Productivity Employees Gain Insights and Inspiration at Citizen Machinery Future Aspect in Japan

CFA 2023 Event“Move your heart, move the future.” This phrase was the motivating force of Citizen Machinery’s much-anticipated event, the CFA 2023. The event took place on November 15 – 17, generating a diverse crowd of American and European suppliers. The recent gathering at Citizen’s Karuizawa Headquarters in Miyota, Japan showcased cutting-edge technology, serving as a testament to the future of possibilities that can be unleashed through innovation and creativity.

A team of six Productivity employees traveled to Japan to attend the Citizen Machinery Future Aspect (CFA) to enhance their knowledge and expertise of the machine tool brands Productivity represents. Attendees include Vice President & General Manager, Mark Smith, and five Machine Tool Sales representatives: Danny White, Diana Vergano, Eric Canine, Nick Greig, and Robert Geiwitz.

Citizen and Miyano hold this special event for all their product distributors across the globe. At the CFA they showcase their state-of-the-art facilities and impressive technology. On display throughout the Karuizawa Headquarters is the history of Citizen and Miyano, as well as the new, future product lines that are being brought to the market soon. The group was very impressed by the advancements and progress that the Miyano line is making. Eric Canine said, “The one that caught my eye was the Miyano ABX-65/80 with 3” bar capacity and a parts catcher that can handle parts up to 5.9” long.” The machine is a prototype with no release date at this point in time. The CFA provided all guests with dinner the night of the event and the attendees enjoyed a show put on by a traditional Japanese percussion group. In addition to the Citizen Machinery’s Headquarters tour, the group traveled via several bullet trains to the Matsuura World Headquarters, located in Japan as well.

Matsuura is a family-owned, high precision manufacturer, and the Productivity group got a personal tour of the facility hosted by Katsu Matsuura and his son Yuto. Along the way, the team got to see specific machine building processes, showcasing exactly why Matsuura is such a high quality, precision piece of machinery. Danny White claimed, “Being a former machine tool builder myself, I really enjoyed learning about their production processes and seeing how meticulous they were when building machinery.” Mark Smith relayed, “They (Matsuura) take great care in every aspect of manufacturing to ensure a high-quality product for our customers.” The group had an unbelievable learning experience on both tours and came home with a plentiful amount of knowledge and pride. Diana Vergano added, “Learning about the generational knowledge being passed down and the focus on not allowing this to be lost was impressive.  This is what makes the MCC and Matsuura machines stand out.  It was undeniable the passion and pride put into every part of each machine they build.” Robert Geiwitz made note of the dedication that the Matsuura employees bring to their craft. On their tour, they witnessed a 70-year-old man scrapping a lathe and later found out that he has worked at the factory since he was 18 years old! The factory tours weren’t the only part of the trip that stood out to the attendees.

The culture of the Japanese people caught the attention of the Productivity employees as they were met with politeness and respect. It was said that the residents of Miyota, Japan are very nice to not only visitors, but to each other. From the roads to the sidewalks, to the public restrooms, the Japanese take pride in the appearance of their city, as the cleanliness was very apparent to the CFA attendees. The crew also noticed that the Japanese are extremely helpful people, especially noticeable when they needed assistance with directions and transportation. Eric stated, “One thing I took away from the Japanese people and society is that they are proud and considerate people.”

An exciting and informative trip to Japan proved to be well worth it for the six Productivity employees. A main, over-arching takeaway from the group is that they now have a better understanding of why they are proud to represent Marubeni Citizen-Cincom (MCC) and Matsuura. Diana recapped, “With this experience, I can confidently stand behind what we sell and am thankful to be able to do so.” Additionally, Danny concluded, “This trip was very informative and one I will never forget.”


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