Today, China and other Asian countries are rapidly gaining know-how in manufacturing. Hence the role of Japan, which has led the rest of the world in manufacturing, is going to change significantly.
Technology transfer is speeding up and enhanced information technology is helping those countries to access the latest technology. It is inevitable that every manufacturer will be exposed to global competition, the pressure to cut down on costs will increase, and many labor-intensive industries will find new homes in countries where labor costs are significantly lower.

On the other hand, however, the number of companies involved in manufacturing is growing throughout the world. Shinko Seiki has been working closely with many advanced machinery and materials suppliers internationally as a supplier of manufacturing equipment and components utilizing its unique "vacuum technology", This is the key technology supporting many cutting-edge companies in the semi-conductor and precision electronic component industries.
In other words, our manufacturing equipment and components have helped those customers to reduce their costs, improve their product quality, and add extra value to their businesses.
Advanced Manufacturing with Higher Values
The field of production engineering is an area where precision and efficiency could continue to improve if we keep on investing in R&D activities. For that to happen, we must ensure that the know-how and expertise is to be passed on to younger generations and further enhanced. Everybody at Shinko Seiki should be aggressive in improving his/her skills, acquiring knowledge, and adapting to ever-changing, diverse technologies.
Whether in Japan or overseas, no manufacturer can survive the competition unless it continues to work hard to enhance its expertise and product quality while reducing costs. One must know that, for any company in an advanced industry, today's circumstances make it difficult to continue these efforts without outside help.
In our day to day operations, technologies are enhanced and ideas are implemented by individuals as policy.
Coordinating individuals' efforts in manufacturing and development, while ensuring each individual will passionately play his/her role and acquire new skills and knowledge, cannot be accomplished without the broadness and depth of related technologies, in addition to the latest technology. In this sense, we still have a competitive edge and it is clear what must be done.
An Engineering Oriented Company, Always Needed
Even in "vacuum technology", one of the core technologies of our business, we find an increased number of imported products for relatively simple vacuum pumps due to the low manufacturing cost in some countries. This being said, our products still have overwhelming advantages in terms of durability, operational stability, and manufacturing precision.
We do not simply sell vacuum pumps. Our customers need our experiences and multi-faceted expertise to utilize our pumps in their manufacturing equipment, and improve the quality and reduce the cost of products manufactured with those devices. Thus it is safe to say that our role will not diminish, but that it is more likely that the company will hold a unique position in the industry for the services we provide.
Shinko Seiki is determined to hold our position as a company that can meet high requirements from our customers in the development of new, up-to-date technologies utilizing "vacuum technology".
Man Creates Technology
It is the philosophy of Shinko Seiki that all employees, regardless of their specialties and affiliations, collaborate and share their goals by sustaining their enthusiasm for manufacturing and understanding the significance of our technologies in society.
For example, my background is in humanities and I have worked in sales ever since I joined the company.
Since Shinko Seiki is an engineering oriented company, no salesperson can do his work unless he can communicate with customers in engineering terms. For this reason, I needed to work hard everyday to acquire knowledge in technical terminology.
It is not as simple as it sounds but, looking back, I think I was very fortunate to be in that kind of situation. Although it applies to many different jobs, one cannot gain confidence in other people unless he/she grows up by improving his/her skills through the job.
The phrase "engineering oriented" may sound ambiguous, but what it takes to become a truly engineering oriented company is an ability to communicate with, propose solutions to, and support customers.
Many of our customers use our products in their plants and, if the plants operate around the clock, our products also keep on working throughout the day.
It is possible that machines sometimes fail and we must respond to such problems immediately. However, it is practically impossible to visit a remote site in the middle of the night and thus the initial response has to be made by a person in change of the production in the customer's plant.
Whether or not we have a good relationship with the customer makes a big difference in such a situation. If the salesperson in charge has won the confidence of the customer and people in various departments of our company with good communication and quick actions, then it will not be difficult to deal with the situation by coordinating the customer and our engineers. Such an ability of a salesperson is also an important element supporting Shinko Seiki's operation as an engineering oriented company.
In order to achieve a higher goal, it is necessary for engineers and salespersons to work closely to form a powerful team with the customer.
The Future has No limit
I am convinced that the ability to conceive and spread new ideas will be critical for the future of Shinko Seiki.
There is a broad area of application for "vacuum technology" including new technologies that are yet to be developed. A thermos is a good example of using vacuum. By creating a vacuum space separated by two glass layers, we can improve heat insulation, thereby increasing the thermal efficiency. It will also help the cause of environmental preservation. The work "vacuum" also reminds us of outer space. "Vacuum technology" is used in space development programs to test heat insulation and the fuel tanks of rockets and to create experimental environments. Closer to home, the final process in a plasma TV production line uses our "vacuum technology", as well as other technologies to control conveyers and temperature. Other applications of "vacuum technology" include bio-technology, fuel cells, and solar cells.
"Vacuum technology" is also critical in plating and coating materials as indicated by the term "vacuum plating".
Coating automobile engine parts with diamond-like carbon will change the parts hardness and smoothness to improve fuel efficiency. Non-clouding glasses and window panes that do not require cleaning are produced by coating special materials on glass panels. These are just a few examples of using "vacuum technology" to enhance the performance or change the properties of materials.
"Optics" is another key technology for the company's business. Optics applied measuring devices are used in the production of dies for hybrid automobile parts, which demand the highest manufacturing precision possible, inspection of contact lenses, and production of medical devices such as those used for testing field of vision.
Developing new manufacturing equipment and expanding the business into the medical field, which is rather new to the company, requires imagination and new ideas. Since we are planning to undertake new projects spanning diverse application fields, it is necessary to coordinate our efforts with various specialists in each field in order to develop new materials and devices. If such undertakings will yield solutions for energy or environmental issues, or cure diseases and save lives, it would be great.
To coordinate such an effort, first we will need to implement a communication infrastructure for broadcasting the information we have and interacting with a number of people. At the same time, we need to have flexible imagination to come up with new ideas and an ability to implement such ideas.
Into the Uncharted World
For Shinko Seiki to be regarded as No.1, the only specialist, or the favorite choice in the field by customers throughout the world, we must continue to pass down our expertise and build on it by using enthusiastic development activities.
There are still a lot of things to be done in the world. We will do whatever it takes to achieve our goals °ń stream-lining the organization, hiring and training personnel, or even public offering of the company's stock.
Shinko Seiki is ready to take on new challenges, no matter how hard they are, to satisfy our customer°«s needs.


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