In a darkened industrial hangar in eastern Osaka, Yoshihiro Yamanaka is tearing up the rule book that once made Japanese manufacturing the feared global standard of efficiency.
At Fuji Spring, a company with one factory, one product and 18 workers, Yamanaka has dimmed the lights, allowed inventories to pile up and - most strikingly - shut off an automated part of his assembly to do more jobs by hand.
The goal is to slash power consumption in the face of possible electric shortages, a new uncertainty that has pushed Japan's already embattled manufacturers closer to the brink.
But in rejecting Japan's accepted industrial wisdom, Yamanaka is also accepting the do-or-die risk that customers will pay more for his springs.
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