Cut and sewn manufacturer "Seiko" located in Sumida, Tokyo
Sumida Ward in Tokyo has long been known as a town of manufacturing. Even now, we inherit the traditional skills from the old days and send out domestic high-quality products to the world. In such a historic town, the long-established manufacturer "SEIKO Co., Ltd." centered on cut and sewn was born.
Seiko was founded in 1950 in Sumida-ku, Tokyo. A manufacturer of cut and sewn products, which has long been known as a manufacturing town. Seiko is still producing high quality domestic products by inheriting the traditional skills of the past.
In the early postwar period, the founder, Seiji Omi, started a sewing factory, the forerunner of Seikyo, when his wife's family was running a textile business.
At that time, the company produced "momohiki," or underwear, but gradually shifted to outerwear as the demand for outerwear grew, and today the company works with many famous domestic and international brands.
First cut and sew manufacturer to introduce TSS
One of the features of Seiko is the introduction of the Toyota Sewing System (hereinafter referred to as "TSS"), the first of its kind among cut and sew manufacturers. Seiko has realized waste-free manufacturing by producing "what you need, when you need it, and in the amount you need it."
Normally, a single worker performs a single task, sewing and placing, which is a very wasteful process.
TSS is a multi-skilled operation, where one worker is in charge of multiple processes, and the product is made at the end of the line in a one-piece process. This allows problems to be detected immediately and eliminates much of the loss and waste that occurs in the work process.
The impetus for introducing TSS came from the bankruptcy of a fabric store due to excessive inventory, which the current president, Mr. Omi, had experienced. After thinking about ways to reduce inventory and avoid holding inventory, he introduced TSS, the first of its kind in the industry.
By proactively introducing new initiatives, the company was able to eliminate a lot of waste, which led to a dramatic improvement in productivity as well as the company's financial structure.
Thoughts on “manufacturing”
The founder, Mr. Omi, was a chemist and excelled in development and research, and various efforts have been made to provide good "quality," which has been his commitment since the company was founded.
Within the company, there is always a "Monozukuri Project" aimed at improving products, for example, polo shirts. Several years ago, a patterner made three polo shirts with different specifications and wore them in daily rotation to personally verify which specification was the best. The results are reflected in our factory brand polo shirts, and we continue to research daily to create products that are more comfortable to wear.
New Sustainability with Technology as an Ally
Although low cost mass production is the mainstream in the modern manufacturing industry, it is important to add more value to domestic manufacturing by taking advantage of domestic strengths (high quality, Japanese attitude toward work, meticulous response, and delivery management).
Seiko is flexible to adopt new systems such as TSS, and is focusing on new manufacturing schemes and production methods based on the recent social problem of the new coronavirus, which has caused damage in various markets.
In addition to market linked production using TSS, Seiko plan to develop environmentally friendly manufacturing by making full use of technologies such as 3D modeling to reduce losses from the repetitive production of actual samples.
Furthermore, as a new initiative, Seiko have introduced a 3D body scanner and are preparing a personal order system. Seiko is always challenging new things with the times, confronting problems and moving forward.