Business Category : Machines(other machinery)
Created on 2013-4-15
Updated on 2015-3-19
The Yamada Seiki's main office is on the first floor of an apartment building in uptown Setagawa Ward. This area looks a residential district, but second look confirms that it really is a semi-industrial district with manufacturing facilities and residential houses built side by side. The Yamada Seiki's main office doesn’t seem like manufacturing appearance from outside. However, once you go through the office, you will find factories outspread behind the building exhibiting successful coexistence of manufacturers and houses. In this piece, we have asked President Washio about his company's activities in the project "Support services for enforcing groups of core manufacturing technology" promoted by Tokyo as well as their advantages to carry on business in the Tokyo area.
Yamada Seiki was founded by the former president and used to be a company of machine work in the field of optics including large and small cameras. Later since the work base was relocated to rural area and overseas, we advanced into the other precision equipment field such as motion stages. Our current core business involves in developing original and trial products which are regarded as difficult to mass-produce. We consider our clients' real intentions and produce products by making use of our experiences and technologies survived through the analog age. Our clients are often astounded by our workmanship when they see our trial product, saying "It's just what we requested or even more".
We produce original and trial products by taking advantage of our long accumulated experiences and technologies in precision work. Recently our original parts for motor cycles and cars sold on the Internet have become popular through word of mouth and we have received quite a few orders. We are confident in our technologies to meet any complicated requests of custom-orders.
Five companies have assembled to found limited liability partnership Solar JPT, in which our company is in charge of hardware, one company is in charge of electricity, one company is in charge of designing, and one commercial firm and one measurement firm are in charge of material procurement, and we have received funds for business. We came up with the initial idea when we asked victims of the Great Hanshin Earthquake what the biggest agony they had experienced in the incident. After hearing their answer "The biggest fear was not hunger or unsanitary surroundings, but darkness", I discussed with peers what we can do. That is where we ran into this AE-TOWER (it literally means "I found you" in Japanese). AE-TOWER is rechargeable by an installed solar power generator and lights up at night without a power source. Generally a solar panel for the solar power generator is flat, but the panel for this device is curved to wrap around the tower and set on a side vertically. A test shows that the efficiency of electric storage on a curved panel is of equivalent with the one on a flat panel. Also the vertical setting has solved the problem of sediment on the panel, which makes it possible to offer a 10-year maintenance-free device including the batteries. It does not only light up darkness or serve as a landmark but also recharge size D and AA batteries which often come in handy in the event of a disaster. It also gleams twice as bright as usual when it detects an earthquake of 5 or bigger on the Japanese scale. Furthermore, it has a small built-in radiation dosimeter and a built-in speaker installed so that it will be able to serve as a broadcasting tower. The grants have boosted the members' motivation, which resulted in product development as planned. There were times that we felt uncertain whether society demanded this product because it started from our daily conversation, but this adoption has encouraged us just like winning an endorsement.
When I am asked if Tokyo offers any added values in terms of running a business, I say "Nothing special" because we live in the Internet age. However, I think I have an advantage to obtain direct information in Tokyo where I have a number of occasions to meet and talk with our business partners and joint work peers and exhibition halls like Tokyo Big Sight are in the neighborhood. Looking with your own eyes and touching with your own hands give you information which you cannot receive from drawings or conversations. That is why we need direct information for manufacturing. Also I cannot overlook the point that the name AE-TOWER and its specifications were also born from conversations taken place between the peers. After all, working with congenial members you meet regularly creates an environment where new ideas pop up and makes it easier to overcome difficulties.
Address: 3-3-3 Yohga, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo