UD Truck’s Keiichi Arai received the Yellow Ribbon Medal of Honor from the Japanese government for his achievements in building the commercial automobile industry's first dedicated custom paint production line. Since 1955, The Yellow Ribbon Medal of Honor is given to individuals who, through their diligence and perseverance in their professions, become public role models.
Arai joined the company as an engineer in 1980. After studying conventional paint line technology he proposed to build a custom paint production line at the UD Truck’s factory. Initially his idea seemed too radical with many opposed to it, but eventually was given go-ahead to redesign the entire process and equipment specifications from scratch.
The custom paint line, which began operations in 2002, proved to be popular with customers as it allowed made-to-order high-quality, weather-resistant paint jobs for individual trucks coming off the production line. Now in its 18th year, there are more than 3,000 registered colors and 46,429 vehicles have been produced on the custom paint line.
An overjoyed Arai said, “I was able to receive the award with the support of my mentors, colleagues and family. I am very grateful. This is the result of a comprehensive overhaul of the UD production system and the development of new skill sets, and not so much about me. I hope we can continue to push the envelope and make more breakthroughs in the future."
Arai continues to pass on his knowledge to the next generation of engineers. He is the 12th person in the history of UD Trucks to receive this accolade and proof of the company’s commitment to manufacturing excellence and innovation.
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UD Trucks is a leading Japanese commercial vehicle solutions provider, active in more than 60 countries on all continents. Since its inception in 1935, the company has been an innovation leader with a clear vision to provide the trucks and services the world needs today. The company is committed to go the extra mile for smart logistics with the most dependable solutions for demanding customers. To best support across applications and geographies, UD Trucks offers a full range of heavy duty trucks - Quon and Quester, medium duty trucks - Condor and Croner, and light duty trucks - Kazet and Kuzer, as well as associated operational and financial services.
UD Trucks is a proud member of the Volvo Group, which in 2019 had net sales of 432 BSEK and over 100,000 employees globally.