Fujitsu Frontech (FTEC), as a corporate group that uses advanced technology to link people and information communications technology (ICT), is developing, manufacturing, selling and offering services related to front-end technology products. The Group has the mission of globally providing customers with a high level of value and satisfaction from all aspects of quality, price, delivery time, safety, and security. To this end, the Group is working as one to expand the business. Now, the situation at the forefront of the main markets such as finance, retail, and public services, is changing significantly in terms of their contact with consumers. In FTEC, we will accurately understand the trends of these markets, and continue to grow further as a company that is responsible for the area of "B-to-B to Front." In this special issue, we introduce the efforts we are currently carrying out with the themes of strengthening the domestic product business, strategically expanding the global business, and making steady progress in the service business. We also show the Group's efforts to develop and improve manufacture products with the aim of establishing its position as a global company and creating new corporate value.
FACT-V X200 is a state-of-the-art and full-featured automated teller machine (ATM) equipped with a next-generation bill recycling unit. The bill recycling unit that has been newly developed for FACT-V X200 inherits Fujitsu Frontech's conventional know-how and technology. In addition, to respond to changes in the operational environment of ATMs such as outsourcing of ATM operations it offers a selection of three bill operating modes and has been designed with the focus on improving operability and reducing operational costs. By adopting new technology for transferring bills, it has been given enhanced features compared with the conventional machines and can stably handle bills. In addition, by improving the operability of FACT-V X200 for both the user and the operator, this product not only allows ATMs to be operated more efficiently but also ensures comfort and ease of use for all those who use ATMs. Fujitsu Frontech is also actively engaged in ecological efforts such as developing products with some of the lowest power consumptions in Japan and reducing environmental impact. This paper introduces the new features of this state-of-the-art ATM technology and describes the technology that has realized such features.
Along with the changes in the environment of the financial business, counter operations in financial institutions are expected to change from now on from clerical procedures to provision of services. Accordingly, to turn offices of financial institutions from the conventional clerical work sites to spaces of "hospitality" targeting improved services, Fujitsu Frontech has developed the UBT-First. This is a next-generation financial institution terminal that integrates Fujitsu Frontech's know-how cultivated over the years in the development of financial institution terminals and new needs arising from the environmental changes in the financial business. To realize field innovation in counter operations, the UBT-First has been developed based on three concepts: inspiration, comfort and safety. This paper presents specific measures taken based on these three concepts and the characteristics of the UBT-First that embodies them.
At Fujitsu Frontech, we are developing and providing financial products that apply form recognition processing, image processing, workflows, and technology to help verify seals that use the latest technology. These products have been adopted by a number of financial institutions. The imaging solution for branches of financial institutions that is introduced in this paper uses the latest technology mentioned above. It makes images of (converts into electronic data) the paper forms used by financial institutions and thus it is a solution that improves the operational efficiency of and saves labor at bank counters and work centers. This imaging solution applies technology that converts paper forms to images by scanning them and automatically recognizes the characters written on those forms. This reduces the workload of data input. In addition, by realizing an image workflow that uses the form images, it is possible to reduce the amount of time that operators are away from their desks, and increase the degree to which input work is concentrated in a work center. Moreover, by realizing a seal verification process that uses seal images, it is possible to reduce the workload of operators, and the cost of transporting forms to work centers. This helps to make bank operations and management more efficient and saves labor. This paper describes the imaging solution for branches that can improve the operating efficiency of financial institutions and save labor.
The G610 model of slot-type bill recycling unit that can be used globally was developed by Fujitsu Frontech (FTEC) in 2005. So far more than 35 000 units have been installed in about 50 countries. There are different types of overseas ATMs including those installed in lobbies in the same way as in Japan and outdoor wall-mounted types peculiar to overseas installations. Enterprises have different needs compared to Japan also in terms of the structural security of the units, and they often have to be installed in robust safes conforming to UL or CEN standards. In addition to the bill handling technology cultivated over the years by FTEC, technologies that can meet these requirements for overseas ATMs were incorporated to develop the G610. This paper describes the regulations and requirements of different countries that govern the installation of bill recycling units in ATMs and considerations for operation such as the environment of use, culture and characteristics of bills. It also presents overseas ATM installation technology, overseas bill handling technology, and overseas bill identification technology, which are key technologies of the G610 that were developed to make it usable around the globe.
