The following statement was made by the founder, Yasutoshi Hayashi.
In the late 1950s, our company’s main business was manufacturing cans (tanks for pressure vessels), and had difficulties every time we made a tank. It was because we used to purchase head plates from a supplier at that time, but the quality was bad, delivery schedules were unstable, and it was very expensive.
Revolution in manufacturing head plates
I couldn’t stand that situation and finally declared “we’ll manufacture head plates by ourselves!” to the employees without a detailed plan. Without budget or technique the company decided to make a head plate manufacturing machine, this first in the world. We spent 3 years completing the large double-action oil hydraulic press, called a “6000-ton press machine.”
As a result, processing time was reduced to 1/30 and productivity increased 30 times, compared to before. Because of using a mold for press processing, quality (roundness, shape, and size) became uniform, and we could promise our customers “delivery within 3 days of order” and “half the price of before.” This was even called a “revolution in head plate production.”
We also joined to work on JIS-standardization of head plates and after our suggested “proposal for head plate shape and size” was adopted, even major manufacturers with their own large press machines to manufacture head plates switched to purchasing our head plates.
Expanding our business with the 6000-ton press machine
6000-ton press machine
Because of development of this 6000-ton press machine, we proceeded and focused on merchandising standard head plates and became a major head plate manufacturer, with 60% of domestic market share, contributing to the development of industries. Today, almost a half-century after our production revolution, our bending process technology has reached its highest level, and other companies can’t compete with us.
One such technology was proved with our spherical head plate, made with a material very difficult to process, for fuel tanks loaded onto spacecraft. This challenge was introduced in NHK’s TV show “Project X, Challengers” (#112 Go to Halley’s Comet, a one-time challenge in 76 years) broadcast in 2003.
We cannot talk about our company’s history without the 6000-ton press machine. I have also walked with this machine and have a strong attachment to it.
6000-ton press machine, the key to success
At the end of 2007, the main cylinder of the 6000-ton press machine ruptured. The cause was metal fatigue after long years of use. In August of the following year, we were able to restart the machine after temporary repairs, but it took 3 years to make complete repairs. If we had performed careful, daily inspections of the machine, the damage could have been fixed at an early stage. We exhibit the ruptured cylinder at our company so that everyone can look at it and learn the lesson of how important daily inspection is.