Sunday, Aug 19, 2018
Industry & Trade | Asia-Pacific | Japan

Saginomiya Seisakusho

Japanese craftsmanship in manufacturing


2 months ago

Mr. Shigeyuki Nishimi, President of SAGINOMIYA SEISAKUSHO, INC.
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Mr. Shigeyuki Nishimi

President of SAGINOMIYA SEISAKUSHO, INC.

The Worldfolio speaks to Shigeyuki Nishimi, President of Saginomiya Seisakusho, which makes automatic control and vibration test systems for a range of applications and industries, mainly in air conditioning units, refrigeration units and the automotive industry.

 

What are the main competitive advantages that Japanese monozukuri has today compared to countries such as China and Korea?

There’s a long history of Japanese craftsmen that have been producing products for hundreds of years that are of high quality and that continuously evolve thanks to new technology. Those craftsmen had apprentices who not only strived to keep up their mentor’s craft and techniques, but also tried to improve their own techniques to improve their mentor’s craft.

Saginomiya supplies products to manufacturing companies and business partners, we strive to work together with them to solve their problems or improve their units better through our technology and skills. We achieve this by constantly improving our techniques and technology, thereby increasing our skill level.

 

As a manufacturer, what is your opinion on the Kobe Steel scandal?
What are the measures that Saginomiya Seisakusho takes to ensure that its “quality” remains top class?

Saginomiya complies with the rules and regulations of the law.We always make best efforts to keep careful watch on those rules and regulations. And we believe that following these rules and regulations is very important for our company’s future within the industry.

 

With regards to the USA, the “America First” policies of President Donald J. Trump are set to bring back manufacturing to the country and to rebuff America’s industrial sector. While experts are critical, many manufacturers see that as an advantage, for they expect an increased in automated machinery and robotics. For Saginomiya Seisakusho, do you see this as a challenge or as an opportunity to your company or your activities in the U.S.?

When we look at our history, we have been manufacturing here in Japan. In the case of air conditioning, we started a little after the American manufacturers, so we focus on products that are compact, environmentally and economically beneficial. Due to the difference in size of houses between the States and Japan, we found that our smaller sized houses didn’t have the space to accommodate the larger air conditioning systems from America. Our systems are not large enough for American houses however; they are better suited for other Asian countries and some European countries. We believe that there will be business potential in the future in regards to helping the American AC systems become more energy efficient and more environmentally friendly.

In the American market there are already well-established manufacturers and many of them are located in the Southern parts of the country, our Dallas office that opened this February (2018) is in a good position to communicate with those companies. We are undergoing further market research so that we can expand the market in the future. Also, we are aware that the American style technology and systems are different from those of Japan, so we need to prepare for items and products that will match the American style and systems.

 

What are the key milestones of Saginomiya Seisakusho?

Saginomiya was founded in 1940 as a maker of copper and steel ‘bellows’. These were used to transfer the pressure from the bottom to the top, switching on/off or opening/closing a valve.

In 1948 we established Saginomiya Seisakusho, Inc., and we stepped out as an Automatic Controls manufacturer by producing Thermostats equipped with bellows as an applied product. They helped to stop extensive damage to the transformers as a safety switch – when they couldn’t handle the demand of electricity in the local area – by switching the transformers off.

And we had started connections with major Japanese electric companies, which used those special kinds of thermostats for transformers. Since then, we have been supplying various Automatic Controls for the consumer electric industry and general industry, along with accompanying the growth of the Japanese economy.

And in1960’s we developed Hydraulic Servo test machine and started production-

In 2000’s we impelled development of products for environment friendly devises such as Eco-cute, Fuel cell battery. In 2008, we established Saginomiya America in Columbus, USA. And Saginomiya group continues up to today
 

What is your philosophy at Saginomiya Seisakusho?

My grandfather, the founder of this company was a teacher at first and took great pride in taking good care of his students. When he opened the company, he brought this care to his employees. He believed that all employees were important and wanted his company to have staff that took care of each other and all working together. The company philosophy is: “Creation of happiness for all employees and all people.” and company motto is: “When alone, care for yourself. When with others, care for others. Always act for somebody else”.

 

What is the hierarchy of importance of the different segments of Saginomiya?

Our main business is air conditioners, next is refrigeration and then automotive. Others are the same level of business after that.

 

What types of testing equipment do you have and could you tell us about which market they’re for and which is the best selling product?

There are several markets for our testing equipment, the largest of which is the automotive industry. Also, we supply our testing machines to university research facilities and some other construction companies that require our testing equipment.

Our testing machines are used to test the durability of each part, such as suspension or frameworks of the finished car. As a new item of testing machines, we have a ‘DIM’ drive simulator; and there is a demonstration machine in our factory. We use it to show customers how our testing machines work. Our first customers for the ‘DIM’ simulator were famous European Automobile manufacturers. We took data from a real racing course and entered the data into the system so that the simulator moved just like the real car. It allows our customers to test a new design for their cars before they complete manufacturing, ensuring a higher quality of their automotive products.

 

Which products have the highest growth or potential in the future?

I believe it is our ‘pressure sensor’ and ‘electronic expansion valve’ that are our current best selling products. They are used in rather advanced air conditioner types that have a higher efficiency for energy saving and are more environmentally friendly. For greater performance and efficiency, our customers use these products.

 

What has been the impact of modern innovations on the automatic controls market? How is your company adapting itself to these technologies?

In the near future, by using A.I or IoT we can link together and control components such as the actuator, sensor, and controller. We can illustrate that if AI is the brain, our Sensor is the eyes. According to the 5 senses of human being, Actuator such as valves act as arm or legs, and controller is the muscle. So our products are essential items for the total system. Our R&D has the capability of enhancing technologies related to those items.

 

What are the competitive advantages of Saginomiya Seisakusho? What will be your mid-term strategy to pursue corporate growth?

I would say that the ‘high quality’ we provide is the advantage we have. We try to produce and manufacture products that last a long period. This means they have to be sturdy and durable as the materials are slightly more expensive than other competitors. We believe that a higher quality is more beneficial for the future. I think that there is good potential for the future of air conditioners, especially in areas of countries that do not have them yet.

As a global business we have a partnership in Denmark, each of us sell each other’s products and complement each other by helping to ensure we have the products available to sell to our customers. Saginomiya will celebrate its 80th anniversary in 2020.  We established our mid-term management plan “Progress 80” and we are now collectively working to achieve Progress 80, consisting of the core business strategies of innovation, business structure improvement, and globalization.

 

How would you,Saginomiya, like to be in the next 10 years?

I want for our company to keep its original philosophy and motto. I want to keep the same conditions for our employees, as well as our customers. I would like to keep our customers and employees as our first priority for the future.

 


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