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Shibuya’s technology knows no bounds

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Article - August 11, 2023

From the beverage, food and cosmetics industries, to regenerative medicine and semiconductor manufacturing, applications for Shibuya Corporation’s technology continue to expand.

FILLER 3D

“Through our technologies, we want to support working towards a longer and healthier quality of life.”

Hidetoshi Shibuya, President and CEO, SHIBUYA CORPORATION

Established in 1931, Shibuya Corporation is a leading supplier of bottling and packaging systems that are tried and trusted by clients in the beverage, food, cosmetics, semiconductor, agriculture and healthcare industries. The Japanese firm started out supplying its bottling systems to a sake brewing company and later expanded its activities in the bottling business, including the manufacture of bottle washers, fillers, cappers, labelers, case packers, palletizers, and the world’s first system that could handle a wide variety of containers, from 180ml to 1800ml, on a single machine in early 1960s.

With its core technology, the bottling system, forming the basis of its innovative products, Shibuya has been able to expand the applications of its products to several industries over the years, including semiconductor manufacturing and, most recently, regenerative medicine. Company president Hidetoshi Shibuya puts Shibuya’s success down to three mains factors: “Firstly, our serious attitude towards craftsmanship and manufacturing that always aims to support our customers business prosperity; secondly, our after-sales service which supports the stable operation of equipment and systems delivered to our customers over a long period of time after initial purchase; and thirdly, our technological strength to create best-in-class products based on customer needs, supported by our long-cultivated technologies serving a wide range of industries.”

Shibuya’s ‘customer-first’ policy guides the company’s approach to business and after-sales service. From the company’s perspective, selling a machine to a customer should not be considered the end of a relationship, but rather the commencement of one that is cherished for many years to come. “Our company motto is ‘Work with Joy’, highlighting the importance of motivation. We always pray for our customers' prosperity. The person who makes the products imagines the customers using our products, then employs shinken (diligence) in monozukuri (manufacturing craftsmanship),” adds Mr. Shibuya. “We have a small Shinto shrine in all our offices, manufacturing, assembling and quality divisions, which allows everybody to pray for our customers' health and prosperity.”

Shibuya’s proprietary aseptic technology for sterilization and cleaning has been adopted in several fields, with the company having supplied more than 1,200 units of its aseptic systems to clients in the pharmaceutical, beverage and regenerative medicine industries worldwide. “Sterilization and cleanliness technology is one of our outstanding core technologies. My vision to expand this core technology to new markets worldwide,” reveals the president. “We are now making new developments with several business partners in areas such as aseptic processing, which is used for our bottling and pharmaceutical systems. Through collaborative synergies among Shibuya group companies, we have the potential to expand our business in the fields of regenerative medicine, semiconductors, food processing and pharmaceuticals.”

Indeed, collaboration is important outside the group also, and Shibuya has partnered with several stakeholders, particularly on regulatory matters in the medical field, including: Dr. James Akers, an expert in microbiology and sterility and former president of the U.S. Parenteral Drug Association; Japan’s Dr. Tsuguo Sasaki, an expert in sterility GMP (good manufacturing processes); and with Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare on government regulation. Furthermore, the company has jointly developed a Bio 3D Printer for regenerative medicine with researchers at Saga University and is currently working on a new type of liver regeneration therapy with Yamaguchi University.

“One thing I learned from a professor in regenerative medicine is that innovation occurs when two or more fields of expertise meet and when chemistry interacts,” states Mr.  Shibuya. “In order to develop new technology and enter new markets, I believe that it is extremely important to collaborate with partners who have different perspectives.”

For the semiconductor sector, the company’s main products are utilized in mounting, bonding and wire bonding during the back-end processes. With new needs emerging in the industry, Shibuya has worked to develop nano-level mounting technologies required especially for high-performance chips used for AI and large-scale data centers. “For 50 years, the size of semiconductors has transitioned from micro to nano, so the pitch becomes very narrow and pasteless bonding is required to avoid short-circuiting. Shibuya's high-precision bonders use ultra-precise handling solder pasteless bonding, which is required these days,” adds Mr. Shibuya.

With overseas operations in the U.S., China and Asia currently making up 30% of sales revenues, Mr. Shibuya hopes to expand Shibuya’s international presence and make further contributions to global societies through its technologies. “The beverage, regenerative, pharmaceutical, agriculture, and semiconductor industries have new ideas as humankind grows and desires a better quality of life. Through our technologies, we want to support working towards a longer and healthier quality of life.”

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