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Taiyo Fastener: crafting cost-effective, quality and sustainable connections through hitozukuri

Article - July 13, 2023

Taiyo Fastener is leveraging technology and sustainability to drive innovation across its supply chain with
a clear understanding of the investment in employee, partner and societal happiness.

“I believe that monozukuri is hitozukuri, making things is making people,” the president says. “Since we want to pass down the technologies that were brought by these engineers, we tried to put them into a written format, known as Taiyo Fastener's philosophy.”

The company's automation of production lines, focus on employees' health, and the adoption of new technologies have allowed it to adapt to the changes brought by Japan's aging population.

“Automation enables us to do the production process with fewer people. Our oldest employee is 76 years old, but he is still healthy and working so actively,” the president reveals. “Although our official retirement age is 60, we have a system that allows our employees to continue working later. Breaking from our male tradition, we have recently been actively hiring young women as operators for the production line, so that they will be able to use the machines.”

The arrival of COVID-19 proved to be an important time for the company, with positive actions being undertaken despite a slight decline in revenue.

“We were able to provide employees with educational training to nurture the next generation of leaders, and management strategy training to deepen the thinking of executive candidates,” says Mr. Mabuchi. “In addition, we launched a new product development project, fostered awareness of taking on new challenges, and created a foundation for cultivating a spirit of challenge, creating a new flow for our company.

“It's taking shape and I hope that we can continue this and build a strong corporate entity as a company.”

Returning to the theme of quality, the president highlights a key difference with Taiyo Fastener.

“Manufacturers in China and Taiwan pick out and get rid of defective products after mass production. In our case, we try not to send defective elements to the next step during the production process. We only take the good ones to the next phase and this avoids producing defective products, which controls the quality.”

The need to continually innovate to keep pace with industry developments is clear and Taiyo launched a new product, the Kapal Bolt, which is cost-effective, sustainable, and saves on labor.

“We try to approach and listen to the needs or problems of companies that could be our potential customers so that we can deliver their requirements to the production line,” explains Mr. Mabuchi. “We focused on the labor cost compared to the cost of the fasteners themselves. Even though the labor cost in China and Southeast Asia is still low, it has recently risen. We thought that we should concentrate on how to shorten the labor time for the workforce and the Kapal Bolt does that."

For this development, collaboration with other businesses is seen to have a significant role.

“In the domestic market, we have a lot of friends and partners, and overseas we have a good joint venture in Thailand,” says the president. “We are trying to produce products through that company and export them to Europe and the US. Listening to the customers in those markets also helps in the expansion of our products in Japan and Thailand.

“We have some friends in Indonesia with whom we can collaborate on development. We would like to continue this kind of relationship and internationally we are looking at Asian countries, especially Indonesia and Vietnam.”

“We do pay attention to SDGs and product development earmarks sustainable longevity and environmentally friendly materials. We manufacture titanium screws, for example. Titanium is a material that can achieve corrosion resistance, strength, and weight reduction. Our other screws are also used in JAXA's unmanned lunar probe ‘OMOTENASHI’.

With clear management philosophies of promoting happiness and prosperity to employees, partners and society as a whole, Mr. Mabuchi is devoted to them being achieved before he steps away as president. “We support people all over the world with unlimited possibilities. ‘Always by you’ is our watchword.”