Toshiba cuts TAMI staff in consolidation effort

April 10, 1991

Toshiba trimmed its engineering and manufacturing staff at ToshibaAmerica MRI (TAMI) in South San Francisco by about 3% last month.The reduction was aimed at eliminating redundant functions resultingfrom the acquisition of Diasonics' magnetic resonance

Toshiba trimmed its engineering and manufacturing staff at ToshibaAmerica MRI (TAMI) in South San Francisco by about 3% last month.The reduction was aimed at eliminating redundant functions resultingfrom the acquisition of Diasonics' magnetic resonance imagingbusiness in late 1989, said Takashi Hayashi, president of ToshibaAmerica Medical Systems (TAMS).

"As both Toshiba and Diasonics were involved in MRI systemdesign, manufacturing and sales, it was inevitable that therewould be some duplication of functions between the two organizations,"he said.

Toshiba and Diasonics cooperated in the development of MRItechnology for five years before merging their efforts. Technologyused initially in Diasonics' 0.35-tesla MRI system--spin-echoprocessing, for example--was adapted for use in Toshiba's 0.5-teslascanner. As a result, engineering groups at TAMI and in Japanwere performing similar functions, said Ronald B. Schilling, seniorvice president and general manager of TAMS.

"We took a year to analyze all the programs in MRI, decidingthe best place for research and development, assembly and manufacturing.In doing so, we found certain redundancies," Shilling said.

The Radiologic Imaging Laboratory of the University of Californiaat San Francisco, which worked closely with Diasonics MRI, willserve as the core research organization for TAMI in many futureprojects, he said.

Although integration of the two MRI groups has caused the reductionof U.S. staff, resources allocated to both U.S. manufacturingand R&D should increase in the future as Toshiba attemptsto boost its position in this market, he said.

Responsibility for manufacturing the 0.5-tesla MRT-50A systemwas transferred from Japan to TAMI last year. The first 1.5-teslaToshiba MRI system is due for delivery in the U.S. next month,Schilling said.

TAMI has been given multimodality responsibilities as well.X-ray manufacturing was shifted to the group from TAMS headquartersin Tustin, CA. Computed tomography scanners are shipped from Japanwithout complete user software so that engineers at TAMI can providesoftware that meets U.S. clinical requirements, Schilling said.