President Hiroyuki Takeuchi (left) and director Hiroki Moriwaki (right), Kadomi Optical Industry
Japan has led global optical industries. Kadomi Optical Industry is the one establishing its unique presence in Japan as a manufacturer of optical components used in precision equipment such as medical devices and analyzers. After focusing on industrial equipment, it is now expanding its sphere to new fields since 2015. We interviewed about the efforts President Hiroyuki Takeuchi and director Hiroki Moriwaki, a design project leader.
Kadomi Optical Industry’s series of high precision products
Kadomi Optical Industry was founded in Hino City in July 1997 by Chairman michio Kato, and has since manufactured and marketed optical glass components. The current President Takeuchi succeeded the company in July 2014.
“Representative products include optical cells, fly eye lenses, polarizing elements and flat substrates. Optical cells are used for inspections in biology, medical and pharmacy areas at makers of medical devices and analyzers, universities/laboratories and others. A fly eye lens is a special lens arrayed with single lenses vertically and horizontally, employed in semiconductor photolithography devices,” Takeuchi explains.
Kadomi Optical Industry has been highly appreciated due to its proprietary technologies.
“For example, we bond glass by a micrometer (a millionth of a meter) with no air bubbles, particles or dusts creeping into the gap. But we use no adhesives. Precisely polished quarts, or glass materials, have a physical nature of sticking each other by heat without adhesives. We are supplying a variety of products using this technology to customers. Also, we have materialized high precision machine processing in hole diameters, dimensional tolerances and chipping, which are highly evaluated by customers,” says Takeuchi.
Pray Article Series. The left is “a memento box” and the right is a pray article set (consisting of a memento box, a spectroscopic frame and their seat). (Taken by Hidehiko Miura)
Kadomi Optical Industry added another genre in 2015 to its business sphere. The products are the “Pray Article Series” which won the top prize of FY2014 Tokyo Business Design Award, which was the third event of the Award.
The Award is a design/business idea competition aiming to promote collaborations among manufacturers and designers located in Tokyo. We found business potentials in ‘products inducing spiritual life’, an idea suggested by a company, Cloud Design, and started to co-work with it from February 2015,” Takeuchi says.
Thus developed were the Pray Article Series branded as FROM NOWHERE. The series consist of two components: “a memento box” containing ashes and/or mementos and “a spectroscopic frame”, a vacant frame where one’s thoughts are projected, each of which is unique product utilizing quality materials and optical effects materialized only by optical glass. They would be more likely viewed as crafts or arts.
“These were our first products other than industrial equipment, allowing us to extend from B-to-B toward B-to-C sphere. Thanks to the Award for Pray Article Series, we were able to exhibit them at January 2016 MAISON&OBJET PARIS backed by JETRO (Japan Export Trade Research Organization), an event which has further incentivized our people,” says Moriwaki.
At the end, we asked about advantages of locating in Tokyo.
“Firstly, public supports are plentiful and their unique nature helps our operations. Typical is the Tokyo Business Design Award which I believe has brought a big advantage. In addition, there are a plenty of opportunities we can get new knowledge and stimulus at many exhibitions and seminars held here. These are easily accessible thanks to convenience in terms of both distance and time and help broaden interaction with people. As long as Hino is concerned, I think it is a suitable place for manufacturing because nature remains reasonably well despite in Tokyo, which helps refresh us. Another attraction is its traffic convenience not only of public transportation but of easier north-south driving thanks to the opening of the Metropolitan Inter‐City Expressway,” says Takeuchi.
President Takeuchi also stresses people are talented and abundant as well.
“Many talented people have joined us as most of them naturally want to work in Tokyo which offers rich environments for manufacturing. Talented people enhance potentials of manufacturing and help companies thrive and survive,” says Takeuchi.
The year 2016 should be leading to a big jump of Kadomi Optical Industry which extends to daily-use products in addition to its industrial equipment which has already been highly regarded.
Twenty five of total 32 employees work at Monozukuri (manufacturing) sites. The average age is young at mid-30s. The company is aiming to grow employees so that they can not only work at one section but as cross-trained workers for multiple works.