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Vol.2 : Seeing the Roots of Monozukuri in Color

The productions site 52 years ago - the quiet energy travels across time

In 2005, on his appointment as Electronics CEO, Dr. Ryoji Chubachi spelt out the Three Corporate Initiatives (strengthening Sony's Products, Technologies and Operations). Sony's development has always been powered by monozukuri. The revival of the Electronics business is also about the revival of monozukuri.

This time, we've dug up a color photograph that symbolizes Sony's monozukuri roots: a 1954 image of a tape recorder production genba. Color photos from this time are rare. The tape recorder is the TC-301. It was the first small tape recorder designed for the consumer market and was sold at 49,000 yen (the G type tape recorder launched 4 years before was sold at 160,000 yen). It was this less-than 50,000 yen model that started the mass production of what until then were expensive products. This is where a product leaves the development and design stage to finally become a real product. On the right, you can see the electric parts being assembled and on the left, assembly of the mechanical parts. They are then turned into the final product by the workers in the center.

From a modern perspective, it almost looks handmade! But, at the same time, you can feel the quiet energy and the sense of accomplishment in seeing the product being completed and shipped off to customers. As times have changed, manufacturing sites have too - but the quiet energy remains timeless.

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