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DPR Interview with the Canon L lens production plant...
  
 
arbitrage
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · DPR Interview with the Canon L lens production plant...


DPR did a tour and interview at Canon's L/Cinema lens production plant. A few interesting things in there.
https://www.dpreview.com/interviews/4536277079/canon-lens-factory-interview

This Q/A stuck out at me...
During the tour it was mentioned that Canon lenses now store their quality control test data using on-board memory. Can that data be used to improve autofocus reliability?

We do store data from final lens testing on each unit. I won’t be able to speak in greater detail other than saying, yes, in theory, that data could be used to achieve higher autofocus performance [better AF precision] with a DSLR.



Mar 20, 2017 at 11:31 PM
PetKal
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · DPR Interview with the Canon L lens production plant...


The way this is going, CIA and Canon could be hacking into our lenses and cameras already, recording and watching everything we do with our gears, or we say while within the earshot of our gears.


Mar 21, 2017 at 12:20 AM
krementz
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · DPR Interview with the Canon L lens production plant...


A key indication of Japanese manufacturing (which so many American "manufacturing" executives miss) is that every lens is made every day. No multi - day|week|month assembly runs, and zero rejects. Automation is to improve quality and eliminate variance. Rapid tool changeover means no excess inventory.

So, if on a given day Canon receives orders for 1,234 EF 100-400 zooms, the next day they make exactly 1,234 lenses to ship the next day. No backlog. No old inventory. US bozos want to "reduce costs" by making large production runs to last for months.

Manufacturing won't return to the US unless the idiots at corporate begin to understand how to make things the right way the first time They have to stop laying off people because one quarter sales were down a bit, and stop looking to hire the cheapest (underpaid) flunky possible yet spend no time in training.

Canon master levels takes decades to learn. The idiots in HR (and the corporate morons above them) want to hire people from the web with perfect (false) keyword matching, yet refuse to invest in training.

Just Friday I was talking with some young graduates who had finished training (at their own expense) in some new computer languages that *have only existed for a year*. The recruiting ads ask for five years experience in those languages!

</rant>




Mar 21, 2017 at 02:50 AM
Brandon Dube
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · DPR Interview with the Canon L lens production plant...


krementz wrote:
A key indication of Japanese manufacturing (which so many American "manufacturing" executives miss) is that every lens is made every day. No multi - day|week|month assembly runs, and zero rejects. Automation is to improve quality and eliminate variance. Rapid tool changeover means no excess inventory.

So, if on a given day Canon receives orders for 1,234 EF 100-400 zooms, the next day they make exactly 1,234 lenses to ship the next day. No backlog. No old inventory. US bozos want to "reduce costs" by making large production runs to last for months.

Manufacturing won't return to the US unless the
...Show more

Making every lens every day by traditional lens manufacturing methods is not possible without an extremely large, oversized factory. It would require tens of thousands of grinding and polishing spindles with as many tools.

CNC platforms have universal tools and can be switched in mere minutes from producing one element type to another. They are also extremely expensive ($250k is quite cheap for a CNC optical grinder, vs $2k for a traditional one and maybe $1k per tool) and slower in volume.

There is also the issue of acquiring glass. Many of the most desired glasses - those with anomalous partial dispersion or Schott's KZ line - are only produced once or twice a year. If they make it in January and you want to buy it in June, you can't get it no matter how much you're willing to pay because they don't have any left. It makes a great deal of sense to produce lenses in cycles that align with the cycles of optical glass production.

Zero rejects is great if they're all great lenses. Zero rejects isn't great if the QC misses things.



Mar 21, 2017 at 03:06 AM
Clicky94
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · DPR Interview with the Canon L lens production plant...


arbitrage wrote:
During the tour it was mentioned that Canon lenses now store their quality control test data using on-board memory. Can that data be used to improve autofocus reliability?

We do store data from final lens testing on each unit. I won’t be able to speak in greater detail other than saying, yes, in theory, that data could be used to achieve higher autofocus performance [better AF precision] with a DSLR.


Nothing new about that. All autofocus lenses have in their firmware a look-up or correction table which contain values that are set at the time of manufacture.
These values are added to the data given by the cameras AF software to overcome inaccuracies or non liniearites of the mechanical and optical system of the lens. When a lens is re-calibrated by the manufacturers it is these values that get altered to adjust the lenses AF performance.
There is another look-up table in the cameras firmware that performs similar corrections for the body. In cameras that have AFMA it is the cameras look-up table that is altered by the user.




Mar 21, 2017 at 11:38 AM
dhphoto
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · DPR Interview with the Canon L lens production plant...


What struck me is that even with all that care and attention so many of the top end lenses still have significant faults on arrival. For the prices they ask they really shouldn't.

I have bought probably 12-15 L lenses new and at least a quarter have had to go back for one reason or another.



Mar 21, 2017 at 01:03 PM
qc_mountain
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · DPR Interview with the Canon L lens production plant...


Brandon Dube wrote:
Making every lens every day by traditional lens manufacturing methods is not possible without an extremely large, oversized factory. It would require tens of thousands of grinding and polishing spindles with as many tools.

