episode 00. Felling for leather.


Want to be called
"As expected of Sanyo."

Tsutomu Kozaki
Assistant Chief, Product Quality Control Section, Production Department


I am working on a post-tanning process called "Finishing", especially new item development and quality control in the production line. From an order from a customer, making a sample and wait for a reply. "Accept," the customer said, the main production will start. Control these flow of production is my job.

Our primary customer is shoes-maker but sometimes is not. For instance, leather for Steering wheel or Basketball, and of course, a physical property also different. "I want to use leather to make this, so I want this kind of leather" these types of request come, and the point is how we can fulfill that demand. The reward is waiting for us after we can clear the mission. (Fist Pump!)

Recently, I have been making leather for a camera case. Because the customer is quite picky, with choices of material are very limited, and the only high-grade material permitted in this case. Regardless leather is from living thing, what we need to do is make leather that can meet the industrial standard. We try! try! and try, learning from the mistake and making the leather which can exceed an ordinary level. However, the high level of leather is, the more serious in quality we have to watch over.

What's the meaning of growing up as a technician? For me, maybe just hit by something hard? (laugh) When the customer said, "I don't want this, this is not what I order!" I can't give up easily. As a person in charge of a quality control, I must conquer a problem and maintain the standard. Whenever the same problem comes, I can handle it without any obstacle. The pile up of these experience is my grow up.


Our production started with making a sample. Then the point is when it move to lot production, how we can reproduce it. And we must think the way to bring those requests come true. For example, a "Hand Antique" style finishing which is required to use a proper amount of wax and dye, to make leather look old and give an elegant touch, each step depend on the skill of a technician.

Until now, We mainly only working on our customer request, but nothing wrong as a leather technician. On the other hand, the generation is changing, we're slowing moving to open stance situation, and I want to make something. We have leather, and we know want we can do. I think it isn't bad to change our vision.

The happiest moment is when the sample is good enough to pass to a customer's hand. Since we have to fight with other tanneries, no win no order; it's a simple rule. Sometimes I want to say to leather "Please listen to me," since it's from living thing. (laugh)

In the past, here it comes to leather, it's something luxurious and classic; it have a value on it own. But today is different. Every customer wants the best leather with the best quality. One thing what we can do is we have to go beyond this hurdle race. I will be happy if we can create something that makes someone surprisingly asks "It's actually made from leather?" or praise us "As expect of Sanyo."