policies. Thorough precautions were taken, including avoiding crowding of trainees in the classroom and providing their dedicated training machines, to give the trainees peace of mind while they were acquiring the technology.
Responses for Supply Chain
Due to the impact of COVID-19, from around February 2020, various complications emerged, such as the closure of our suppliers' production factories and delays in deliveries caused by disruptions to distribution. These complications made it difficult to obtain parts that we had been procuring from certain parts of China. The impact was not limited to China, later extending to the Philippines, Malaysia, and the entire world, making it difficult to obtain many parts. FANUC immediately set up the Disaster Response Team, comprising members selected in advance from the Research & Development Division, Production Department, and Purchasing Department, and responded to this problem companywide. Various measures were taken, including identifying those parts that were most difficult to obtain, confirming procurement from second suppliers, adopting and confirming alternative parts, and avoiding delivery delays by switching the manufacturing processes at company factories. As a result, we have been able to maintain a stable supply of our products to our customers.
Responses for Business Partners
In normal times, meetings and negotiations with business partners would take place in person, but these are currently conducted online, allowing staff to avoid travel by car or train. In terms of buildings and facilities, workers from construction and installation companies attending our facilities to inspect and repair equipment and machinery were asked to have their temperature checked and to confirm their health status. When the national state of emergency was declared, we temporarily suspended all construction work in progress.
Education and Training in the Service Division
The Service Division conducts education and training for service personnel. At FANUC, we believe that improving the level of the services provided by our service personnel is of utmost importance. As such, we are working to provide high-quality services globally through the education and cultivation of our service personnel.
In addition to etiquette training for all new employees, we strive to further improve customer satisfaction by giving consideration to personal appearance, behavior, and speaking manner, based on the Service Engineer Code of Conduct.
In fiscal 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we were unable to gather at the Hino Branch and conduct our usual introductory training for new employees in accordance with the group education plan.
In fiscal 2021, we set up a videoconferencing system available at all times in one of the classrooms at FANUC ACADEMY of FANUC Headquarters, allowing the Hino Branch and FANUC ACADEMY to view each other’s activities. In addition, we provided all new employees assigned to the Service Division with a tablet and laptop computer immediately after they joined the Company, and they undertook a learn-from-home program online in the staff dormitory or other residence.
We provided our new employees with basic knowledge by sharing with them the e-learning content produced by FANUC ACADEMY and other resources prepared in-house by the individual departments.
Currently, new employees watch the e-learning content in their free time for preparation and review.
Similarly, in terms of technical education, safe driving education, and lessons on safe work operation for service personnel in Japan, we conducted online education by connecting FANUC Headquarters and the various service locations throughout Japan.
We maintain a high level of service overseas by using videoconferencing systems to provide overseas service personnel with education and training on maintenance technology for the latest models of our products.
Contributions and Donations to the Community around FANUC Headquarters
In 2020, FANUC supported the “Let's Cheer Up Healthcare Workers! Donation Project for COVID-19 Countermeasures” organized by Yamanashi Prefecture, and donated ¥50 million as part of support for COVID-19 countermeasures.
We also donated face masks to the government of Yamanashi Prefecture, where FANUC Headquarters is located, and to Fujiyoshida Municipal Medical Center.