Yoshida: “do what nobody else can and do what nobody else will”!

Quite a fine motto for the number one Japanese plastic injection specialist for the beauty packaging sector and which is confirmed over time. A long history that began in 1946 for a Group “of its own” whose sales this year will exceed $ 180 million and who is marked by a number of major developments in injection and decoration processes that have revolutionized the whole industry. The latest to date, Plaglass ™, its flagship product, developed with the Du Pont Group and which enables to design an overmoulded bottle that looks like glass, and most of all, enables to vary the shapes while perfectly protecting the sandwiched printing. A Group also operating in the production of flexible tubes and which has recently invested in a new filling unit in Shizuoka. A Group, finally, which has made plans to establish a new industrial facility in Southeast Asia next year. Overview with Yuzo Yoshida, CEO.

MakeUp in…™: We can feel that you want to raise the plastic injection business to the level of a true industrial craftsmanship.

Yuzo Yoshida: Plastic moulding and decoration that extend the freedom of product design. This is our business domain. Ever since the establishment of YOSHIDA Seisakusyo in 1946, we have continued to take on challenges with the spirit of “CHALLENGE what nobody else can” and “DO what nobody else will”.

Before we knew it, many of the requests that came to us began to be “what other companies can’t” and “what the world has not yet challenged”. Our history is about the history of the challenges we took on together with our customer designers and developers. And we are determined to never stop the wheel of development. I can tell to all designers and developers: “Let us challenge your difficult requests”.

MakeUp in…™: Your Group was the first company in the world to develop the in-mould technology (widely known as In-Mould Decoration) consisting in moulding and decorating a product at the same time.

Yuzo Yoshida: Absolutely. We were probably the first in the world to properly master this in-mould decoration technique, but it is not the only one. For the layman, we can recall what the main key advantages of this technique are: In-Mould Decoration is performed by inserting an ink decorated foil into the mould at the time of plastic injection moulding. Compared to the standard method where the product is printed or painted after the moulding is completed, you are able to get a finished part with a single process, shorten the lead time and improve the yield rate.

The front and back sides of a product can be decorated at once by placing two foils in the mould so that they sandwich the product (Double Sided In-Mould Decoration). By injecting transparent plastic into the mould, a thickness is created between the designs of the front and back foil, creating a design with a three dimensional image.

There is also a method for combining different materials, by pushing out aluminium plates within the mould and performing injection moulding at the same time. By integrating metal and resin, the product gains a luxurious metallic image.

The Deep Draw In-Mould Decoration has also been developed by our Group with the original invention of a unique mould design and foil structure so that in-mould is even possible on curved surfaces and box-like (3D) deep drawn forms.

In the past, In-Mould Decoration with thin walls was thought to be impossible. However, by improving mould design, developing a special foil and coming up with a new method for moulding, we have also been able to realize thin wall In-Mould Decoration. Making the products thinner and lighter will also lead to the saving of resources.

The same way, The Mask Mould technology realizes what was not possible before; the decorating “deep drawn” formed products with patterned design. This process is achieved by inserting the preformed decorative sheet and moulding of pneumatically moulded objects. The entire surface will be beautifully enveloped with a design that cannot be expressed with just the painting or printing of flat surfaces.

We have also a technology called “DIP” which is for directly printing digital data such as photos and illustrations onto the surface of plastic products. Printing is possible on not only flat surfaces but also slightly curved surfaces.

What we call the “Dichroic Decoration” is a type of deposition that decorates a product with layers of thin films that change colour according to the angle at which it is viewed.

Finally you should know that the standard transfer foils and foils for In-Mould Decoration can be created with the ink-jet printer. Full-colour foils can be instantly created without making plates; therefore it is possible to actually check the samples of the transferred design ideas and prepare original transfer foils for extremely small lots.

MakeUp in…™: All the most sophisticated injection techniques are part of Yoshida’s assets!

Yuzo Yoshida: We can say that we master all of them. For example, in the case of Multiple Moulding, the first and second mould with different colours are moulded into one. This technology can be used to combine transparent resin and opaque resin for expressing designs with depth.

In the case of Marble Moulding, this technology is for the simultaneous injection moulding of 2 or more types of resin, of different materials or colours. A variety of marbled patterns can be created according to the design.

In the case of “Thick Wall Moulding”, Products with thickness are moulded by using the Multiple Moulding or hot runner technology.

Finally in the case of our Plaglass™ technology, by over moulding blow moulded bottles with a heavy copolymer thickness, the inside and outside of a container can be of different forms. Resulting in the creation of bottle containers with the luxurious look of glass.

MakeUp in…™: Yoshida’s third strong point, closing techniques, especially for make-up cases.

Yuzo Yoshida: That’s right. And we received many awards for it, with for example, our YK-Hook system, which enables to open a case using one finger only. The assumption that compact cases could only be opened with both hands was shattered by the development of this case.

But we have also worked a lot on airtight compact cases. A functional airtight compact case that prevents highly volatile contents from evaporating. This case is being widely adopted by many of the world’s leading cosmetic companies.

We also behind the creation of a special net that acts as an inner lid placed over the refill content in the compact case. This allows you to take the proper amount of powder foundation with the puff, without scattering it all over the place.

Finally, we have developed a case that opens by pressing on the sides. This button-less compact case has the mechanism of the lid opening when it is squeezed from both sides. This uniquely designed case is very easy to use.

MakeUp in…™: Today the “beauty” sector is the main activity of Yoshida?

Yuzo Yoshida: The cosmetic sector accounts for about 65% of our revenue, the rest comes from telephony. The make-up sector in the broad sense is by far our largest market closely followed by skin-care. We mustn’t forget also our activity in flexible tubes (35 million per year), which is significant and represents a growing sector. Actually, we are also currently investing in a tube filling unit in Shizuoka.

Concerning this subject, we can say a word about our Tri-chambered Tube. One or two inner tubes are inserted inside the outer tube. This prevents the outer tube from deforming and maintains the appearance of the tube while the content is being consumed.

MakeUp in…™: You have already mentioned in the past your intention to expand internationally.

Yuzo Yoshida: Japan still remains our largest market, absorbing 80% of our business but due to the fact that this local market is aging and contracting, we are forced to turn more and more to other countries. The United States have become important but also Europe including France and, of course, China. An effort that concerns not only our business strategy but also our industrial strategy. I can already announce the construction of a new Yoshida factory in South East Asia for next year.