“Made in Japan”

“Made in Japan”
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“Made in Japan” in Industrial Machine Design
Sanyu Industries Rubber Injection Molding Machines
Ryuji Karasawa
Japanese Technology and the  Rise of China
World’s No. 2 in GDP.  Japan can no longer remain so.  China has become the most important industrial manufacturer.  “Made in Japan” products around us have been replaced by those labeled “Made in China.”
In the Meiji era in the late 19th century, Japan’s industrial modernization began with purchases of steamboats and locomotives from Europe.  Full of   countries.  We believed that the cutting edge of production technology existed in Japan, and that we would have a bright future as long as we remain as a frontrunner.
Then came the age of diversification.  The industrialized world altogether began to transfer their production bases seeking cheaper labor force.  It was the beginning of the rise of  “Made in China” products and their affluence.  At the actual manufacturing scene, however, Japanese industrial machines are in operation.  It can be said that Japanese technology is supporting the quality of products in the world.


Designing the rubber injection molding machine
Although it is hardly known, the rubber injection molding machine is supporting the automobile industry.  A great amount of rubber is used for the suspension, damping materials around the engine, waterproof and dustproof boots, and seal materials in a motorcar.  The top manufacturer of rubber injection molding machines in Japan is Sanyu Industries, a supplier to manufacturers of these rubber parts and components.  The STI-VR series, which was introduced to the market in 2006, is its flagship model with a totally upgraded performance.  Two years later, we, GK Design Soken Hiroshima, received an order to redesign this highly competent machine series.
In Japan, industrial machines are made to the specifications of the customer.  Industrial machines in the west are characteristic both in color and form.  They appear to say, “this is the best product of our R&D based on our corporate philosophy.”  They have individual appeals that Japanese machines lack.
The machines of Sanyu Industries are excellent in their performance, but in order to compete in the global market, they needed to give an expression to their competence.
Hoisting a “Made in Japan” plaque
The new machines of the STI-VR-Z wear “cherry flower color,” as the symbol of “Made in Japan.”  The stripes of dark grey and aluminum on the base present a feeling of accuracy.  This base is composed of panel modules.  This unit system allows Sanyu to easily respond to the orders of customers, and to enhance its production efficiency.
We prepared a “Made in Japan” plaque.  It is the sign of “Quality of Japan,” a certificate of the work worthy of the spirit of a craftsman.  Thus, the products of the new Sanyu brand came into being.
The renewed design has changed the image of products of the company.  The targets of industrial machines are not general consumers, therefore, no hit products come up in a short time.  The brand will be an established brand in time as a result of our continuous pursuit for colors and forms keeping the spirit of traditional craftsman. We hope that the brand will successfully spread in overseas market.


The future of  “Made in Japan”
At present, personal computers can be manufactured anywhere in the world. The molding of resins and making of metal dies are possible if injection machines and cutting work machines are available. However, these production machines are not easily developed.  Rich experience and technological sophistication are indispensable in order to enhance the grade of high accuracy machines.  In Japanese craftsmen, the spirit of minuteness and exhaustiveness might be programmed.
I wonder if this “minuteness and exhaustiveness” program can be awakened among Japanese children of today. When the environment of manufacturing is going through a major change, we deplore what we are losing.  But on the other hand, I feel that we are obtaining a new sense for production.  The Japanese specialty of dexterity is now applied to super minute visages of animation characters and humanoids.

Ryuji Karasawa, Managing Director, GK Design Soken Hiroshima“Made in Japan” in Industrial