Miroku Traditional work, "Correction of Barrel bend"
The talents necessary for craftspeople are perseverance to refine their skills and have ambition. A person with those talents may inevitably have the character of "hate to lose". Hasegawa belonging to the manufacturing department says "I will pass my senior and my master someday" . He belonged to the baseball club for three years in high school. When he was looking for a job, he found out that one of his seniors who he respected joined Miroku. Then, he chose Miroku without hesitation.
Hasegawa says, "I was not interested guns when I joined Miroku" but currently he does the work called "Correction of Barrel bend" that can be involved only excellent craftspeople chosen from many workers. "Correction of Barrel bend" is a work of looking into the barrel and correcting if the barrel is bent. However, it's easy to say, slight bends are hard to correct. The task is to visually recognize the shadow change inside the bore, and if there is even a slight bend, it will be repaired with a special tool to straighten. If you put too much power, the barrel will bend in the opposite direction and the barrel will be unusable.However, if the barrel remains bent a little, the barrel will be rejected. Also if you miss defects, all the later process will be wasted. This work cannot be automated because this is very subtle work and the work requires special technique with visual and fingertip sense.
I realized the depth of manufacturing for the first time when I was involved this special work.
When Hasegawa joined the company, he was in machining division for a while. The turning point for him was an incident that one of craftspeople for "Correction of Barrel bend" had an emergency hospitalization. He was chosen as a substitute for him.
From his responsibility of doing this new role, he was inspired and thought "I have to do it because nobody can do it but me". And he devoted himself to watch the shadow inside the barrel every day. He exercised his concentration and patience skills which he fostered in baseball club. Surprisingly he mastered the work within 2 months which usually taking 2 to 3 years to master. Since then, he found his work at Miroku more interesting .
"Before I did this work, I was longing to see that the master I respected was facing the barrel, but I never thought that I was involved in "Correction of Barrel bend". Even though other craftspeople trained me kindly and I practicedd every day after work , I could not easily learn the technique. Then I realized the magnificence of the craftsperson ship of my master.
The part which cannot be done by machines must be inherited
Recently, Hasegawa also teach "Correction of Barrel bend" to young workers to avoid inheriting this technique suddenly like him. He is establishing and leveling of guidance methods. He also puts emphasis on improving proficiency level of the skills in the group and trying to keep their motivation even if works are not familiar for them.
He said, "I think that there are many processes that we have to inherit, but we have to be careful not to extinguish the part of the procedure that we cannot do with machines. I am now the group leader. Although if I cannot do this work by moving section or promoting, I would like to prepare a system that allows someone to take the place of me and take over my work." He showed a willingness to improve the work environment.
Continue a new challenge while keeping tradition
"I want to improve our skills by working hard to compete with each other. And I am motivated by thinking that I do not want to lose to anyone and I want to exceed my master. Even if I gain many skills, I do not want to satisfy and want to continue my challenge. Then, with my colleagues, I will improve the level of technique and my goal is to exceed my master someday. "
He continues a new challenge while keeping tradition and grows himself by supporting his colleagues. From Hasegawa's words, we felt his trust of his company and his colleagues.