We just saved ourselves £300,000 a year using predictive analytics – here’s how

As most of our customers know, Ricoh started out manufacturing imaging equipment in Japan. We were founded in Tokyo in 1936, but we weren’t called Ricoh then. We were called 理研感光紙 or Riken Kankōshi

Over the years, we’ve done a lot of different things. We still make best-in-class imaging equipment, but over time we’ve also made watches, cameras, photocopiers, fax machines, printers, projectors and a range of software products, many of which we still sell today.

Like a lot of businesses, over the past few years, we’ve moved into data and analytics. Data is the new oil, so they say, so it made sense for us to develop an in-house analytics team. It’s been my responsibility to build out this new team and its capabilities. 

Testing our predictive analytics programme

Ricoh wanted to test what we’d developed, so they set us a challenge.

They took us to the Ricoh manufacturing plant in Telford and gave us the opportunity to apply our technology to the manufacturing process. Our goal was to prove that we could streamline production or improve decision-making through the use of data.

Ricoh’s Telford facility produces nine million toner cartridges each year, which makes it a great proving ground for this kind of solution. The most minuscule improvement, repeated nine million times, could lead to enormous savings in time and money. 

By applying machine learning to the manufacturing process, we were able to pinpoint the optimal conditions for toner cartridge filling. We identified the speed the toner should be dispensed at, how long it should be dispensed for and the required temperature of the toner. This meant that toner cartridges were never under-filled or over-filled – that every unit was just right.

You can watch the video below to find out how we did it. The technology exists, we’ve proved that it works and it’s ready and waiting to be put to other uses. If you want to discuss how we could apply our predictive analytics programme to your production processes to save you time and money, drop me a line on LinkedIn.


Dave Morrow

Dave Morrow - Data & Analytics Practice Lead at Ricoh UK & Ireland

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