For the past 40 years, Fujitsu has been developing automatic machines for financial institutions and launching them on the market. The history of automation of financial systems in Japan is the very history of Fujitsu's technology for automatic machines. Fujitsu has been leading the industry in the field of automatic machines for financial institutions in Japan, including automated teller machines (ATM) and cash dispensers (CD), with the advanced technology that it has uniquely inherited over many years. Bill recycling units (BRU) that are mounted in ATMs must have sophisticated bill transport technology and technology for distinguishing different bills, and these are important mechanisms. There are pocket-type and slot-type BRUs and the method of putting money in them differs; in Japan, the pocket-type has become the mainstream. The G750 model of pocket-type BRU was developed for use around the globe. In the global market, a large number of bills are loaded in BRUs in Asia, and China in particular, and so there is increasing demand for pocket-type BRUs like those used in Japan. This paper describes the strategy, characteristics and technology of the market environment with regards to the G750 that was developed by Fujitsu Frontech to respond to the market for pocket-type BRUs, with the focus on China.
The market for automation of banknote handling including ticket vending machines of transportation systems and self checkout systems (SCOs) of supermarkets is expanding steadily. In this market, there is also increasing demand for bill recycling units (BRUs) for improving the efficiency of cash operation. However, they often have to be installed in a limited space and have a compact size. To meet these needs, Fujitsu Frontech has developed G60, a small and high-performance BRU, with the aim of expanding sales in new markets. This paper outlines the bill feeding technology, the mechanism of the recycle stacker, which is the bill depositing/dispensing section, and the bill identification unit adopted for G60. It also presents features such as the greater capacity of the cash box. This paper then describes the new technology of the bill sorting gate, which is a new elemental technology cultivated for the development of G60.
Bill dispenser units (BDU) are used to dispense bills in various countries. There are various needs with regards to their size, amount of bills they hold, speed at which they count bills, and additional features depending on the market they have been launched on and the equipment installed in them. This paper introduces two iconic models from the BDU series of products that Fujitsu Frontech developed to flexibly meet needs in various markets around the world such as the financial, transportation, and distribution markets. Fujitsu Frontech has produced many varieties of products to meet the needs of customers; naturally there are types where the portion where bills are passed between the unit and equipment comes in different shapes and sizes. There are also types where it is possible to customize the part where bills are transferred, such as by placing it at the top or bottom, or where it possible to separate the part where bills are transferred from the rest of the device. First, this paper introduces the F53, the best-selling type of small BDU that is used around the world, mainly in the distribution market. Then it introduces the suggested solutions and contrivances used in developing the G510 model. The G510 is positioned as an enhanced version of the conventional F510 and it is a large BDU that has been developed to have improved operability and maintainability. Fujitsu Frontech designed it for use in the Chinese financial market, where the number of ATMs has continued to grow as the number of bills in circulation has increased in recent years.
User identification using an archaic password system, which is the most familiar and easily realizable form of authentication, has maintained its security but the burden on users and information system administrators has been increased. This increased burden is due to measures such as complication of the passwords themselves and cumbersome management of password updates. In this situation, more and more enterprises are adopting biometric authentication technologies which refer to the identification of humans by their characteristics or traits as an approach that combines ensured security and reduced burden on users. The world's first highly reliable palm vein pattern recognition technology developed by Fujitsu realizes high security, and has been recognized for its high authentication performance. Starting with the adoption for cardholder verification based on palm vein pattern recognition technology of automated teller machines (ATMs) managed by major financial institutions in Japan, it has been used for applications including logins to information systems and access control systems for security zones and its scenes of application are spreading and becoming increasingly globalized. Of the variety of scenes of use, demand in the PC login field is rapidly expanding. This paper presents the technology and functions of the new palm vein authentication sensor designed by Fujitsu Frontech based on highly reliable palm vein pattern recognition technology. This palm vein authentication sensor features an enhanced usability of the way to place the hand and the world's smallest and slimmest appearance and is designed to be provided to the PC login market.
