Raw materials, like humans, all have their own unique features. Listening to their voice is also a part of the craftsman’s job.

The sign for the 3rd floor is made of 10 panels of acrylic which have been shaved down. They were then placed one on top of the other, like geographical layers, to form a small landscape.

The factory which created this piece is Nissin Electric, which specializes in resin-based adhesives and metal shaving. The factory is in a small residential area and could easily be mistaken for a regular home.

The company makes products that require detail and stability, such as manufacturing machinery and medical tweezer parts. Some of the items they make have been used in the space stations or in oil rigs in the Sahara desert. They support technological development around the world.

Here, we will take some time to look at a few examples of Nissin’s technical skill.

If you look at the 3rd floor sign, you will notice there are no bubbles within the layers. If it had been an amateur who had applied the resin adhesive, there would have been bubbles in between and the final product would have been ruined.

This factory was able to steer clear of these issues through skill alone.

There is also another point we would like to highlight: their shaving techniques.

The president of Nissin, Takayuki Okuyama, stated “when we are processing the materials, we listen to their voices.”

“When we are processing the resin, we enter the 3D data into a machine called the ‘CNC machine.’ We then proceed to shave it using a rotating edge tool. If the tool is rotating too quickly, it could damage or even melt the resin. When we are shaving it, the sound gets higher, I guess you could compare this to a shriek of sorts. By listening to this sound, you can tell if you are putting too much stress on the resin, and you adapt your speed to lessen the stress. That’s how you are able to do this successfully.”

When they were making this piece, there were many times when the resin began to “shriek,” and they had to adjust it. It took hours of work to finally complete it.

By the way, Okuyama also uses his listening skills for people as well. Small factories are, in a way, a part of the service industry. They listen to the demands of their customers, and make what they are asked to make. Nissin not only makes products that already exist, but they also take orders directly from customers, sometimes even acting as an agent in making products that don’t even have a blueprint to go off of. This kind of close relationship builds their reputation, and as a result, many people choose to become repeat customers.

Okuyama loves his job so much that when he sees resin products while he is out and about, he unknowingly begins to examine them. He also loves to talk and laugh. Maybe he is just someone who loves his job and people.

When people think of factory workers, they often get an image of someone who is stubborn and taciturn. However, the craftsman we have met, including Okuyama, were all humble and smiling.

Usually there is no interaction between the customers and the company in the actual factory, but if you go and pay a visit, you may have a different image afterwards.

Speaking of the factories, we haven’t been able to convey the atmosphere inside them yet. Their machinery is large and stately, but also simple and cool. Let’s continue this story in front of the 2nd floor sign.

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