SANWA’s History|SANWA SCREEN CO., LTD.

SANWA’s History

Our burning passion for manufacturing is something that has never changed since the company was founded. Throughout SANWA’s history we have continued to work on challenges with the consistent feeling of never giving up.

The parent company that formed SANWAHara Nameplate Factory

SANWA’s history overlaps the history of Hara Nameplate Factory, which is our parent company. Hara Nameplate Factory started by Hiroyoshi Hara, the father of Tsutomu Goto our company’s founder, began in 1939 as a company that manufactured nameplates listing such things as the performance and manufacturing company for aircraft machinery and motors. After World War II, the company shifted its focus to manufacturing nameplates for industrial machinery instead of aircraft while growing steadily as a company specializing in the manufacture of metal nameplates. Tsutomu Goto supported his older brother Hiromori Hara, who followed in his father’s footstep to become the company president, and contributed to grow the business through sales.

Inside the Hara Nameplate Factory circa 1960

Founding Period

Creating Opportunity from the Changing Times

In 1979, Tsutomu Goto established Sanwa Screen Co., Ltd. as a company that manufactures resin nameplates mainly using silk screen printing. Along with his wife Hideko and her younger brother Seiji Hayashi, Tsutomu Goto succeeded in working through the founding period, in which the company did not yet have any clear goals, to eventually start moving into the business of acrylic display panels for drinking water vending machines. Vending machines experienced explosive expansion through the years of booming postwar economic growth and development competition in the market intensified each year. SANWA was able to catch the waves to significantly extend its business performance.

Left: President Tsutomu Goto in the office Center: Hideko at work Right: Seiji Hayashi

Semi-automatic silk screen printer at the time

  • The very first ordered acrylic nameplate for drinking water vending machines

  • Display buttons for vending machines manufactured during the founding period

Growth Period

Expanding Our Business Area, From Home Appliances to Cars

After starting with display panels for vending machines, SANWA also started to produce resin nameplates for home appliances such as rice cookers, microwave ovens, and washing machines. The entire company came together to meet the demanding needs of our customers, and while doing so, its technical capability soundly grew. During the 1980s, the company entered the automotive industry and found success with hot stamp technology, which gives a metallic effect to the surface of resin material. This dramatically increased our sales in the area of automotive parts. We also received orders from a global AV equipment manufacturer, and the size of our business suddenly expanded. Our corporate culture, which boldly takes up the challenge of working on difficult projects that our competitors cannot handle, has become the driving force to gain customer trust and acquire new technology.

Top left: Car display panels Top right: Instrument panel Center right: Washing machine panel Bottom: Audio display panels

1979

May
  • Split from Hara Nameplate Factory to became a company specializing in screen printing with a capital of 1 million Yen
  • Five members of staff

1979 Second Oil Crisis

1980

May
  • Saori Plant newly established
  • Thompson machining started
Jul.
  • Began producing automotive panels, roller stamp reverse-printing technology developed
Dec.
  • Increase in capital to 4 million Yen

1980 The number of produced Japanese passenger cars became the highest in the world

1982

Apr.
  • New factory constructed in Saori for facility expansion

1983

Feb.
  • Printing factory expanded
Mar.
  • Opened a clean room for product quality to meet user requirements
Apr.
  • Shizuoka Factory established and began production with 10 employees.

1983 Tokyo Disney Land opens

1984

Jan.
  • Acquired Patent rights 1068900 ['Asahi' hot stamping].
Nov.
  • Increase of capital to 10 million Yen. The then president Tsutomu Goto also became the president and CEO of Hara Nameplate Factory

1985

May
  • Installed laser cutting machinery and began making acrylic nameplates
Aug.
  • Established the Sanwa Silk Printing Co. Ltd., and began painting and molding processing

1986 to 1991 The Heisei boom, bubble economy

1987

Mar.
  • Installed automatic punching press as a cost-cutting measure
May
  • New headquarters building completed with offices and the inspection center
Sep.
  • Increase of capital to 20 million Yen

1987 Launch of the first Japanese car equipped with airbag system

1989 Death of Emperor Showa, Heisei Era started with consumption tax revision (3%)

1990

Nov.
  • Completed construction of Headquarters’ South Building. (1F printing factory, 2F cafeteria)

1992

Mar.
  • Established the mold division at Sanwa Silk Printing Co., Ltd.

1993

Oct.
  • Sanwa Silk Printing Co. Ltd. was renamed Sanwa Plastic Industry Co., Ltd.

