Sanko Hamono’s Strengths (Interview with Mr. Racoon)

Sanko Hamono has been specializing in the manufacture of industrial cutters for over 30 years.
I wonder what the company Sanko Hamono produces…
Cutters. Does this mean they make cutlery and knives?
I really don’t know so I’ll think I will ask President Morishima directly.


Mr. Racoon

Mr. Racoon:Hello.

President Morishima: Good day to you, too!

Mr. Racoon:You’re quite young for a President, aren’t you.

President Morishima:I was appointed President in September, 2010.

Mr. Racoon: Young and energetic, aren’t you. What exactly are “industrial cutters?”

President Morishima:Something like this.


Cutter before wire cutting

Mr. Racoon:Wow, that’s a big cutter!

President Morishima:Most people in general aren’t familiar with these, you know.

Mr. Racoon:But, you can seen them at Kahma and other DIY stores.

President Morishima:You’ve most probably seen these in the DIY corner. The cutters we make and those sold at DIY stores are basically pretty much the same, but…

Mr. Racoon:But?

President Morishima:Nonetheless, the cutters used by companies are often special ones.
And, ready-made standard products often are not sufficient for the intended application.

Mr. Racoon:What do you mean?

President Morishima:Well, ready-made standard products are mass-produced and the cost of the raw materials itself can be kept down. So, they become deformed because of their lower strength, or their cutting edges are of poor quality and have to be constantly replaced.

Mr. Racoon:Oh, I see. You get what you pay for.

President Morishima:Not all of them are like that, but it’s the same old story.
This is why lots of customers come to us to discuss the tools they need.
In lots of cases, they tell us they’ve been using ready-made standard products so far but their own products cannot be finished as intended. And, the finish of their own products varies, for example, by a slight variation in angle.
That is, let’s assume that you’re asked to cut 10 mm. It’s difficult to cut all products to exactly 10 mm. That variance is called “tolerance,” and is strictly checked by our customers’ customers.

Mr. Racoon: OK, so this is quite different from when Sunday carpenter dads build a dog kennel.

President Morishima:That’s right. Our customers get their customers to buy their products, so no half measures are allowed, you know.

Mr. Racoon:Yes, that would certainly cause accidents and lead to complaints, which would be a big problem.

President Morishima:Exactly. Our group of cutting tool professionals is here to prevent that.

Mr. Racoon:Well then, please show me how this group of professionals works.

President Morishima:OK. I’ll explain things to you step by step at the factory. So, come along with me.

Mr. Racoon: I’m looking forward to this!

President Morishima:This is the very first step – the raw material stock is cut.


Cutting stock material

Mr. Racoon:Wow! Iron as thick as this can be cut into pieces.



President Morishima:Here, we are drilling a hole into the iron that we cut to the specified length.

Mr. Racoon:You can do that on such a big machine as this!


Machining on a lathe

President Morishima:Here, the iron is being machined on a lathe. This is to make the stock material that we cut earlier on flatter.

Mr. Racoon:Amazing!


Cutter metal base

President Morishima:Here’s the finished cutter metal base.

Mr. Racoon: It’s still completely round, isn’t it.

Mr. Racoon:Now, this one’s got a funny shape.

President Morishima:This is a cutting tool for ○○. There are still many processes to go through before it becomes the finished product.


Cutting tool before wire cutting

Mr. Racoon:Now, the cutter is immersed in water.

President Morishima:This machine is called a “machining center.” It runs under computer control to machine workpieces that are difficult to machine by hand.


Wire cutting


After wire cutting

President Morishima:Notice that the cutter is intricately machined on its inside. The machining center does all this for you.


Roughing, deburring

President Morishima:This here is roughing to remove any burrs.


The workplace must be kept neat and tidy.

Mr. Racoon:Everything’s neatly arranged. 。

President Morishima:Things must be neatly and properly kept in order so that they can be retrieved whenever they are needed. There are many types of blade edges. So, making a mistake with these would cause problems.



President Morishima:Here, we’re attaching the blades.
Besides attaching blades on new products we can replace the blades of cutters originally made by us or other manufacturers.


Cutting tool

President Morishima:This tool is almost completed. All it needs is finishing.

Mr. Racoon:This is a long process, isn’t it.


Cutting tool

Mr. Racoon:Here it is, all nicely finished.


Finishing the cutting tool

President Morishima:No, not quite finished yet. There is still machining on the final finishing machine.


Quality check

Mr. Racoon:I don’t know why, but there’s something mysterious about this machine.

President Morishima:This machine is for inspecting quality.


Inspection machine

President Morishima:Before cutting tools are delivered to customers, they must undergo strict checking.
Because good quality is our selling point.

Mr. Racoon: I see. You make sure that absolutely everything is OK.

President Morishima:That’s right. Let me show you our latest machine.

Mr. Racoon:Your latest machine? Yes, please do.


Cylindrical iron bar

President Morishima:OK, we’ve got this cylindrical bar material. We’re going to machine it into a drill shape.

Mr. Racoon:So, this is going to be a drill?

3D CADシミュレーション

3D CAD simulation

President Morishima:Take a look at this. This software reads the design drawing and simulates how it is going to be machined.

Mr. Racoon: You can do such as thing?

President Morishima:Yes, we can on our very latest equipment. You can simulate prototypes to fairly high precision without having to make one.

Mr. Racoon:Such are modern conveniences!

President Morishima: It’s a good-looking machine, right? We got it installed in December, 2010. The very latest of its kind. Hook up this machine to the software I showed you earlier, and you can actually machine the cutting tool that was simulated in the software.

Mr. Racoon:That’s amazing!




New tool grinder (ANCA)

Mr. Racoon: I can’t exactly see what’s going, but it looks like it’s doing everything automatically.


Machining on ANCA tool grinder

President Morishima:This machine is pretty much one of a kind.


Cylindrical iron bar is machined into a drill!

Mr. Racoon: It’s already finished.

President Morishima:Not, not quite. We can’t send it out of the factory as a finished product until it’s been inspected. This is the machine that will do this for us.


ZOLLER inspection machine

Mr. Racoon:Yet another new machine!


Inspection in progress on ZOLLER inspection machine

President Morishima:The cutting tool is loaded here, and the machine accurately measures any dimensional errors according to the program in memory.

Mr. Racoon:The screen’s moving.


On-screen check

President Morishima:The computer works in unison with a miniature camera and tells you if there are any dimensional errors.

Mr. Racoon:Wow, another great machine!


Inspection in progress to see if the finished product is according to the design drawing

President Morishima:I’ve tried to explain everything to you briefly. You should now have an idea of all the processes that go into making a top-quality Sanko Hamono cutting tool.

Mr. Racoon: Amazing! So this is what goes on at the factory.
I’ve learned a lot today. Thank you so much!