CNC platforms have universal tools and can be switched in mere minutes from producing one element type to another. They are also extremely expensive ($250k is quite cheap for a CNC optical grinder, vs $2k for a traditional one and maybe $1k per tool) and slower in volume.

There is also the issue of acquiring glass. Many of the most desired glasses - those with anomalous partial
...Show more

You can see on their ( rarely-used now test ) that the image projected through that big white lens
is more pronounced to right than to the left , in theory the image projected should be evenly all over the screen... is that result within Canon Spec ??

Francois

https://www.dpreview.com/articles/4996495413/the-home-of-the-l-series-we-tour-canon-utsunomiya-factory?slide=23



Mar 21, 2017 at 02:06 PM
Milan Hutera
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · DPR Interview with the Canon L lens production plant...


dhphoto wrote:
What struck me is that even with all that care and attention so many of the top end lenses still have significant faults on arrival. For the prices they ask they really shouldn't.

I have bought probably 12-15 L lenses new and at least a quarter have had to go back for one reason or another.


Yes but how many of those issues have been caused by these asshats, rather than Canon's QC?




Mar 21, 2017 at 03:19 PM
dtolios
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · DPR Interview with the Canon L lens production plant...


arbitrage wrote:
DPR did a tour and interview at Canon's L/Cinema lens production plant. A few interesting things in there.
https://www.dpreview.com/interviews/4536277079/canon-lens-factory-interview

This Q/A stuck out at me...
During the tour it was mentioned that Canon lenses now store their quality control test data using on-board memory. Can that data be used to improve autofocus reliability?

We do store data from final lens testing on each unit. I won’t be able to speak in greater detail other than saying, yes, in theory, that data could be used to achieve higher autofocus performance [better AF precision] with a DSLR.


So, ontop of AF, it is possible for each lens to have an exact correction profile / blueprint built into their memory and then fused into the CR2 files for Raw developers to read and correct for, instead of a generic lens profile we get now...similarly for in-camera JPEG vignetting / CA corrections etc.

Could also - in theory - make easy to cherry pick lenses with a device like a EF dock that can read those QC ratings right at the store =)



Mar 21, 2017 at 04:11 PM
dhphoto
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · DPR Interview with the Canon L lens production plant...


Milan Hutera wrote:
Yes but how many of those issues have been caused by these asshats, rather than Canon's QC?


Then they should be better packaged by Canon, who know perfectly well this happens



Mar 21, 2017 at 04:16 PM
 

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Dragonfire
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · DPR Interview with the Canon L lens production plant...


Micro adjustment - when all else fails Oh, that is because they made the camera wrong.


Mar 21, 2017 at 06:28 PM
krementz
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · DPR Interview with the Canon L lens production plant...


Brandon Dube wrote:
Making every lens every day by traditional lens manufacturing methods is not possible without an extremely large, oversized factory. It would require tens of thousands of grinding and polishing spindles with as many tools.


You sound like the American managers I used to work with, back when they had a factory. Of course, the factory couldn't keep up with the competition, so they later outsourced the work to Asia. Those managers said what you said, and they proudly showed their reports that demonstrated they made defective products cheaper and faster which marketing couldn't sell. "Good enough (usually) quality, just-in-case manufacturing, with erroneously-calculated economic lot sizes".

"Zero rejects is great if they're all great lenses. Zero rejects isn't great if the QC misses things."

This sounds like a punchline to a QC joke. You can't inspect in quality. The goal for Zero Rejects (or 6 Sigma or Lean Manufacturing) is to eliminate the QC department.





Mar 21, 2017 at 10:36 PM
Brandon Dube
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · DPR Interview with the Canon L lens production plant...


qc_mountain wrote:
You can see on their ( rarely-used now test ) that the image projected through that big white lens
is more pronounced to right than to the left , in theory the image projected should be evenly all over the screen... is that result within Canon Spec ??

Francois

https://www.dpreview.com/articles/4996495413/the-home-of-the-l-series-we-tour-canon-utsunomiya-factory?slide=23


The lens' relative illumination definitely doesn't look like that. It's probably an alignment / coupling problem with the projector or some other artifact.



Mar 21, 2017 at 11:19 PM
Brandon Dube
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · DPR Interview with the Canon L lens production plant...


krementz wrote:
You sound like the American managers I used to work with, back when they had a factory. Of course, the factory couldn't keep up with the competition, so they later outsourced the work to Asia. Those managers said what you said, and they proudly showed their reports that demonstrated they made defective products cheaper and faster which marketing couldn't sell. "Good enough (usually) quality, just-in-case manufacturing, with erroneously-calculated economic lot sizes".

"Zero rejects is great if they're all great lenses. Zero rejects isn't great if the QC misses things."

