STARLITE CREATORS Vol.3Burn yourselves! Clarification of Facts and Investigation of Causes! STARLITE's Analytical Skills
Hello! I'm Tsujimoto, a member of the public relations at STARLITE, and this time I'd like to take a closer look at the "Analysis team," the absolute essential for STARLITE's development work! Their job is to scientifically analyze materials and products to find support and clues to solve problems. ...Well, it's sort of cool, like ‘crime scene investigator’! Let's talk about the greatness of STARLITE's analytical technology, which has earned the trust of customers and employees alike!
Do you really work like them, ‘crime scene investigators’ here...?
O.M：Yes. Kind of similar work. One of the tasks of the analysis team is to scientifically investigate the cause of defects in the manufacturing process, for instance, why did the plastic molding defect occur? Some other tasks are directly related to research and development. Our mission is to utilize chemical analysis to find out what we cannot see with our eyes.
Determining the cause... Exactly! What kind of items do you actually use for analysis?
S.S：When I start introducing them, I won't be able to stop... OK? (laughs)
We use FT-IR to identify what kind of molecular bonds exist in the material, SEM-EDX to analyze elements while observing the surface condition of the material, XRF for non-destructive elemental analysis, and TG-DTA, DSC, and TMA to investigate temperature changes in the material. We are trying to find the cause using various analysis methods.
O.M：This various analytical equipment are our important partners.
STARLITE is involved in almost every industry, from steel production to vehicles such as ships and cars, and even electrical machinery, and we have responded to the needs and challenges of each field for plastics. We’ve been playing a role in elucidating the mechanisms through chemical analysis so that we can provide convincing explanations to our customers. Our strength lies in the experience and knowledge we have accumulated over the years.
So, not only the equipment, but also the accumulated experience is your weapon?
F.N：Yes, I believe so! Before I was assigned to the analysis team, I was in charge of materials development using analysis equipment, and I remember the support from the analysis team members based on their knowledge and experience was very reassuring. It was amazing how they could approach the essence so quickly and accurately.
S.S：We are happy to hear that (with a shy smile). The important thing in analysis is to consider "what you want to know" and "which analysis method is necessary for that". For this reason, we try to listen carefully to our clients.
Also, in order to generate accurate data, we must not neglect detailed maintenance, such as making sure that analytical instruments and tools like tweezers and cutters for handling samples are always in good working condition.
O.M：Then, based on the analysis data, we try to figure out "why it is happening.”
I've seen a lot of analytical data, so I can identify small differences that would normally be overlooked. It might not be a feeling of discomfort, but it's more like a feeling that hits you.
F.N：That's the awesome point! I guess you could say that the intuition is backed up by experience. I wish I could reach that level as soon as possible. There are many people in the company who are familiar with plastics, but sometimes there can be some hidden facts that were not expected during development. That's why I think the analysis team is an important partner for the developers, and we are colleagues who work together to find clues to the cause.
Oh... a behind-the-scenes helper!
There’s always a reliable analysis team behind every development.
S.S：In order to continue to be a reliable partner in development and manufacturing, we are always thinking about what we can do and putting it into practice. For example, we have created a database to share the data and experience accumulated by the analysis team, and we even make it available to the public in the company.
O.M：Also, we are making efforts to pass on analysis skills by holding study sessions on how to operate analysis equipment, how to set optimal conditions, or how to analyze the data obtained. We even give them advice on how to get the "bite" for accurate results. If we can improve our overall analytical skills, it would be a great thing for our customers as well, I believe.
If everyone can analyze, there will be no more work for the analysis team, won't there?
O.M：Oh, well, I don't think you will be able to keep up simply by the analysis maniac. (laughs) It’s because the analysis team goes one or two steps ahead of other departments in the field of the latest analysis technology. We get excited when we develop new analysis technology. Thinking about what kind of analysis equipment to use, the approach itself, or such things as, if we don't have any in-house analysis equipment, should we borrow equipment from somewhere outside the company, or should we introduce our own equipment for the future? I get so excited that I can't sleep at night. Really.
S.S：I understand! It's exciting to see material I've never analyzed before. When I see the number of databases that are open to the public in the company, it makes me happy to see that the content of the analysis we have proposed and solved is accumulating as "trust". I realize that people are relying on us as an analysis team. I would like to have more of these in the future.
F.N：I just want to catch up with the two of you and keep building up my analysis achievements! I think my strength is my point of view based on my experience as a developer!
Lastly, what is the most important thing for you in the analysis team?
F.N：I think the most important thing in the analysis team is "never bend the truth.”
S.S：There are times when the results of the analysis are not favorable to the company, but even in those cases, we must tell the truth based on the data, without deception. I believe we have to face the results with a high sense of ethics.
O.M：In this job, accumulated experience counts a lot, and I would like the analysis team to always deliver accurate results and be more dependable.
I was overwhelmed by the professionalism and enthusiasm of the analysis team, who always want to deliver accurate results and be more dependable. They are not satisfied with the status quo but are aiming for a higher level, and try every effort to improve the analysis skills of the entire company. With these persons, no matter how difficult the task, we can always find a solution! Tsujimoto was filled with such high expectations.
We hope to create new co-creation in partnership with customers.
STARLITE has responded to the needs and challenges of plastics in the industry. We will continue to develop products that are more reliable to our customers by elucidating the mechanism by chemical analysis and building new analysis technology.