| . Making products
that meet the needs of our customers
First, could you tell me about the job of the
|Person in charge / Our job is
to mold the user needs into shapes and commercialize
them. As a current example, we fabricated the
couplings for a computer controlled drive in
4WD vehicles. Four-wheel drive vehicles need
to be able to control the 2WD and 4WD systems.
Although hydraulic and mechanically operated
controls have been the primary methods used
in the past, electronically controlled models
are now being watched closely. The role of
the coupling is very important. Our customer
asked us to produce the component that they
you receive a request from your customer before
starting to develop the component?
|Person in charge / Well, we developed
the component and ensured its performance.
Then we begin commercial production. Since
the production of this component has increased,
we expanded the facilities for it in our company
and we can now ensure production of a fair
number of these components. This product is
only made by one other company in Japan, and
we can say with pride in any exhibition that
this product demonstrates what Tokuhatsu has
| . Micron technology
did you pay lots of attention to when developing
|Person in charge / The most difficult
requirement for this component is that press
mold specifications had dimensional tolerances
on the order of microns. This micron technology
and mold durability were both very important,
but this kind of mold is very easy to crack
and wears quickly. For example, if the mold
deteriorated after only a few hundred pieces
had been pressed, the economics of production
would impossible. We had a lot of difficulty
in figuring out how to make these molds be
economically possible. Tokuhatsu carried out
the full-scale production of the parts in-house,
keeping a lid on the costs. This is one of
the advantages of working with Tokuhatsu.
are the details of how you negotiate with a
|Person in charge / We go to the
manufacturer about twice a month and bring
reproduction data with us. We do this repeatedly
for about one year. In the meantime, they evaluate
our ability to adapt quickly and our good footwork.
Finally, we receive the question "Can you make
this?" Then, we normally spend about two years
developing the new product. Eventually, we
receive an order after about three calendar
years. This is quite common.
| . Aiming at low
cost and high production levels
have heard that you developed an advanced processing
technique for the component in the ball bushings
that are used in car suspensions.
|Person in charge / This kind of
washer supports the suspension when the tires
move up and down. However, we realized that
a flanged hole section would be molded into
the part by a press without a shear drop. Although
this is a small thing, it could be said that
Tokuhatsu's technical power lies in being able
to produce this part by using only a press,
without any cutting.
please tell me about challenge of creating
such developments and processing techniques.
|Person in charge / We have several
levels of perseverance. One is focused on precision,
making products with accuracies in the order
of microns. Another one is mold life. Then,
we also work out ways to make the process smooth,
so as not to produce defects. Our industry
can do anything if we are allowed to use special
machines. However, it is important to do these
same things using general-purpose machines.
Consequently, this leads to cost reductions.
Using general-purpose machines to make special
products is our specialty. Although the mold
is the important thing when making a new product,
technical prowess in mold design and fabrication
is Tokuhatsu's main pillar of strength. As
a consequence, our ideal is to make good products
at low cost. To do that, advanced mold and
heat treatment technologies are necessary.
Satisfactorily meeting the needs of our users
by using Tokuhatsu's techniques is our most