Hiraku Takahashi

Painting, Production Department Joined 2020

Takahashi worked for five years at a leading guitar manufacturer making guitars. In 2012, he went out on his own and founded a guitar workshop. He was forced to close down the workshop, however, due to the novel coronavirus. Wanting to make use of the painting and woodworking skills that he had acquired through guitar making, he joined Senkosha.

Continuing to embrace challenges in the new environment

Providing customers with the colors and textures that they want

In the painting process, which is the last process in the production of fixtures, we give the fixtures the colors and textures that the customers want. The finish can change subtly depending on the temperature and humidity, and we also need to prevent dust from attaching to the painted surface. This means I really have to focus. We also need to mix paints to produce the desired color, for which a delicate color sensitivity is needed. Paints used overseas are often not used in Japan, and when an overseas customer specifies the colors to be mixed, it is necessary to conduct a series of tests in reference to the color samples before actually painting the products.
Before joining the company I used to paint guitars, but fixtures are larger than guitars, and so I frequently check for color unevenness while painting a product. I am a new employee who joined the company this year and I intend to work hard to consistently provide customers with the quality that is unique to Senkosha.

* Fixtures: Fittings used in shops for selling and displaying merchandise.

Striving for higher quality at the newly established painting booth

Advanced skills and high precision are required for painting, and I am pleased that a painting booth was established within the plant in the fall of 2020. The booth is equipped with an air-conditioning system like those used at a sheet metal plant for automobiles to control both the temperature and intake air. This equipment helps prevent small dust particles from becoming attached to the painted surface and enables us to focus on the details without worrying about the effects of the weather, no matter what the season.
In the future I would like to focus more on data management for color mixing, thereby ensuring that all products will have the expected colors regardless of who painted them and shortening the time required for color mixing in a new project. We can try these new things because we now have this booth, where we can work under stable conditions. I would like to contribute to higher quality by building a database of artisan know-how, thereby reducing dependence on the intuition and experience of individuals.

Participating in the development of original products, wanting to showcase Senkosha’s skills and techniques

While engaging in the production of fixtures, I am also working as a member of the project to develop original products. Although I am a newcomer to the company, I was lucky enough to be selected to be a member of the project team and have been attending the team’s meetings including planning meetings. Under the slogan, “Propose a product that will change what people value by making use of all the skills possessed by Senkosha,” I worked to create an elegant and impressive product with a focus on a mirror finish, which I am good at. We created a prototype, entered the product in the Good Design Award, and won an award for it, which encouraged all members of the project team to have more confidence in our craftsmanship. We will start selling the product to customers, and the name of our company will be known to a greater number of people via this product. This will in turn increase our motivation for work.

Improving my work-life balance and having more time to spend with my family

When I was operating a guitar workshop, I was resigned to the fact that I was not able to take holidays, as I always had things to do at the workshop and had to receive visitors even on the days the shop was officially closed. I also often went to live music venues and restaurants with business acquaintances from the music industry. Since joining the company, however, the pattern of my daily life has greatly settled down. I can now take regular holidays and have more time to spend with my family, including time to visit the aquarium with my daughter. I feel very grateful that I can have a stable livelihood while doing what I want to do at the company.