Q4 2022 Engagement Case Study: product impact

Keyence’s products include machine visions systems including sensors and measuring instruments that are primarily used in the automation of factories. These components help customers achieve higher levels of efficiency, energy-savings, improved material utilisation and reduced wastage and quality management.

Engagement issue
Product Impact

Engagement objective
Strengthen our understanding of the positive impact associated with Keyence’s products and services.

Scope and process
We’ve recently been undertaking a project to quantify and further strengthen our understanding of the positive impact associated with the products and services sold by our investee companies. Additional insights allow us to build a stronger case and ‘impact story’ for each of our stocks, which is especially useful for our investors. It also feeds into our broader analysis and can result in an improved impact score for the company.

We reviewed the analysis on Keyence within our impact engine to identify areas that we felt we could develop our understanding. This work formed the basis of a series of questions we put to the company in advance of an arranged discussion on them.

Partially successful. The call was not as helpful as we had hoped, unfortunately. The main problem is that it is very difficult to quantify resource efficiency gains when using Keyence’s technology at a broad level, due to the fact that so many different variables are involved. For example, the speed of conveyor belts from other manufacturers can be a limiting factor to how many defects can be identified by machine vision tech. Further engagement dialogues with the company should encourage the company to help customers quantify their resource efficiency gains, or to sell manufacturing systems that could help improve the outcome for the customer.