This sounds like a punchline to a QC joke. You can't inspect
...Show more

I mean... these are basic facts. Each surface in a lens that isn't a plano surface has a unique radius of curvature. To fabricate it by traditional grinding and polishing requires a unique set of tools specifically for that element. If you make 200 lenses, each with 14 elements you have 200*14*2 = 5,600 unique surfaces to fabricate. You need three grinders (coarse/medium/fine) to work efficiently and produce a high quality surface, and at least one polisher. Even if 50% of surfaces are plano, equiconvex elements, equiconcave, whatever, this is still 10,000 tools.

To make everything everyday, then you need 10,000 grinders and polishers. Optimistically, each one is 5sqft, so you need 50,000sqft of floor space just to hold them, let alone places to stand, walk, slurry delivery and egress, etc.

-

How do you propose N-FK51A lenses during months the glass isn't available? Do you stockpile tons and tons of it when it is avaialble to purchase, risking environmental damage and wasting floorspace? Would you not rather stockpile it as finished optical assemblies that are coated and housed for protection?

I do encourage you to not project experience from other types of manufacturing onto optical manufacturing. The process of making lenses is quite tremendously different to almost everything else.



Mar 21, 2017 at 11:29 PM
JaimitoFrog
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · DPR Interview with the Canon L lens production plant...




krementz wrote:
A key indication of Japanese manufacturing (which so many American "manufacturing" executives miss) is that every lens is made every day. No multi - day|week|month assembly runs, and zero rejects. Automation is to improve quality and eliminate variance. Rapid tool changeover means no excess inventory.

So, if on a given day Canon receives orders for 1,234 EF 100-400 zooms, the next day they make exactly 1,234 lenses to ship the next day. No backlog. No old inventory. US bozos want to "reduce costs" by making large production runs to last for months.

Manufacturing won't return to the US unless the
...Show more

Is that how you make America great again? Don't think the leaders understand this.



Mar 23, 2017 at 12:38 AM
krementz
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · DPR Interview with the Canon L lens production plant...


Brandon Dube: Ironic that you hail from Rochester

Rochester was the global center for film and cameras for a century. The best early digital imaging was developed in Rochester, as were major accomplishments in photocopying technology. They knew everything!

Their engineers and managers "cost controlled" everything, including research and development. They *knew* stuff.

Until cameras became difficult because some companies in a heavily bombed country got serious about cameras, "We still make the film!" the Rochesterians proudly proclaimed. Then green boxes started becoming really popular, even more than some yellow boxes.

"We make the $25,000+ digital cameras! Those people from away can't compete with us, no way no how!" Until they did.

"Haha, those people are sooo wrong, wasting money on automation, small lots sizes, and quality control. It's too expensive to do that for consumer goods, because we know."

In 1988 there were 143,000 employees. Now, post-bankruptcy, about 6,000. Enjoy https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kodak and http://photosecrets.com/the-rise-and-fall-of-kodak

The "basic facts" is that technology changed and did not need 10,000 spindles to make too many of the wrong stuff. Kodak (and Detroit) didn't notice. Toyota , Nissan, Fujifilm, Canon, Nikon, etc., noticed and produced differently.

American executives and their press hacks are famous for thinking "my business is special"; it isn't.






Mar 26, 2017 at 03:35 PM
molson
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · DPR Interview with the Canon L lens production plant...


krementz wrote:
The "basic facts" is that technology changed and did not need 10,000 spindles to make too many of the wrong stuff. Kodak (and Detroit) didn't notice. Toyota , Nissan, Fujifilm, Canon, Nikon, etc., noticed and produced differently.

American executives and their press hacks are famous for thinking "my business is special"; it isn't.



Of course, it could be argued that an American executive was largely responsible for the success of those Japanese companies...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W._Edwards_Deming



Mar 26, 2017 at 05:18 PM
EB-1
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · DPR Interview with the Canon L lens production plant...


Brandon Dube wrote:
How do you propose N-FK51A lenses during months the glass isn't available? Do you stockpile tons and tons of it when it is avaialble to purchase, risking environmental damage and wasting floorspace? Would you not rather stockpile it as finished optical assemblies that are coated and housed for protection?

I do encourage you to not project experience from other types of manufacturing onto optical manufacturing. The process of making lenses is quite tremendously different to almost everything else.


It's not just optics but many other products are not amenable to continuous or short cycle production. In my industry it's about 3-6 months total lead time. Anything less than that is typically inefficient and increases costs far too much. 5S/6S, Six Sigma, etc. and other programs like that from decades past have value, but are not the be all and end all.

EBH



Mar 26, 2017 at 05:25 PM
krementz
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · DPR Interview with the Canon L lens production plant...


There is no question that Edwards Deming was a very major positive impact on Asian manufacturing.

The "problem" was that so few American managers made use of his skills and toolkit.



Mar 26, 2017 at 05:31 PM
CW100
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · DPR Interview with the Canon L lens production plant...


JaimitoFrog wrote:
Is that how you make America great again? Don't think the leaders understand this.


yeah, I used to work for a Japanese manufacturing company (not cameras)

everyone, I mean absolutely everyone took lunch between 12:00 and 12:30 pm
lord help you if you spent a minute over that time





;:




Mar 26, 2017 at 10:23 PM
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