A never-give-up attitude brings success.
Prologue Preparation Anticipation Launch Challenge Breakthrough Expansion Growth To the World New Challenges
"Palm Fit" Development Project
Showa Glove Co. has always responded to end-users needs with creative Research and Development. Our "Palm Fit" glove, for example, was developed after careful study of the Japanese high tech industry. This glove has quickly become an indispensable product in this market and is an integral part of the innovative history of Showa Glove Co. The "Palm Fit" glove is now the gold standard for gloves in this market, with growing worldwide popularity and rapidly increasing demand. Recognized for its quality and functionality, it has become a major strategic product in Showa's growth and profitability. This is the story of two engineers and the barriers they overcame to develop this revolutionary technology.
・サ 1 ・スPrologue - Breakthrough ・サ 2 ・スExpansion - New Challenge
October 1980・サPrologue・ス
PVC disposable gloves were brought
back through an industrial visit to Silicon Valley.
The current President, Mr.Yasunori Miura, was Chief of the Management Department at the time and also in charge of product development. He visited Silicon Valley in California to study the manufacturing processes in semiconductor factories. It was there he discovered disposable PVC gloves which he brought back to Japan. This was the prologue for a comprehensive study on gloves for the high tech industry.
Terukazu Fujihana
January 1985・サPreparation・ス
Mr.Fujihana started developing gloves with low
linting characteristics in response
to end-users' requests.
Mr.Yoshiaki Tanaka (currently Showa's Vice President), took over Mr.Miura's work, collecting information and glove samples from semiconductor factories. There was a great need for ultra clean gloves that were comfortable for all day use. Thus, Mr.Fujihana began developing "Fit" glove, with low linting characteristics and excellent comfort. From there, requests for increased grip and durability led to the introduction of the "Top Fit" glove, which have an anti-slip polyurethane coating on the fingertips.
Fujihana's memories of that period!?
We started the development saying, "This project is interesting. Let's get started right away."There are many parts and processes sensitive to dust particles at semiconductor factories. Therefore, a new fiber material called wooly nylon was chosen because of its low-linting characteristics. However, this fiber is difficult to handle, causing a high defect rate at the very first stage of trials. After patient trials, the defect rate gradually dropped.
Retrospectively speaking, this knitting technique of weaving has paved the way to the development of "Palm Fit" glove. It may sound like a reckless attempt from a different perspective. But I'm sure that the most important of all in developing products is to keep trying without giving up easily when facing difficulties. This never-give-up attitude will sometimes bring about a breakthrough.
July 1985・サAnticipation・ス
"Fit" glove and "Top Fit" glove had been
successfully developed. Full fledged sales
activities started.
"Fit" glove and "Top Fit" glove had been successfully developed. Full fledged sales activities started. Since traditional sales distribution had not been established, new sales methods were employed, targeting end-users who showed interest at trade fairs.
Fujihana's memories of that period!?
The sales department would now develop a completely new market. The sales department would now develop a completely new market. This hot selling product was the result of combining years of painstaking market research with creative innovation in manufacturing technologies.
May 1986・サLaunch・ス
Showa launches "Palm Fit" glove to meet end-users ever changing needs.
After more research into applying polyurethane resin coating to the entire palm of the glove, Showa develops the "Palm Fit" glove. This glove became even more popular than fingertip coated gloves as the "Palm Fit" glove increased durability and grip.
Fujihana's memories of that period!?
"Palm Fit" glove was the product of combining the engineers creativity and the sales department's response to the intensifying market demand. In this sense the "Palm Fit" glove was a great accomplishment for us.
August 1987・サChallenge・ス
Big challenges remained
-how to ensure air permeability and flexibility.
The development process was a difficult one. Coating the entire palm increased workability, but sacrificed the permeability and breathability that end-users had grown to covet. The challenge became how to combine these new features and still retain permeability.
Fujihana's memories of that period!?
We learned that a membrane with softness like a sponge and air permeability could be created by specially processing polyurethane resin.My experience with studying polyurethane was of great help, for I had dealt with it at the request of the late Mr.Tanaka,Chairman (the then President) soon after joining this company.
December 1988・サBreakthrough・ス
Perseverance is rewarded.
Long sought " Palm Fit" glove.
introduced after
2 year development plan.
・サ 1 ・スPrologue - Breakthrough ・サ 2 ・スExpansion - New Challenge
Fujihana's memories of that period!?
In the process of development, "luck" was on our side several times. However, it was not a mere creature of chance. The good luck was brought to us only by exploring every possibility and through a number of trial and error processes. Therefore, we have to keep an eye on what is happening in front of us, and face it with all our curiosity saying, "What creates this phenomenon?" or "This can be utilized for our project." We can't wait for good opportunities to come, but we have to grasp them.
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