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Aderans Research & Development

Spin thread for Vital hair through meticulous technological innovation

Vital hair is manufactured as follows: combine two polymer materials, nylons (polyamides), pushing it out of a small hole, extend it while cooling it in the air. It is MusashinoKikai Co. Ltd. that designed and manufactured this machine for molding and processing.
The predecessor of MusashinoKikai was Musashino Kikai Design Office which had been engaged in planning and design of machines including manufacturing machines requested by each company. In 1989, Musashino Kikai Design Office merged with Musashino Kiko Co. Ltd. A group company which manufactured machines and changed its name as MusashinoKikai. As a result, the company established a coherent system consisting of planning, design, manufacture and sales as a machine manufacturer.

Engage in planning, design and manufacture in response to requests by different companies in the various fields.

What kinds of machines do you design?

Kazutaka Kato:This year marks the 53rd business year. The demand for plastics continues to grow in every field, which materialized reduction in size and weight and thin film. Consequently, packaging materials using a wide range of resin have been required. For example packaging materials containing moisture need to have the strength with which water will not leak. If light comes in dry cookies and biscuits, they will be oxidized. Thus, a special packaging material using a lightproof film by laminated aluminum foil film was requested. We started our business by planning and designing machines for producing such packaging materials.
Now, we are engaged in design through manufacturing in a variety of fields. Our flagship product includes liquid crystalrelated film equipment. Liquid crystal film is made by laminating multiple types of special films. Liquid crystal film also functions as a film through which light passes unidirectionally. It includes luminous film and polarized glasses. We design and manufacture equipment for producing such films for each company. In this regard, for LCD television of a decade ago, it was unable to see when viewed from the side. But now, it is able to see after making improvements. We were also involved in design and manufacturing of a machine for producing the special film. We were finally successful in manufacturing the machine in response to request by a company through trial and error.

You have also Laser Division. What machines do you produce?

Kato:We do not deal with large-sized machines which are commonly available on the market. We have achieved results in niche areas.
For tablets, letters or images on the tablet was engraved by pressing it with mold previously. One day, we received a request by a client who needed a machine for engraving tablets with a laser.
We designed and manufactured a machine for engraving letters or images on the surface of 30 -40 tablets per second. Parts engraved by a laser were designed by MusashinoKikai. Now, major tablets manufacturers in Japan have been increasingly employing this laser engraving machine.To tell you the truth, in case of engraving tablets by mold, the percent defective was 5%, which was a great loss. Thanks to our laser system, we hear that the percent defective decreased to 0.5%.

Devoted meticulous technology to suit the features of Vital

You also have an ozone generator and other machines. I am really surprised to see you have a wide range of abilities for planning and designing.Then, I would like to ask Mr. Takimoto about MS Business Division.

Naoyuki Takimoto:MS Business Division takes charge of designing and manufacturing machines including spinning machine for making a variety of threads, raw materials of which are petroleum oil, kneading and extruding machines.

A machine for artificial hair requested by Aderans or other companies is not used for mass production. For example, do you have an opportunity of designing one machine?

Kato:Of course, we do. However, although this may be only my policy, our goal is to make our clients do well with the machine we designed and receive another order from the client (laughing).

When did you start to design a machine for artificial hair of Aderans?

Takimoto:We have been dealing with Aderans for 30 years. We struggled against development of the machine repeating trial and error and have visited the company’s Research Center in Niigata. So, it took around 4 - 5 years to be successful in developing a machine. Initially, it did not pay (laughing). The first machine we delivered to Aderans was extruder for Cyberhair.

Cyberhair was made commercially available in 1989. After that, did you take a leadership in the design of a machine for Vital hair?

Takimoto:Yes I do. I visited and consulted Professor Takeshi Kikutani of Tokyo Institute of Technology who is renowned for the structure and property in the molding of polymer materials in order to boost our technical skills with our Development Head. We asked Professor Kikutani to come to our factory for testing in Yamato and to inspect the machine for making Vital hair.

Molding machine for Vital hair (Aderans Laboratory for Human Hair in Niiza)

I guess you had difficulty with temperature control and so on for Vital hair?

Takimoto:Yes, that’s true, because temperature control is very important for Vital hair. For example, when we visited a factory to see the machine, they stopped the machine and all of us wore a mask. They were very sensitive to the temperature because we needed to check where the problem related to temperature lay in the manufacturing line.

What is difference between a machine for making Vital hair and that for Cyberhair?

Takimoto:Vital hair is composed of inside core and shaft surrounding the core. Kato The structure of Vital hair is the same as optical fiber which includes a core surrounded by a shaft as a protective layer. We also design and manufacture a machine for producing optic fibers with dual structure.
Kato:The structure of Vital hair is the same as optical ber which includes a core surrounded by a shaft as a protective layer. We also design and manufacture a machine for producing optic bers with dual structure.
Masatoshi Seki (Aderans):The structure of a thread called as core and shaft was already published in the academic journal and at the scientific meeting several decades ago. It has been already put into practical use. As for the machine, we need to change every method including machine control and extrusion depending on intended purpose or materials.
Kato:As there are a wide variety of resins, you need a variety of knowledge including resin accumulation. For example, if resins accumulate in an unexpected place, they may deteriorate.
Seki:When a core corresponding to “bean paste” has set, the machine covers the bean paste with a film corresponding to “thin wrapping of dough”. Then, the machine extrudes them together in a state in which a core “bean pastes” has melted.
Takimoto:In addition, it needs to extrude them in the same width and uniformly.
Seki:It is an actually excellent technology. Every method varies depending on intended purpose or materials. You need to tell exactly a design company about your request. For example, “We want to use this resin and mold it into the form of this”. For making a new machine, there is a series of steps: you need to have the design company to make a machine based on your request and repeat testing and make improvements.
Takimoto:Hair is thin. So, even If a core moves over a little, it may sometimes get frizzy under sunlight.

Vital hair has a wide variety of colors. Do you have several machines for Vital hair?

Seki:No, we do not. It is very difficult to uniform each and every strand of hair . The volume of artificial hair used for a wig is very small. Thus, if you make a large amount of artificial hair, it is of no use. We produce artificial hair with several hundred different colors by one machine and also make artificial frizzy hair by the same machine. The machine can do by changing the material ratio and by adjusting conditions to suit necessary artificial hair.

You seem to develop new artificial hair following Vital hair.

Seki:For developing new artificial hair following Cyberhair and Vital hair, we are now in the process of improving a machine. We have discussion with MusashinoKikai and in fact changed a head in last year.

How long does it take to remodel a machine?

Kato:It is not different in case of starting planning and design from scratch. As for a machine for Aderans, we have experiences and skills accumulated over a long period of time. So, I think that it will take 4 or 5 months to remodel it. In case of full machine remodeling, it will take three to four years. However, as we have experiences and basic data, we will not require much time to arrange and remodel it.

Create special machines in niche areas

You have an abundance of know- how and technical skills in planning and design of industrial machinery. I imagine that you receive requests from major textile companies.

Kato:The design and manufacturing of a machine for mass production such as a machine for making nylon for a major company does not suit us. Because in that case, we need to reduce the price of ma- chine and sell them as much as possible. Our policy is to attain the ultimate in special skill in the niche world. We have now 140 employees. Of all, around 40 persons are engineers.
I want to blow a new wind towards soci- ety by designing a new machine despite a select few.

Interviewer/writer: Akiyoshi Sato Photographer: Kuninobu Akutsu

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