By KWANCHAI RUNGFAPAISARN
The training centre, which is Hitachi’s first outside Japan, started soft operations last month, and is positioned to focus on installation and maintenance skills and safety controls for Hitachi’s elevators and escalators in the region.
It will foster mid-level engineers in Asian countries and ensure higher quality and safety than ever, which Hitachi claims is its top priority. The plan is to increase the level of installation and maintenance operations of elevators and escalators in the Asian region and accelerate the development of engineers at the same time.
Tadashi Minemura, general manager of Hitachi’s Asia Training Centre, said it was planning to train 180 field engineers including installation, maintenance and quality-assurance staff by September. Costs and training budgets were not disclosed.
Hitachi and Hitachi Building Systems have a Human Resources Development Centre in Adachi-ku, Tokyo, as a comprehensive training site for engineers involved in elevator and escalator operations, and provides practical training using a variety of elevators and escalators of different models and ages at the centre.
Meanwhile, Hitachi’s local companies in Asia have trained engineers on their own and dispatched only senior engineers to the Human Resources Development Centre in Japan for advanced training.
As a new machine-room-less elevator was launched in the Asian region last September, Hitachi and Hitachi Building Systems decided to revise the training programme and have created a tiered scheme whereby engineers are trained depending on their work and skill levels.
The Asia Training Centre was established under this new scheme as a site to develop engineers who will play a central role, and the centre will provide mid-level training to key persons in technical departments of companies overseas. The key persons will be selected among the engineers who have received the basic training provided by their companies.
Hitachi operates its elevator and escalator business via affiliate companies in 10 locations: Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam, mainland China, Hong Kong and India. In other countries, it does business through distributors.
The company expects the market for elevators and escalators in East Asia, India and Middle East to grow. To cope with the continuous market growth in these areas, Hitachi established sales and maintenance bases in various countries last year and released new machine-room-less models, the UAG Series SN1 and OUG Series ON1, in September for Asia and the Middle East.
“We revised our training scheme and the Asia Training Centre was established to foster well-trained engineers in each country to catch up with the rapid market growth,” Minemura said.
He said Thailand was chosen as the location for Asia Training Centre for a few reasons.
First, Siam Hitachi Elevator’s factory in Thailand produces various models for Asia and the Middle East. Any future new model will be installed in the centre to maintain the quality of not only the product itself but also of installation and maintenance through comprehensive training in collaboration with the manufacturing side.
Also, Thailand is one of the most important hubs for the company’s global business.
Southeast Asia “is the key region for Hitachi’s elevator and escalator business’ global growth. Simultaneously, the improvement of the technology level of our engineers is our most important competency, because quality is [a priority for] Hitachi. This quality must be ensured by our day-by-day services for customers. This is the reason we set up this regional training centre,” Minemura said.
“We are aiming to achieve a sales target of 5,000 elevators and escalators in 2018 in Asia,” he said. The number of received units in 2015 was about 2,000.