Narahara Auto Technical supports optical experimenters by manufacturing optical breadboards with custom designs. Competitive in quality and pricing.
Narahara Auto Technical Co., Ltd. in Tokyo, Japan is a metal processing factory founded in 1972, mainly for aluminum processing. They are trying something new with an open mind, such as product development in collaboration with local universities or technical colleges, and accepting interns from Asian countries such as the Philippines and Korea.
There is a business that grew up from such new challenges, and this time we talked about "manufacturing to meet the custom needs of optical experimenters".
What is "manufacturing to meet the custom needs of optical experimenters" like?
Optical equipment manufacturers sell components used for optical and laser experiments, specifically, measurement units, holders, stages, and bases. However, they are standard products, and if researchers and designers want to order parts that meet their own needs, the price will be high and it will take a long while to get delivered.
Therefore, we have taken this need as an opportunity and have started a business to deliver customized metal parts required for optical experiments at low cost and short delivery, such as optical breadboards and custom plates for aluminum frames, directly from our factory.
We started around 2000, so it's been 20 years already. Currently, our most popular product is aluminum breadboard (optical breadboard).
What is an aluminum optical breadboard?
An aluminum optical breadboard is a plate made of non-magnetic aluminum with screw holes, on which researchers and designers build optics on that plane. It is used for assembly of optical assemblies, scientific experiments, etc., and can be mounted on another breadboard or bracket.
There are various specifications of the optical breadboards so that researchers and designers can perform the experiments they want to do. For example, the position, size, and density of the screw holes and the various surface treatments such as alumite, vacuum applications and so on.
Various specifications of an aluminum breadboard
|Plate thickness / size / shape||The thickness, size and shape of the plate itself.|
|surface treatment||Surface treatment methods such as low reflectivity black alumite and special surface treatment for vacuum applications.|
|Screw hole density / pattern / corresponding screw standard||Screw hole size, screw hole density, screw hole pattern to be drilled on breadboard. There are also metric and inch standards.|
|Mounting holes and openings||This type has a countersunk hole for attaching a breadboard and an opening for passing a laser beam or cable.|
We specialize in delivering custom optical breadboards that meet a variety of needs in addition to standard products, with a short delivery time, usually two weeks.
What motivated you to start your business?
Our company is a metal processing business that mainly focuses on aluminum processing, but we also have an in-house design department, where we also design equipment. In other words, we can plan, design and manufacture products. Performing a series of processes from design to manufacturing in-house can have the know-how that cannot be obtained by outsourcing.
I mean designers can design products with knowledge of their processing equipment, and workers can understand what the parts are used for when machining.
As a simple example, if the designer knows the tools their factory owns, he can design the parts that can be processed with the tools and meet the specifications at the same time.
The hourly unit price varies depending on the processing equipment, and the more special the unit, the higher the price. However, if the designer does not know the processing site and does not understand the cost, the design might be costly even if it meets the specifications. Generally speaking, this is a common problem.
The same is true for the workers. Once they know what the parts are used for by communicating with the designer, they can avoid machining the parts with unnecessary high quality and achieve optimal precision.
Making the most of this, I thought that we could make something on our own. I researched catalogs issued by various manufacturers and learned about a product called an optical breadboard. With our integrated system from designing to processing, we thought that we could provide a custom-made optical breadboard that meets the needs of optical experimenters.
Currently, we also sell standard optical breadboards, but many customers want custom aluminum breadboards.
What are some custom needs?
We can do anything when it comes to metal processing.
You can drill holes where you want to pass laser light or cables, and escape interferences.
This is a process to cut out a part of the material to be a specified depth. Prevents interference of parts and allows fine adjustment of installed parts.
The screw hole can meet various specifications other than size and density, such as through / non-through and counterbore. The counterbore is a stepped hole so that the screw head does not come out when the screw is fastened.
You can engrave product numbers, production numbers, etc. on the optical breadboard.
Finishing the flat surface based on the customer's request, we also support precise surface accuracy.
In addition, additional processing such as attaching a handle is also possible.
I don't think it is yet known that end-users can directly ask factories to manufacture products they want. It is good if manufacturer's catalogs display something they want, but in case they can’t find it, unfortunately, not many people have an idea that they can ask for the processing to small factories directly.
Utilizing the strength of both design and processing knowledge, we would like to be a factory that can quickly respond to individual needs from one piece.
What are you aiming for in the next 3 years?
I would like to spread awareness of custom-made aluminum plate processing. The recognition of aluminum frames have risen considerably and making housings by combining aluminum frames and parts has become a convenient means for prototypes and small-volume products.
However, if you want to make a flat surface on the housings, you need some plates. This is very customizable, meaning that users need plates that are not standardized in shape, material and size.
With regard to these custom-made plates for aluminum frames, we hope to expand our awareness that "you can have the plates from us whatever the specifications."
|Company name||Narahara Auto Technical Co., Ltd.|
|Location||594 Naraharacho, Hachioji City, Tokyo, Japan|
|Contact||TEL +81-42-625-6711 / Contact now|
|Business description||Manufacturing and sales of optical aluminum breadboards
Precision cutting of various aluminum alloys and plastics
Fine cutting by ultra-precision high-speed spindle
Labor-saving automatic equipment design and manufacturing
Optical breadboard: https://www.narahara-at.jp/albb/
|Speaker||Representative Director, Shinji Uchino|