Workplace Culture at ISOWA

It was almost 5 years ago when a grad student from Tokyo first visited us.

She was studying organizational development, and she got so interested in us that she’s been visiting for research every several months ever since.

Her research is normally conducted through an interview with our members.

For today’s session, we had Mt. T of Accounting tell his story at ISOWA.

And it was truly mind-blowing!

He started with a story from high school,
“The best team I’ve ever been a part of was a football team at high school.”

“We were good friends and had a firm trust relationship with one another, but that doesn’t mean we were kind to each other all the time.

Actually, it was the opposite. We were never easy on mistakes teammates make. There was always a certain degree of intensity that often caused conflicts. Yet, we believed in each other.

That culture is what I liked the most about the team.
And I chose ISOWA because I felt there was similar workplace culture here.”

When he started working two years ago, he realized the relationships were good but his accounting team could still collaborate better both internally and externally.

I’m not going into the further details here, but he said to the world that he was going to be the one who will be making a change necessary for the better.

All this came from a guy who everyone else thought was quiet and shy!
It was definitely the best story telling of ISOWA’s history.

Team culture of Accounting may sound irrelevant to customers out there.

But I do believe the dots will somehow connect.
That’s what fostering better workplace culture is all about!


Seasonal Tradition at ISOWA

Beginning of May is one of the biggest holiday seasons in Japan called “Golden Week”.

As you may know, many of our employees don’t get to actually take time off for national holidays, because we have to use that time to install machines while operation stops at customer plants.

In fact, 146 of us were assigned for 12 installations this Golden Week.

But, this year’s Golden Week was a little different.

This year the holidays were extended even longer to 10 straight days due to the imperial succession.

Some of the machines don’t need that much time to be installed, so installation staff could spend half of the holidays with their families.

After some relaxing time for everyone, all the installations were completed safely and successfully.

Our employees and their families get to have a good time together.
And happy employees do a great job and make customers happy.

This is how thing are supposed to be.
That’s what ISOWA’s credo “Work for the happiness of our beloved families” is all about.

I wish one day every holiday season would be just like this for us!


Falcon Takes Off Half The World Away

Another “Falcon”, ISOWA’s Flexo Folder Gluer, started running in Brazil. (Literally half the world away from where it was manufactured!)

I got a report from Mr. O of Export Department, where I found customer feedback that made me really happy.

“We’ve had so many installations with various machine suppliers in the history but this is the smoothest one ever. Trainers have never been this dedicated. Overall, we’re really satisfied with the job you’ve done.”

According to the report, they hit the productivity target they set before the installation two weeks into the commercial run, and then decided to raise the target by 25%.

We will provide the continuous support to help them achieve and stay above the new target as long as possible.

Thank you to all involved in the installation!


From Half A Day To 5 Minutes

It was a pre-shipment inspection day.
We had a customer over who purchased our Flexo Folder Gluer “Falcon”.


    (Tapes are for protection just in case you are thinking it looks sloppy..)

We ran 4 orders designated by the customer beforehand.

One of them is the one that the guy in the middle is holding.

It’s an A flute box with a depth of almost 25 inches and a huge imbalance between each panel width.
What makes this one even harder is its heavy basis weight, which means papers are very hard.

It’s an extremely tough box to make in terms of both dimensions and ingredients.

How well can Falcon deal with this tough box?

We ran it at 100pcs per minute which is actually less than 1/3 of the maximum speed.

1/3 of the maximum speed. It doesn’t sound good, does it?

Yet the customer was extremely happy about that.

How is that possible?

It’s possible when they are currently spending literally HALF A DAY making 500 cases of this order to make sure the folding accuracy meets the end-customer’s requirement.

With the Falcon, it’ll be done in 5 minutes, not to mention the quality is perfect!

The Falcon is equipped with our patented device called “Edge Opener” that skyrockets the folding accuracy especially with deep boxes like this one.

Aren’t you having trouble achieving the targeted quality with deep boxes?
If it sounds familiar, let us help you!


What Color Is Our Belief?

Since our recruitment website is getting a little old, we have been discussing its renewal.

As we discussed, we started to think that we should replace not just the recruitment website but the whole corporate website.

Around the same time, I happened to read a book about the brand design strategy of Mazda, a Japanese automaker.

It explains how they are paying so much attention to every tiny detail of their product design to reinvent its brand image.

After reading it, I wanted to do the same with ISOWA. And the website renewal is a perfect place to start.

I immediately talked to a color-coordinator that I knew, and she said she’d help.

A few days later, the first question she posed was, “What color do you think ISOWA’s corporate belief is?”

