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50 Most Admired Companies of the Year 2020

An Interview with Shingo OTOBE, LIGHTz Inc Co-founder and CEO: ‘Utilizing Our AI Platform, We will Support Connecting the Knowledge of Pioneers to the Next Gen’


“With our ‘Landmark’ concept, we will contribute to the growth of the local economy and society by enhancing rooted traditions.”

Succeeding in manufacturing today requires extreme efficiency. Every step to produce parts must be optimized to eliminate potential errors, as well as to maximize productivity, speed, and throughput. This applies to all manufacturing processes, whether filling a mold, printing a part, machining, or forming sheet metal.

Digital manufacturing methods allow companies to do an end-to-end evaluation of the entire value chain and workflows before and during manufacturing. This ‘digital thread’ runs through the operation and ties simulation, process monitoring, and traceability to the physical plant. It also creates a framework for learning and process improvement rooted in artificial intelligence (AI).

In light of the foregoing, we’re thrilled to present LIGHTz Inc — an AI company that incorporates specialist thinking into the AI system and transfers those thinking processes to the modern generation.

The company was incorporated in 2016 and is headquartered in Tsukuba, Japan.

Shingo OTOBE, LIGHTz Inc Co-founder and CEO, spoke exclusively to The Silicon Review. Below is an excerpt.

Q. Explain your services in brief.

The barrier to knowledge sharing and acquisition is one of the main reasons why hard-earned knowledge fails to be propagated further.

That said, our services include transferring the knowledge and thinking process of specialists to the modern generation using our AI system; ORGENIUS®. The system visualizes specialist knowledge and thinking process with a graphical database termed ‘BrainModel®’, which further allows creating awareness among the users.

Considering the manufacturing industry and Japan’s aging population, our approach is to depend on AI and enhance people’s understanding and decision-making capabilities; for example, veterans who have excellent skill sets to perform under any circumstance and boost decision-making when fed with a limited volume of information.

Q. What are the main elements that drive your business?

Our AI approach can be applied in different domains, and we actively work with professional sports teams and athletes (soccer, volleyball, fencing, etc.).

Also, we’re actively opening local offices that allow us to prove our capability and create special bonding with local people while revitalizing the local economy. The concept of opening local offices is termed as ‘Landmark’.

Moreover, we’re expanding actively; we target mid-small cities where traditional manufacturing is rooted.

As of today, most of our clients are large corporations in automotive, chemical, machine, and electronics.

Q. In today’s fast-paced industry scenario, time is of great importance, primarily when it applies to highly complex application needs. How does your service/product adapt to the fast-paced market trend?

We tend to focus on the domain. For example, the manufacturing industry is a widely-combined domain technology and we focus on the domain of material process and technology. By focusing, we’re able to reach the origin of rule and principle, which can be transferable to other domains. In this approach, the service/product is developed in the material process that can be transferable to the sports domain.

Q. How do you market your services?

To answer this question, we would like to introduce our group. As the background of LIGHTz, our parent company ‘O2 Inc.’ is indispensable. O2 Inc. is a consulting firm dedicated to the manufacturing industry, was established in 2004. The consulting method is to visualize the skill and knowledge to improve the engineering process, etc. LIGHTz deploys the visualization to AI with this consulting knowhow.

Our group consists of four companies as follows:

O2 Inc. — Consultation for manufacturers

XrossVate Inc. — Engineering services

Ibuki Inc. — Injection mold maker

LIGHTz Inc. — AI system development

In addition to being a system supplier, we offer many services including consulting, product design, manufacturing mold, and AI system installation…keeping in view the strength our group promises.

Q. Do you have any new services ready to be launched?

ORGENIUS® is committed to empowering people to build better tomorrow.

In 2020, we plan to launch a new knowledge sharing system dedicated to trouble-shooting: PincyPark®.

PincyPark® is a powerful search engine for finding past trouble records. As per our studies, 80 percent of troubles in the complex project are already experienced in the past. PincyPark® should mitigate hassles in the new challenging projects while applying unique knowledge search methods. PincyPark® can be applied not only in manufacturing projects but also in any business project you may have.

Besides software and consulting services, we are planning to launch a learning place where the local young population will be allowed to learn. Our ‘Landmark’ concept is well-integrated in the local society and we believe that education is the core of every tradition.

Q. What are your trajectories for the next five years?

Currently, our activities are based in Japan, but we are already preparing to expand internationally. We seek to incubate in the countries having prosperous manufacturing sectors such as Taiwan, Thailand, India, Indonesia, and Africa. With our ‘Landmark’ concept, we will contribute to the growth of the local economy and society by enhancing rooted traditions.

Shingo OTOBE: A Bankable Leader

Shingo OTOBE is the co-founder and CEO of LIGHTz Inc. Before funding LIGHTz, he was a CTO at O2 Inc. (engineering consulting service). In his early career, he held pivotal roles in manufacturing technology at Canon Inc.

“Our business philosophy is to provide high-quality awareness to people and society and contribute to rich growth.”