BreakThrough Interview

Supporting Japanese Manufacturing Through Investigation & Solutions in Tandem With Customers For Issues Faced in the Manufacturing ProcessMTI.Network Inc.

2018.11.29

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  • One-stop support for every step of the manufacturing development and production process!
  • Customized design, prototypes & evaluation available.

MTI.Network Co., Ltd. began as a division of A-Kit Inc. (specializing in the growth of evaluation technology services and processing technology services), offering technology development support and OEM evaluation services. It split to form an independent company in 2017, providing one-stop design, prototypes and evaluation for the consideration and introduction of new technologies in manufacturing development and production processes. The record shows that MTI.Network started as a supporter of development and production processes in the manufacturing industry, but we took time to talk with President Nohara about his company’s business activities, its relationships with other companies, and the split that gave MTI.Network independence.

Splitting Up

MTI.Network began inside A-Kit Inc., performing roles including technology development support, tool jig design and production, and essential analysis, testing and measurement for parts and materials. Their jig tool catalog is massive, covering every manufacturing process from casting, processing, heat processing, plating, welding and painting to assembly and inspection. Of course, this also includes attachment and fixation devices, and specialized attachment and cutting devices for each category of tool.

President Nohara explained that MTI.Network decided to become independent because customers repeatedly expressed dissatisfaction with previous levels of product development support and parts evaluation requests.

The majority of complaints were about inefficiency. Companies that offered new methods and technologies were all operating independently without coordination. In order to begin consideration of introducing new methods and technologies, customers needed to get in touch with various suppliers directly. For example, processing machinery makers only offered processing tools and equipment makers only offered equipment sales. These companies seemed oblivious to the customer’s end-goals of reducing production time and improving quality. Every effort was burdened with wasted time and money.

Customers needed a partner that could fulfill their needs by managing every step of the process from design to evaluation. President Nohara decided to form a new company that would provide swift production timelines, improved product quality, ideal production steps and reduce costs.

One Stop Service @ MTI.Network

What exactly is a “one-stop” service? What does “from start to finish” imply from a customer’s perspective? We asked about some real case examples. Lack of technical knowledge is inevitable when approaching a new field or task, and many customers find they require outside help to achieve appropriate design and testing. MTI.Network listens to each customer’s goals and expectations to provide total support for equipment selection, design, prototyping, processing and evaluation. If any step of the process needs to be outsourced to an outside company, MTI.Network handles all of the selection, arrangement and management.

Covering a Wide Variety of Industries & Building a Flexible Support System For Development and Manufacturing Processes

In addition to manufacturing process support, MTI.Network also provides a dedicated and flexible accommodation of the customer’s circumstances and expectations. If a customer is considering purchasing new equipment, MTI.Network will select a maker that fulfills expectations and arrange everything. If a customer is desperately short on time to make prototypes and test models for design and evaluation, MTI.Network will take care of it. Customers can receive experienced advice about the manufacturing process to reduce development time and cover staffing shortages.

Manufacturing involves points for investigation across every possible step, from materials and shape to processing methods. It also involves an unbelievably wide possibilities in technology to consider. MTI.Network’s technology support system offers a living library of information from processing machine makers and equipment suppliers, supplemented by a team of technology advisors including major automobile parts supply development engineers, materials experts, and university professors.

Cooperative industry partners cover a wide range of specialties: tool jig design and manufacturing / metal, ceramic and resin processing / mold design and manufacturing for resin, stamping and rubber / prototype molding / prototype metal stamp processing / prototype rubber vulcanization molding / heat processing / surface treatment / wax and soldering / CAE analysis. Equipment supply includes a big network of partnerships for processing equipment, manufacturing equipment, and evaluation equipment.

Evaluation also involves many different types of machines. Analysis can involve electron microscopes, elemental analyzers, ion milling machines, optical microscopes, x-ray machines, CT scanners, giant bandsaws, fine cutting machines, polishing equipment or fume hoods. Testing may require tensile compression testers, impact testers, high-speed cameras, leak sensors, temperature and humidity chambers, heat chambers or data loggers. Measurement tools include coordinate measuring machines, surface texture analyzers, shape measurement equipment, laser scanners or tool microscopes. Meanwhile, MTI.Network continues to share engineers and equipment with A-Kit Inc.’s OEM evaluation division to allow flexible response for orders with short deadlines or high volume.

Equipment suppliers and processing machine makers will want to explore and introduce new technology, but it can be difficult to make the right decision on their own. MTI.Network’s biggest strength is the ability to offer a support system that covers every step and process from equipment selection to design, prototyping and evaluation.

(Left) Evaluation and processing area. (Right) Fiber laser cutter

Discovering New Fields Through Cooperation

Recent requests include an increasing demand for gasoline engine parts for automobiles, parts for new types of automobile motors, and other fuel cell technology. MTI.Network is also involved with fiber laser processing at the Laser Monozukuri Center, run by the Graduate School for the Creation of New Photonics Industries, to promote and support the use of lasers.

A new internal laboratory area is scheduled to open in March 2019, divided into a lab room and a rental room. The lab room will contain newly acquired processing machinery and other demo machinery to allow comparison and testing of a number of different processing technologies. The rental room will be available for customers to bring in their own machines to perform trials that can’t be completed with existing facilities. MTI.Network’s evaluation area is adjacent to the new lab, allowing for speedy evaluation of post-process samples to provide better feedback about processing methods and conditions.

President Nohara insists that his company’s mission is to support the manufacturing work of its customers. Plans are in progress to make every thought and wish a reality. MTI.Network wants to be a pillar of support for manufacturing in every field, from automobiles and household electronics to semiconductors and the aerospace industry.

Interview Date: September 27, 2018

company information

Our company has a proven track record of offering technology development support and contract evaluation services for 20 years at a predecessor concern, we have technical teams with technical consultants such as development engineers of original major automobile parts manufacturers and university faculty and can support a variety of equipment starting from selection and design to trial manufacture and evaluation of equipment that are difficult for equipment manufacturers to handle independently.

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