The TeamPoS Series was launched in 1995 and TeamPoS7000, which was released worldwide simultaneously in January 2012, is the fourth generation of the series. Five years have passed since the release of the predecessor TeamPoS3000 and the launch of a new model had been desired due to the discontinuation of the parts used and obsolescence of the technology and design. With this situation in the background, for the development of TeamPoS7000, marketing requests were put together on a global level (North America, Europe, Asia and Japan) not only in an attempt to focus on aesthetic design but also to reduce price and improve reliability together while also reducing environmental impact. TeamPoS7000 is composed of the all-in-one A Series and modular M Series and F Series (for North America). The product line, which includes a fan-less model, has advanced to the food service industry in addition to mass retailers and specialty stores in Japan and overseas. This paper presents an outline of the development of TeamPoS7000 including new activities and the product specifications.
Because of the drop in consumer confidence, retail business is required to move ahead with strategic and proactive management based on buying information while continuing to further improve efficiency in order to increase profits. Under these circumstances, Fujitsu Frontech offers point of sale (POS) packages TeamStore/M, TeamStore/S and TeamStore/D developed respectively for mass retailers, specialty stores and department stores to meet the various needs of different categories of business for the realization of the optimum store operation. This paper presents our approach to development of products equipped with added value for better store operation such as "environmental consciousness," "contribution to food safety and security," "facilitation of sales and drawing power increase" and "operation efficiency improvement and function of gathering and analyzing information," not to mention ease of use as POS systems. It also describes the development of Fujitsu Frontech's proprietary new checkout solution products with more focus on efficiency of checkout and its approach to future product development to meet customer needs that are increasingly diversified.
Fujitsu Frontech's self check out system (SCO), TeamPoS/SR, is a product that can solve some challenges the Japanese retail industry has been facing in recent years. These challenges are: reducing the amount of time that customers spend waiting at cash registers (improving customer satisfaction), increasing efficiency (reducing labor costs), and coping with a shortage of part-time workers. Up to now, we at Fujitsu Frontech have been ahead of the competition and in 2005 we commercialized a product for the Japanese market, based on an SCO with a proven track record in Europe and the United States. Since then, we have expanded its deployment in enterprises centering on mass merchandise outlets. The strength of Fujitsu Frontech's SCO is its high-security and the high efficiency of attendant work. This paper describes Fujitsu Frontech's efforts to reduce the price of this SCO that has penetrated North America (down 40% compared to conventional products) and make it require less installation space (30% less than conventional products), with an eye on expanding its share of the Japanese market. This paper also introduces our plans for enhancing the SCO in the future.
In 1998, Fujitsu Frontech became the first company to commercialize a mobile handy device equipped with Windows Embedded CE as a mobile device for business use. Subsequently, it has provided a variety of devices (such as barcode scanner- and printer-integrated types) suited for different operations, and they have been used by various enterprises. The strengths of Fujitsu Frontech's mobile handy devices include the fact that they offer dedicated device functions such as barcode scanner and printer functions ideal for the respective operations while being based on open platforms like PCs or smartphones and that they are rugged enough to be used in outdoor tough business environments. With consumer devices such as tablets and smartphones rapidly gaining in popularity in recent years, competing with them is becoming a reality also in the market for business devices. One major challenge for the future is to make a clear differentiation between mobile handy and smart devices in terms of application for the respective business categories and operations for finding out how the technologies of the two types of devices can be integrated to offer optimized devices for business use. This paper presents approaches to solving the future challenges that take advantage of the characteristics and strengths of mobile handy devices for business use.
UHF-band Radio Frequency IDentification (RFID) is being increasingly widely adopted across the world as a key device for the improvement of work site productivity, security and customer services. Fujitsu Frontech, which is an expert in this RFID, is working not only on the development of related products but also on a service to assist customers with the introduction of UHF-band RFID in their sites. The Fujitsu Group uses these products and services to offer solutions that make use of RFID for various fields with an increasingly wider selection of products. This paper describes the background of the development of UHF-band RFID products by the Fujitsu Group. It also presents the approaches that are optimized for customers' operations and applications to build unique products and representative operation examples.
