In November 2014, Mr. Aida, an engineer of Yoshida Technoworks was pressed for a decision.
“Is this possible with our technology or not?”
At first, engineers of Yoshida Technoworks could not believe this project suddenly offered by Israeli company but they gradually started to notice that this is quite a big project.
Its software has world best security level and hardware is produced by collaboration of best suppliers with only-one technologies from all over the world.
Surprisingly, the phone is sold at 1.5million dollars. The biggest concern was that the glass to be inserted into the tooling was “curved glass” which is curved on top and bottom edge.
Even flat glass breaks in tooling, how it is possible to unite curved glass with resin inside of tooling?
Mr. Aida was willing to challenge this project with his pride as an engineer who established two mobile phones with Glass Insert Molding technology.
This new smartphone demands very high designing skill but that was stirring his soul as an engineer. Mr. Aida was struggling in his mind. “I eager to try this but the risk is very high….”
At that instant, his boss Mr. Ideshita spoke up with reliable tone. “Sure we can.”
Mr. Ideshita continued,“We have achieved 2 mobile phone projects as a world’s first pioneer of Glass Insert Molding decoration.
With our accumulated experience and know-how, we will definitely succeed to insert curved glass.”
Although high accuracy cutting machines cut tempered glass used for the smartphone display, glasses still have slight variance of length and thickness from one another.
Under this situation, even flat glasses sometimes break in tooling and the risk is higher in the case of curved glass since geometry of curved surface varies.
Furthermore, considering that cost of tempered glass is very high, our loss will be huge if we cannot reduce the breakage defect rate.
Despite of this circumstance, he was confident in his thought.
Few months ago, Mr. Ideshita visited a factory to see production of Glass Insert Molding decoration with flat glass and an idea came up in his mind. The key was in his experiences as a designer of cosmetic container in his youth. “Utilizing that tooling structure, I am sure it is possible to avoid breakage even for curved glass.”He thought.
On May 31st 2016, Mr. Nakayama who has leaded this project in Yoshida Technoworks as a project manager was in London
to attend launch event of new smartphone “SOLARIN”.
Looking back, it was not easy for him to lead this project. Even though we succeeded to minimize the breakage rate of curved glass by innovative tooling mechanism devised by Mr. Ideshida, the narrow bezel less than 1mm was a big challenge to apply in-mold decoration. As a sales person, he also suffered from complicated issues such as procurement of glass from foreign company, cooperation with makers producing other parts of the phone.
Seeing a famous Hollywood star raising “SOLARIN” up high in a flood of flashlights, a sense of accomplishment spread in Mr. Nakayama’s heart gradually. To survive as a Japanese plastic molding maker, we need to pursue further difficult technology. Mr. Nakayama felt the joy of achievement with all his heart and hoped to let young colleagues to experience same feeling in the future.