One-of-a-kind nano-technologies for mirror polishing, ultra precise processing and lapping. Used in the sample return capsule for Japan Aerospace eXploration Agency（JAXA）Hayabusa2 asteroid probe. Because the purpose of this capsule was for collecting samples from the asteroid only, the finish has to be totally clean, with no material derived from earth inside. Therefore the super precise mirror polishing has been instrumental. This technology is being used in basic experiments in labs of major firms and universities to keep the test material even when investigating properties specific to a substance such as hardness, intensity, or composition. The company's stance has been not to deny any request, challenging themselves to process even the most difficult of materials. They have experiences to process tantalum, tantalum, SiC, silicon and sapphire, just to name a few of the examples.
- One-of-a-kind company provides mirror polishing and ultra precise processing.
- The true value of ultra-precision process technology lies in realizing multiple precisions based on the mirror finish technique.
- Making it possible to manufacture their super fine product by nano-level processing control
- Doing the impossible leading to accumulation of diverse knowledge
- • The processing of Tantalum, known to be a challenging material for ultra precision machining;
- • Crystalline material in the field of semiconductors;
- • Silicon and sapphire processing, successfully manipulating their flatness, parallelism, and size and other properties through ultra precision machining.
- With IT development and strengthening of sales overseas, taking their unique technology to the world
The company has been highly recognized by receiving many awards. For example, they were chosen as one of the "300 Japan's Exciting Monozukuri (Manufacturing) SMEs." in 2007, and received "Award for Excellence in the Monodzukuri Nippon Grand Award" in 2010.
The technique is appreciated in space engineering field and it is adopted in the sample return capsule for Japan Aerospace eXploration Agency（JAXA）Hayabusa2 asteroid probe, that will be launched in 2014.
Because the purpose of this capsule is collecting samples from the asteroid only, the finish has to be totally clean, with no material derived from earth inside. Therefore the super precise mirror polishing offered by the company, which polishes the internal surface of the return capsule, and a uniform state, has been a big help.
The true value of TDC's technology lies not only in super precise mirror polishing, but utilizing its polishing techniques to realize precision within multiple ultra-precision fields. Each individual part that makes up the semiconductor manufacturing equipment has very precise specifications with very demanding tolerance levels measured in units of sub microns. Though it is very challenging to meet these demands (through an application of polishing techniques where a material is processed only a little at a time), very precise dimensional adjustments can be made. By using TDC's technology, adjustments can be made on the submicron level to the properties and shape the material based on the client's needs. This technology is being used in basic experiments in labs of major firms and universities. When investigating properties specific to a substance such as hardness, intensity, or composition, the test material needs to have an absolutely even amount of flatness and roughness on the surface. This is because proper results cannot be obtained if the material's surface flatness and roughness is uneven. To make such precise surface adjustments, controlling each material's surface condition and shape at a nano-level and achieving uniformity for each material requires a high level of technology. The technology of this company that is able to achieve the above is in demand in many fields, including fundamental research by major automobile manufacturers.
TDC has profession to processing materials with high requirement of dimension and other tolerance. They can put it in the tolerance of +/-0.1um at the dimensions and also can make parts 1um, 5um, 10um of the each size. One of their products is a super exact metal foil "iFoil" is metal foil, with roughness of outside diameter in single nano-level, rolled as 100m long tape. They can polish not only the plane, but also a curved surface, a spherical surface, and the inside and outside diameter, all while realizing the precision of sphericity 50nm, angle +/-3 second, parallelism 0.1um. These techniques have even more demand than mirror plane processing. The super precise processing to coordinate angle, sphericity, straightness, and roundness minutely, is used for semiconductor manufacturing equipment and other various parts manufacturing.
Since processing material could generate or inherent grinding heat, frictional heat, chemical change, deformation and stress, this company always considers those factors as obstacles in achieving desired precision. This is a reason why they can deliver their quality.
TDC rose to the top of the super precision machining industry namely by processing a wide variety of materials. Originally known as Tohoku Diecast Co., they specialized in making metal dies, and eventually entered the precise polishing industry. With "doing what other companies do not and cannot do" as their mantra, they started polishing a variety of materials from metals to ceramics based on their client's needs. From those days, the company's stance has been not to deny any request, challenging themselves to process difficult materials. Seeing potential in the company's ambitious work, it is said that there have been clients that made orders that were deemed “impossible to manufacture” by others in the field. By applying themselves fully and spending time with the seemingly impossible tasks, they accumulated new knowledge on materials, their abrasives and combining various processes. As a result the company obtained advanced technologies, leading to realizing surface roughness below Ra1nanometer for pure titanium. Other achievements include:
By not easily giving up on the requests of their clients, the company achieved a win-win relationship. They delivered the desired products and advanced their own company's technological capabilities at the same time.
The mindset of TDC is well shown in its response at the time of the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake. Although the company is located in the coastal area of Miyagi Prefecture, there was no damage from the tsunami or any human lives were not lost, and from a generalized standpoint damages were light. However, with subsidence under the buildings and fractures and gaps in their factory, there was no way to do precision processing. And although from the next day they were working toward the recovery of the factory, as a result of aftershocks occurring close to three weeks later, everything completely collapsed. Amongst the rumble, the whole company came together on a second recovery effort, and in spite of the effects of damage, right after the disaster in April, the company made its first steps toward recovery and resurgence, even going as far as to hiring two new people who had been heavily affected by the disaster along the coast.
The company's technical innovations have included IT development within the company; they have introduced a system that can grasp the situation of company plants no matter whether you are in Tokyo, Osaka or Miyagi. The original intent of this particular internal tech development was to make production processes efficient, but as a result, they became able to report all production developments to customers as they happen in real time. With this system, they received the "Small Company Management Prizes Judging Committee's Promotion Award" in 2009, for companies which put superb IT management into practice. It has been useful in information sharing between the company and customers as they work through hard issues. Also, in the great earthquake, the in-company servers went down and information sharing/issuing became impossible. After careful reevaluation, all in-house systems have now been moved to the cloud, which they believe is helping in their Business Continuity Plan (BCP).
As for overseas development, from 2008 the company has participated in exhibits in North America and Europe. It is responding to orders from various countries like the US, Canada, UK, Germany, Holland, France and Scandinavian countries. Of the eight sales representatives, six are well versed in English. They can do inquiries and deals over the phone and by email without any time lag.
Using their own technology, which is to be found nowhere else, the company has continued to provide business solutions in various areas domestically, and now plans to expand its market first to Europe, then the US, and finally to the rest of the world.
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