A totalizator system uses computer processing for all operations relevant to selling betting tickets and making payments for public racing (central horse racing, local horse racing, bicycle racing, speedboat racing and auto racing). In a totalizator system, a totalizator terminal is used to sell betting tickets and make payments to people who have won. Fujitsu Frontech has developed totalizator terminals and about 20 000 of them are in use for various types of public racing in public racecourses and off-site betting shops nationwide. Public racing operations have specific needs such as an ability to simultaneously operate a large number of windows in order to deal with numerous fans in short periods of time and an ability to close betting and finalize the number of bets for each race due to the nature of public racing. This paper describes how Fujitsu Frontech has worked on addressing the specific needs of betting offices for public racing including nonstop operation, immediate response in the event of trouble and improved operability for higher operational efficiency of totalizator terminals.
Fujitsu Frontech has a long history and proven track record over the years in the development and manufacturing of display devices. It has worked on a large number of information display systems of major facilities in Japan especially in the public field. Recently, scoreboard systems for ballparks, flight information display systems (FIDSs) for airports and patient guidance systems for medical services have become representative of information display systems. Among scoreboard systems for ballparks are magnetic inversion method scoreboards, which are our flagship products, and full-color LED scoreboards that take advantage of our know-how and are developed for special purposes, and they are producing good results. For FIDSs, a dedicated color LCD unit has been developed to realize a display that allows at-a-glance recognition of flight information. This system features high visibility and is used at major airports in China and South Korea as well as in Japan. In relation to patient guidance systems for medical services, general-purpose LCD monitors are adopted to achieve higher efficiency of outpatient guidance operations and improved services for outpatients. All of these devices take advantage of our abundant past results and accumulated technological know-how to meet a variety of needs including functions and convenience according to the use environments and market demands. This paper gives an overview of these devices and their features.
The used car auction system developed by Fujitsu Frontech, which started with systematization of bidding operations, has now systematized all functions required for auction house operations including operations, video and member Web systems. The used car auction system has a structure that makes it possible to flexibly add functions to provide full-fledged services for members and that helps ensure fair and equitable used car distribution. In particular, the terminal operated by a member during bidding has realized operability and response high enough not to cause a feeling of unfairness. In addition, devices can be easily replaced in the event of failure and high durability and maintainability have also been achieved. The terminal used by the auctioneer of the operator has a reduced size and high reliability, while being capable of integrating various types of entry information and operation functions, and it has thus has realized auctions that can be conducted in less space and in an advanced manner. This paper presents our used car auction system that provides different functions in a one-stop way based on the specially designed hardware and system package.
Automated teller machines (ATMs) for financial institutions have traditionally been offered for sale mainly as all-in-one terminals combining hardware and software. The Fujitsu Group started the total outsourcing service business including ATMs and their operation in 2002 and has expanded the scale of the business. While the Fujitsu Group started late as a player in the convenience store ATM market, we as Fujitsu Frontech took advantage of the ATM device and system development technologies we have owned for some time to successfully enter into the convenience store ATM market in 2004 with the "ATM service for stores." To provide the ATM service for stores, we developed a Web-ATM system with new architecture to take the place of the conventional ATM systems in order to satisfy the requirements of low operational cost and small footprint, allowing the systems to be sold to and installed in outlets. We launched specialized ATMs with improved reliability and maintainability for the outsourcing service and, as of the end of March 2013, about 4400 units are in operation in five financial institutions. The Web-ATM system intended for the outsourcing service includes subsystems required for ATM outsourcing services such as ATM monitoring, security transport support and ATM operation systems. In addition, the business know-how that Fujitsu Frontech has acquired by actually operating ATMs is fed back to the system on a day-to-day basis for improvement. This paper describes the ATM service for stores, which has created a new trend of outsourcing services. The service is a total solution that takes advantage of Fujitsu Frontech's strength in one-stop implementation for the development of ATMs and related systems and the monitoring, security transport and operation service business.
