A working day with Hayashi-san and Kaku-san of TC Sleeve Team for you to discover in detail their work.
I met Nobuhiro Hayashi and Yukie Kaku during my second week of work at TYK. They are very friendly and lively people with whom I shared and laughed a lot. Hayashi-san and Kaku-san are part of the TC Sleeve Team and mainly work in one of the great warehouses of the R & D center.
Nobuhiro Hayashi is very kind and cheerful. He has worked for 9 years at TYK. He is 43 years old and from Toki, a small town next to Tajimi, where he lives with his family in a traditional house. Hayashi-san really likes martial art movies (Jackie Chan, Jean-Claude Van Damme) and motor-racing films. Yukie Kaku is a young woman of 30 years who speaks good English and who don’t like being photographed. She is from Ôita on the island of Kyushu and enjoys reading and playing video games. She was always ready to give me an explanation about kanji. She has worked at TYK for 6 years.
TC Sleeve are tools used in casting or rolling casting process. They are designed in titanium and ceramics composite and molded under pressure. They allow a low thermal conductivity, an excellent erosion resistance to the aluminum alloy and excellent abrasion resistance.
The main work of Hayashi-san is to look after the TC Sleeve manufacturing processes. The process is, in short, mix and create the composite molding, make it compact by cold isostatic pressing and then make it solid by treatment with Argon gas. Following this, the frame is finalized and cleaned and undergone heat treatment. Some parts of the product are then cut and welded. Between all these steps, are many steps of checking the size and the resistance.
The main machines where Hayashi-san and Kaku-san work are the lathing machines. They are three machines, entirely manual with an average age of 45 years old.
Sounds of TYK – Sounds of the machines with voices of Hayashi-san and Kaku-san :
The lathing machines, called “Sen Ban” in Japanese are used to cut and grind very precisely. Hayashi-san and Kaku-san use them to finalize the frame of the TC Sleeve and to cut samples. The machines function almost constantly throughout the day.
Kaku-san, when she is not working on the “Sen Ban”, takes care of cleaning and checking the size of TC Sleeve during the creative process, as well as perform various tests on samples cut from the frame.
The lathing machines operate entirely manually, with different levers. Hayashi-san manipulates the levers with dexterity and impressive speed.
Hayashi-san is molding a TC Sleeve. The composite of titanium is introduced into a mold and compactly distributed using a vibrating carrier, so that there are no empty space in the mold and so avoid design flaws.
Kaku-san is currently doing the heat treatment of TC Sleeve. These are introduced into a large oven where they will undergo the process for several hours.
Hayashi-san checking the dimensions of the frameof a TC Sleeve being finalized. It is painstaking work since it is necessary to respect the prescribed dimensions. In a day, Hayashi-san can finalize about ten TC Sleeve.
Lathing machines constantly generate small fragments called “Kiriko” ( “kiri” means “cut” and “ko” means “ends”). We must be careful to not be injured. On average, the machines are fully cleaned 2-3 times a week.
Each TC Sleeve being finalized is collecting by a sample. Theses will undergo various tests (pressure resistance, water absorption, etc.) to detect potential problems.
During my week with Hayashi-san and Kaku-san I attended the entire TC Sleeve creation process. Here I am checking the evolution of a frame being cut.
Work on the lathing machines use a lot of oil. And it is forbidden to wear gloves because they can get caught in the wheels and cause accidents. So, hands are quickly cover with oil and small titanium debris.
Hayashi-san is very fond of sport. He practice almost every evening after work, including Kenpô for 9 years and Karate for 4 years. Doing myself Krav Maga (self defense sport) we shared a lot with humour, about our fighting techniques.
Hayashi-san, Kaku-san, arigatôgozaimashita ! *
* Hayashi-san, Kaku-san, thank you very much !
Note: all pictures published in this article are my creations. They are not royalty free. Thank you not to use them without permission.