BreakThrough Interview

Now that risk is hard to take, it's time for a new partnershipSHINKO DENSHI Co., Ltd

<Series 2 (Total 2 series)>


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Products that SHINKO DENSHI Co., Ltd produces, such as the Shinko Force Sensor and the Shinko Softness Sensor ‘SOFTGRAM,’ are unique and meet the needs of the times. What is the secret to developing such a product? In Part 2, we will interview Mr. Toshihide Morii, President and CEO of ‘SOFTGRAM’ to find out how ‘SOFTGRAM’ was developed, as well as the key points of product development and the company's thoughts on collaboration.

Establishing a New Business Division to Awaken the DNA of our Manufacturing Group

The high market share of scales that use ‘tuning-fork force sensors’ was mentioned in the previous article. When we have a key item that is in demand from all over the world, our business base shifts to mass production and global delivery of that product.

“Likewise for our company, I felt that employees had a sense of pride for being a group of craftsmen who had created many of the world's first products. So in 2016, when I became president, I set up a new department to create useful items that solve the world's problems.”

Subsequent in-depth marketing research led us to the fact that there is a need in many industries to accurately measuresoftness. After overcoming a number of technical challenges, ‘SOFTGRAM,’ which took two and a half years to commercialize, was repeatedly faced with high obstacles during the development of its application.

“We have been involved in many joint research projects in the medical and health care fields, but they have not always led to the results we were hoping for. What's important, however, is what you take away from it. Our many challenges have led us to learn about the challenges and suitability of the product.”

The department set up to develop useful items for the world is made up of experts from various fields.

It's Important for Management to be Objective as a User

Developing a product that is demanded by society is not simply a matter of seeking the best in technology.

“Engineers would want to do their absolute best in their work, but that is not the case when you're a manager. If I knew the history of the development, I would be emotionally involved in the decision-making process, but my role is to make decisions and choices from as objective a standpoint as possible. In that case, I try not to just imagine a good outcome, but doubt it. Listen to different voices. If I feel that I'm losing my perspective, I try to take a step back and think about it.”

This objective perspective is also used in product development.

“Since I'm not an engineer, I can't give them technical advice. Instead, I try not to shy away from giving feedback from a flat perspective as a user”

We Want to Explore New Possibilities with New Partnerships

The company used to establish a number of groundbreaking technologies and products all on its own. However nowadays, we live in an era of open innovation and rapid technological innovation. President Morii also has a positive stance toward cooperation.

“Collaboration with external parties with excellent resources is now a standard business practice. I've also seen the benefits of developing our people by having them in contact with outside engineers.”

Joint development with a university's medical school is currently underway with the support of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government's medical-industrial collaboration coordinator in an effort to open up new applications for products, including in relation to disease testing. We are also looking at the food and cosmetics domains.

“A company's mission is to contribute to the world. My ideal is to build a group people consisting of employees, and their families who are proud of what the company is doing. If you think our company is “interesting,” we would love to hear from you. It's very hard to take risks right now, but we're looking forward to exploring new possibilities by forming new partnerships.”

Series Now that risk is hard to take, it's time for a new partnership

Series 1 The world's leading measurement and weighing technology company has realized the measurement of “softness.”
Series 2 Now that risk is hard to take, it's time for a new partnership

Company information


Toshihide Morii, President and Representative Director

Founded in 1963 as a manufacturer of differential transformers, a precision displacement measurement device. The company's precision scales and electronic balances equipped with the world's only "tuning-fork force sensor" technology are highly regarded. Later, the company became a member of ISHIDA CO., LTD., a scale manufacturer. In February 2019, the world's first tuning fork softness sensor, ‘SOFTGRAM,’ was launched.

Coverage date July 28, 2020

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