With the outsourcing service for automated teller machines (ATM), financial institutions can outsource all their ATM management operations. Such operations include monitoring the operational status of ATMs installed inside and outside branches, handling inquiries about operation from customers, receiving reports of accidents and suspending processing in the event of loss or theft of cards or bankbooks, and ensuring security including systematic management of ATM cash refilling and collection. This service reduces the burden that ATM management operations place on financial institutions and leads to more efficient operations. This paper outlines the ATM outsourcing service, describes its features and presents our approach to improving service quality.
Fujitsu Frontech's Retail Outsourcing Services promotes life cycle management of customers' operations in the retail industry by making use of information and communications technology (ICT), and provides outsourcing services as a business partner who shares the standard of value with customers. We work closely with the department engaged in the development and manufacturing of point-of-sale (POS) terminals and other products and provide complete support based on our abundant experience and past results to offer safety and security to customers. To meet various user needs according to the different types of business of the retail industry, we provide life cycle management services that support the life cycle of customers' store systems including introduction, operation and maintenance. In addition, our specialized engineering staff familiar with strore system preparation/installation and operation of store systems work on resolving customers' problems with inexpensive, efficient and high-quality services. This paper introduces the business of the Retail Outsourcing Services and presents the industry's first cloud POS service called TeamCloud/M, a POS system service for mass merchandisers and supermarkets that we started offering in February 2012. This service takes charge of all operations from store system preparation/installation to operation monitoring, system operation and maintenance.
The products called terminal equipment that Fujitsu Frontech provides are used in financial institution, retail and public organization. Those are mostly specialized equipment, as represented by automated teller machines (ATM) and self check out systems (SCO), and they tend to be directly manipulated by the end users. Therefore, development and evaluation test should be done by sufficient consideration to operability, functionality, performance, quality, and safety. The cornerstones of such quality assurance are design verification tests (DVT), validation tests, and system tests. In DVT, the functionality and performance of the basic components of the product including its margins are checked. After every component passes the test, the product is then built up from each component. In validation tests, checks and various types of load test are carried out by assuming how a product will be used in the field and exhaustive evaluations are repeatedly made. In system tests, Fujitsu creates an environment that is the same as the one in which the product will actually be used and evaluates the whole system from aspects such as recovery from a failure. Through these evaluations, it becomes possible to send out into the world the high-quality products that bear the brand name of Fujitsu. This paper introduces these three evaluations.
Fujitsu Frontech's Quality Assurance Group has been mainly responsible for assuring the quality of products and customer systems in the financial, retail and public fields, which are major products of the company. The solution business, such as software development for the respective fields and system construction, has expanded and quality risks have increased. In addition, advanced services such as ATM outsourcing for financial institutions have been deployed, and this has made it an urgent necessity to put in place quality management over the life cycle of a service. To meet these needs, the Solution Quality Management & Planning Division has been organized in the Quality Assurance Group for promoting the establishment of a quality management system, third party audit and introduction of quality standards in coordination with Fujitsu and information sharing of the solution and service departments. Subjects of third party audit are selected to find out the quality risks of project management processes in the respective departments. For the solution department, a project plan and APQI are audited. For the service department, a project plan, service operation/maintenance processes, and financial system risk are audited. This paper presents the activities of the Solution Quality Management & Planning Division with the focus on a third party audit.
Fujitsu Frontech's hardware products can be roughly classified into financial, retail and totalizator products. On the whole, we manufacture small volumes of a wide range of products. As actual results for 2011, 2800 specifications for 58 types are subjects of "monozukuri" (manufacturing), although the number of specifications has been decreasing recently due to efforts such as standardization of units and parts. The large number of components is another characteristic. Especially, automated teller machines (ATMs) integrating mechanical units are respectively composed of more than 10 000 parts (excluding PCB surface-mounted components). These products handle information in areas mainly including various types of paper, banknotes/coins and diverse inputs/outputs and their components are increasingly computerized. For near-modular products, manufacturing is shifting overseas. Up to now, for some mechanical units that have been manufactured in Japan as integral types, efforts have been made for optimization in Japan while incorporating techniques such as the Toyota Production System (TPS). But cost improvement and other demands are becoming increasingly severe. Accordingly, a rapid overseas shift in the manufacture of these products is underway as well and, in addition, improvement of monozukuri to the Japanese level is required. This paper describes the historical changes in Fujitsu Frontech's monozukuri and recent monozukuri that has adopted the TPS.