Development Period

Establishing a Brand with Our Core Technologies

While continuing to be proactive and take up the challenge of meeting difficult orders, SANWA brings together its technical capabilities developed to date, and starts working on a new method referred to as film insert molding. Film insert molding technology, which can support three dimensional shapes and of course flat shapes, is the result of a number of SANWA’s unique developments and has grown into our core technology. Later, we also established two-color molding, and this has significantly contributed towards company growth and strengthening our brand.

Top right: Rice cooker switch panel Top left: Washing machine lid
Bottom left: Washing machine switch panel

Using Technical Capabilities Trusted Throughout the World

In 1994, 15 years after being founded, SANWA set up its first overseas site in Malaysia. This was around the time when Japanese companies started in succession to expand into Asia. Competitors in the same industry from both the Kanto and Kansai regions had already established their presence overseas, and this was a time of global expansion in anticipation of future development. We began business dealings with home appliance manufacturers and established a factory in Thailand after the one in Malaysia, where we also began business with automotive part manufacturers. After this, we continued to expand into China and the USA among other countries to expand our worldwide network. SANWA has continued to grow based on its reliably established technical capabilities through its consecutive use of new technologies. We will pass down our ambition for manufacturing to the next generation, an ambition that has remained unchanged since the company was first founded.

  • Staff working at the Malaysia factory (left is Vice-President Yoshihide Goto)

  • The Thailand factory as it is today

  • Washing machine and car panels for overseas

  • Aichi Quality Company Certificate

1994

Jun.
  • Began injection molding for film insert molding panels (installed in Hara Nameplate Factory for washing machine panels)
Sep.
  • Established a factory in Malaysia (SANWA SCREEN (M) SDN. BHD.)

1995 The Great Hanshin Earthquake

1995 Tokyo subway sarin attack by Aum Shinrikyo

1997

Aug.
  • Started a cylinder press to increase printing capacity and cut cost

1997年 Japan’s consumption tax raised to 5%

1997 World’s first mass produced hybrid vehicle “Prius” released

US 9/11 terrorist attacks

2002

Jan.
  • Established Thailand factory (S.A PRECISION CO., LTD.)
Aug.
  • Opened Kanto area office in Chiba prefecture.
  • Yujin Engineering Co joined Sanwa Group Ltd.

2003

Aug.
  • Shizuoka Factory relocated to Fujieda for expansion
Sep.
  • Capital increase to 30 million Yen
Dec.
  • Established a factory in China [SANWA SCREEN (SHANGHAI) CO., LTD.]

2004

Mar.
  • Aichi Quality Company Certificate (certification number 011)
Apr.
  • ISO9001 Certification (Registration number: JSAQ1957).
Dec.
  • Capital increase to 42 million Yen

2005

Jan.
  • Moved Yujin Engineering Co., Ltd., to Kamagaya, Chiba Prefecture
May.
  • ISO14001 Certification (Registration number: JSAE1081).
Jul.
  • Opened Osaka sales office
Nov.
  • Mino Factory newly built

2005 Chubu Centrair International Airport opens

2007

Jul.
  • Opened Chicago branch, USA (SANWA SCREEN USA Corp.)
Oct.
  • Expanded Mino Factory.

2008 Toyota Motor Corporation overtakes GM in global production

2008 Bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers

2010

Apr.
  • Relocated Osaka Sales Office to Yawata, Kyoto Prefecture.
Jul.
  • Sanwa Plastic Industrial Co. was renamed Plastic Advanced (PLAVANCE) Co., Ltd.

2011

May
  • Sanwa Screen CO., LTD. Second Factory completed. Operations started

2011 Great East Japan Earthquake

2012

Feb.
  • Established Indonesia plant (PT. SANWA SCREEN INDONESIA)

2014

Mar.
  • Change of management. Mr. Tsutomu Goto became the chairman and Mr. Eiichiro Goto appointed as the president and CEO
Aug.
  • Established Mexico Plant (SANWA SCREEN MEXICO S.A. DE C.V.)
Sep.
  • Yujin Engineering Co. was taken over and became Chiba Factory.

2014 Japan’s consumption tax raised to 8%

2015

Jun.
  • Sanwa Screen CO., LTD. Third Factory completed. Operations started

2016

Jan.
  • HARA NAMEPLATE CO., LTD. Kanto Factory completed. Operations started

2017

Jan.
  • Started two-color molding production line at Higashikawa Factory, Plastic Advanced (PLAVANCE) Co., Ltd.

2018

Jul.
  • Introduced new film insert molding robots at Shizuoka Factory, Sanwa Screen Co., Ltd.

2019

Dec.
  • Completed New Aisai Factory, Plastic Advanced (PLAVANCE) Co., Ltd.

2019 Japan’s consumption tax raised to 10%