To be honest, I couldn’t answer, because I’d never thought about that.
But it got me thinking.

We got a corporate color which is purple-blue. But what does that color stand for?
Does it really represent our belief?

Well I don’t think it does.

Why not? Because when we decided on the corporate color a long time ago, we didn’t even have the belief that we have now.

Then what did the color really represent?

It represents ISOWA as just a machine manufacturer.

It was supposed to display our reliability and accountability, and our products’ robustness and stability.  

We’re still a machine manufacturer, and that has always been an important aspect of us, but, over the course of more than 15 years of corporate cultural reform, who we are deep inside and why we do what we do obviously changed.

Each member of ISOWA tries to achieve happiness of their beloved families through providing happiness to customers, that’s the core part of our belief.

That brings us to the original question.
What color best depicts us as a machine manufacturer with the firm belief?

The discussion has just started.
I really look forward to seeing where this project goes!


New Year’s Resolutions

The New Year has begun.

Even during the New Year’s Holidays, more than a hundred ISOWA members were working for machine installations inside and outside of Japan.

ISOWA wouldn’t be existing without their dedication and hard work.

At ISOWA, “Best Nengajo Award” has become a tradition where I pick the best ones from all that I receive from ISOWA members.

*Nengajo is a Japanese traditional New Year’s greeting card.

The one above is from Mr.A from Export Department.

Wild boar paper craft with the message saying,
“I would like to think of my shortfalls in skills as more room for growth.”

I love the way he thinks!

Mr. S from Engineering.

“I’ll lead my team so each member can work more vigorously and shine brighter.”

Such a powerful message from Mr.S who’s usually not so good with words!

Lastly, on the right is Mr.T who recently got transferred to ISOWA HOOPER, one of the ISOWA’s subsidiaries.

“I’m glad you gave me this opportunity.”
This is exactly what personnel changes should be all about!

On the left is Mr.N from Sales.
“I’m determined to reorganize the sales team. I’ll make changes inside myself for a better team.”

ISOWA is off to a good start with the firm resolutions!


Open House 2018

We had an annual open house event last week.
170 customers visited this year.

For those who missed it, I’d like to introduce our latest developments here.

We had 2 main themes this year.

One is “Soliution”.

It’s not a typo. “Soli” means warp in Japanese.

“Soliution” is our solution to warp, the long-held issue that the corrugating industry has been facing.

And it’s a combination of our latest model singlefacer “CF60” and a machine called “the WaterDeck” that makes the “Soliution” possible.

The WaterDeck is originally manufactured by Kohler Coating, Inc. headquartered in Ohio, U.S.

We became a partner with them almost 10 years ago, and have been exclusively selling their machines in Japan.

In the show, we demonstrated how easy fixing warp would be with CF60 & the WaterDeck.

When the speed of the corrugator goes up and down in a very short period of time, basically it’s the worst situation for warp.

(In the picture above, it went from 200mpm down to 70mpm and back up to 200mpm.)

But, with the right parameters control by CF60 and water content adjustment by the WaterDeck, things will not be the same.

This is the “Soliution” ISOWA offers.

We got many positive comments from the guests,

“Normally, water is the paper’s worst enemy. But with the WaterDeck, it’s the opposite.”

“The concept is very simple and logical. The WaterDeck is the most practical and reliable warp correction method I’ve ever seen.”

“I love how operator-friendly CF60 is. Its quick automatic cartridge change is excellent.”

“Bonding on heavy weight board is great.”

The other theme is “Evolved Edge-Opener”.

Edge-opener is ISOWA’s patented device to dramatically improve so-called “Fishtail” in the converting process.

Since its launch 2 years ago, it has taken the standard of the joint gap accuracy to a whole new level.

But, until recently, it was only available at the speed of up to 160pcs/min.

In response to growing demand for higher-speed capability, we redesigned it to be able to run at 200pcs/min.
That’s the box we ran for demonstration.

If you have worked in the industry, it’s obvious what a tough box this is to run.
To make things worse, it’s a heavy weight doublewall!


When we asked a few customers at what speed they thought it could be run,

Most of them answered, “70pcs/min. 100 at most.”

That’s exactly how hard it is.

But with the Ibis, that’s a thing of the past. We showed them what the Ibis is capable of.

This folding accuracy at the speed of 200pcs/min!

Let me share with you some of the comments.

“Even freshmen could make fine boxes with this machine.”

“I just hope you don’t sell this to our competitions. The quality is too good to compete against.”

It was another successful open house.
ISOWA will try to keep bringing more surprises to you all.

For more information, please contact us anytime!