Since the late 1990s, many financial institutions have collapsed and major ones have merged and integrated with each other. Fujitsu Frontech's main products are automatic teller machines (ATM), and their prices have fallen due to increasing competition, and an even more difficult business environment is expected in the future. Hence, in January 2002 we began producing a financial mechanical module at our subsidiary in the Philippines, Fujitsu Die-Tech corporation of the Philippines (FDTP). Our initial aim was to procure from FDTP bill recycling units (BRU), which account for a high percentage of our ATM costs in Japan, so that we could significantly reduce the costs of domestic ATMs. And later, we began to expand our overseas manufacturing of the financial mechanical module there. Upon expanding our overseas manufacturing of the financial mechanical module in earnest, we first obtained a sufficient understanding of the characteristics of the Philippines, and then examined measures for coping with various challenges. And we ensured that FDTP could offer us the same level of quality and delivery dates as we could obtain in Japan. In recent years the number of orders we receive from overseas customers has been increasing rapidly, and so we have made appropriate changes to the business form, in ways such as increasing the types of models made at FTDP and having the models shipped directly from FDTP. In addition, amid ongoing price erosion, we have established a manufacturing system that lets us acquire at an early stage the cost of overseas manufacturing and suppress investment costs, and that can handle multi-specification products and variable production in accordance with the increase of overseas locations that we ship products to. In this way, FDTP has continued to grow as an important overseas factory that is directly linked to our sales and earnings. This paper describes the history of FDTP's development in the last 10 or so years.
The System Manufacturing Department of Fujitsu Frontech uses machining facilities such as machining centers to manufacture precision machined products and metal molds and sells machined parts to semiconductor manufacturing equipment and medical-related companies and metal molds to automobile-related companies. For machined parts, in particular, high precision must be achieved while solving issues such as a securing method for machining and material distortion due to stress function during machining. This makes expertise and experience in machining and materials important. The System Manufacturing Department has two contemporary master craftsmen for metal machine tool machining and metal working/metal product size inspection, and they are solving issues with machining. "Contemporary master craftsmen" is a popular name for distinguished technicians awarded by the Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare based on the system of commending outstanding technicians. The commendation system was established in 1967 in order to improve the status and skill level of technicians. About 150 people are commended every year out of technicians in a total of 20 divisions as a result of classification of their occupations such as metal machining, assembly and repair of machinery and appliances, tailoring and carpentry. This paper describes the background of the commendation of the two technicians, their contributions to the local community and the handing down of techniques.
For globalization of manufacturing, the speeding up of and operational efficiency improvement of production activities must be promoted and the responsiveness to production variations must be improved. For that purpose, overseas bases are required to cooperate with each other, rather than independently assuming the roles of production and sale, thereby improving competitiveness in conducting management of globally integrated production activities. To meet this need, Fujitsu Frontech worked to create a global supply chain management (SCM). In the first stage, we built a total SCM system to realize Japan's first internal and external real-time processing supplemented with the B2B (business to business) functions with suppliers in addition to overall optimization of the production process from order acceptance to shipping in Japan and started its operation in August 2008. In the second stage, we standardized operations in Japan and overseas and achieved real-time information coordination based on the total SCM system in Japan. We also built the Global-internet Total Operation System (G-iTOS), an SCM system intended for overall optimization of the global production process including the facilitation of operations suited for overseas bases and the introduction of B2B with overseas suppliers, which started operation in April 2012. In this way, sharing of domestic and overseas production information has allowed us to increase the speed of and improve the efficiency of the respective operations. In the future, meeting global requests will raise expectations for further system evolution. This paper describes the building and structure of the global SCM system and outlines the major functions and characteristics.