Overcoming the cultural gap
The project of NEMH2O started when an Italian company ZUCCHETTI suggested joint development of automatic swimming pool cleaning robot. The suggestion was based on the relationship and performance established through the partnership in terms of parts supply and sales of automatic mowing robot (LawnBott). We were surprised to see the drawing. The concept was completely different from the conventional robots. It is completely cordless, recharged in water, set up via a smartphone or tablet PC, and cleans vertical surfaces as well. If it can be realized, it would be an innovative product that has property and performance superior to competitors.
However, the drawing provided at that time was a final drawing. What Zucchetti expected from us was a realistic design that included specific parts, the ability to put idea into practice, and Japan quality in a finished product. Of course, suitability for mass production and costs must be taken into consideration. Pride as a manufacturer had been fostered during Kyodo’s 70-year experience in parts production and was revived by this challenge.
We chose materials and changed the design of the details. It took six months to complete the first-generation prototype. We had the second- and third-generation units and finally product development was completed. It took three years from the time I saw the first drawing until mass production started. We exchanged drawings hundreds of times and had several conflicts caused by cultural gaps. When I look back, I realize that the gaps needed to be overcome to bring out the best on both sides.
NEMH2O is my child
This is how NEMH2O was born and I feel NEMH2O is just like my child. It is cosmopolitan with roots in Italy, Taiwan, and Japan. The strength of Zucchetti in Italy is its flexible ideas and software. Kyodo is skillful at manufacturing based on its technologies and persistent efforts. I believe that these aspects of both companies overwhelm others.
Above all, the persistence of Japanese engineers was fully reflected in the minute adjustment of small parts, which could not be explained in a drawing. You will see in the rubber belts used for power transmission how detailed they are, which cannot be imitated. Mass production was realized based on the expertise accumulated in the production process in Taiwan.
Toward the markets worldwide
The product jointly developed with Zucchetti in Italy is produced in Taiwan and sold to the world via the global network of the Kyodo Group. We are considering the possibility of assembling and producing it in the U.S. and Brazil in the near future, which are near to the market, depending on the sales volume. We are not satisfied with the functions of current NEMH2O. We are the manufacturer that makes the impossible possible. We would like to develop the next version of NEMH2O, which would be unrivaled.