Kitajima Shibori Seisakusho Co., Ltd.
President Takahiro Kitajijma
Metal spinning process
A metal sheet is placed and rotated on a horizontal machine that is similar to a potter's wheel. The metal sheet transforms perceptively into a smooth spherical form, when a long bar-shaped tool is introduced and pressure is applied.
This special tool is called a “spoon ” and the process is called “metal spinning”.
Kitajima Shibori Seisakusho was established in 1947 in the Ota ward. For more than 60 years since, the company has specialized in metal spinning.
The metal spinning process requires control of shape as well as thickness that is achieved by a subtle sense of hand-working. The craftsmanship involved with intently observing the metal and adjusting the pressure applied is like having a conversation with the metal.
The technique can be only obtained by experience, since there is no manual. It takes seven to eight years for the craftsman to be able to precisely process in accordance with a drawing. In Kitajima Shibori Seisakusho, ten experts of this processing technique are refining their skills every day.
Products processed by metal spinning
Kitajima Shibori Seisakusho processes products from as small as a few mm to as large as more than 4m.
Products familiar to us include mirror reflectors for light apparatuses and automobile lights. The company also manufactures parts related to semiconductors and liquid crystals, large-sized satellite dishes, decorations and large objects for temples and shrines, and parts for airplanes and satellites. The tip of the solid rocket booster for the H2 rocket was also processed by this company.
“Our company intentionally undertakes processing of highly difficult products that other companies cannot process, such as large-sized products and hard steel materials that are difficult to process. We believe processing difficult products provide us with an opportunity to improve our skill”, said Mr. Kitajima.
Scene of making a satellite dish
“For processing a large-sized product, some processes require two people. Some products even require six people. Precise processing cannot be done without perfect cooperative work. Teamwork is important in addition to a high skill level of each craftsman”, explained Mr. Kitajima.
The high skill of individual craftsmen in the company along with teamwork creates excellent products. The company boasts amazingly high accuracy: for a 2.5m diameter satellite dish, the error is only 0.15mm.
Industrial complex of Keihinjima
Kitajima Shibori Seisakusho is located in the Industrial complex in Keihinjima , an artificial island of the Ota ward. The area was created when a group of companies that produce vibrations and noise during manufacturing moved from the urban area. Since then, the area has supported industries in the Ota ward as a base for manufacturing.
Furthermore, there is a unique traditional network of “Nakama Mawashi ” in the Ota ward. Kitajima Shibori Seisakusho still outsources subsequent processes such as drilling to small factories that are specialized in each process.
“Small factories in the Ota ward are flexible and very handy. They are also trustworthy in terms of their skill. The small factories in the network always expect difficulties, so they respond to any order. They are reliable.”
Ota ward is supporting manufacturing business in many ways. Kitajima Shibori Seisakusho effectively uses the support, such as subsidies for implementing new machines.
“Ota ward has mant types of support, and their response is very prompt.”
Firmly laying down its roots in the favorable environment of this town of manufacturing, Kitajima Shibori Seisakusho will continue its endeavor for uncompromising manufacturing.