Taiyo Kogyo Co., Ltd., “the pioneer of the world’s number 1 roof “membrane.” It manufactures “tensile membrane structures” roofs for facilities including airports, train stations, and stadiums — also, the membranes used in major overseas facilities beyond Japan.

Taiyo Kogyo is well-known to a large building construction company using “tensile membrane structures,” and the market share is the number one in the world. Tokyo Dome is the famous Dome building. What is the roof material? The roof of the Tokyo Dome made of a substance called “membrane,” which is a fiber-coated resin. The thickness is 0.8mm. Because it is a thin film, it can inflate with atmospheric pressure.

At the newly renovated Tokyo Station, a vast membrane roof covering a total length of 230 m is an impressive addition to Tokyo’s new landmark. They adopted on the roof of Saitama Stadium, where the World Cup was held. Furthermore, the “membrane” roof used in buildings around the world, including the UK’s Heathrow airport, the sacred Medina in Saudi Arabia, Denver International Airport, Shanghai International Circuit, and Estudio Nacional de Brasilia.

Hidefumi Araki, President, and Representative Director. “It can accept the light well. It’s environmentally friendly, and it’s in shape. If you follow any shape, this is the best strength.”

Tokyo Dome’s “membrane” is made of a strong glass fiber coated with fluororesin used for Teflon processing. Reduction in lighting costs leads to environmental friendliness. Also, it is exceptionally lightweight and resistant to earthquakes and can handle any shape. Expected durability is more than 30 years. Where is the driving force of Taiyo Kogyo that has changed the concept of a hard roof?

Taiyo Kogyo has its own sales, network with headquarters in Tokyo and Osaka. There are 524 employees. There are three production bases in Osaka, Kyoto, and Fukui that produces membranes. Also, there are five factories overseas, and we have a system in place that can handle worldwide. Annual sales are 54 billion yen. President Araki took over the company management from the founder who lasted four generations last year.

“Because the challenge is all companies, the person who is like me who can only go out to high school is the president, so even if you see it, this company is very challenging.” An object made of “film” alongside the moon. I want to draw out the possibilities of “membrane”. An extraordinary challenge spirit appears.

There was a cafeteria that was created in-house so that everyone could share ideas. Feel free to exchange ideas and develop ideas. There is also a space to relax and expand your ideas. This is a place that shaped President Araki’s thoughts.

“I don’t think of a challenge alone, but I think that there is a challenge of being born out of such a conversation, so take the time first.” The challenging spirit is 100 years. It cultivated in the near history. A vintage sewing machine displayed in a cafeteria where employees gather. In fact, this sewing machine was indispensable for the history of Taiyo Kogyo.

Breakthrough at the Osaka Expo

1922 when the Taisho romance blooms. Taiyo Kogyo founded in Osaka. The founder, Mr. Kaneshige Nomura, looks at civilian tents while producing military tents for many companies. The company developed an air tent that was convenient for camping. The tube was inflated with air and used as a pillar.

After the war, the company applied tent membranes to expand our business to truck sails. A significant turning point came at the Osaka Expo in 1970. Taiyo Kogyo, who assigned to the pavilion, would apply the principle of the air tent.

However, it was a vast building. Through repeated trial and error, all employees worked on the sewing machine to challenge the limits. The American Pavilion created. It was the world’s first arena supporting the “membrane” using only air pressure. In addition, visitors from all over the world were impressed by the structures they had never seen, such as a dome with tubes connected.

The insatiable pursuit of new materials

Mountains in Kyotamba, Kyoto. What you can see is Taiyo Mizuho Plant. The “membrane” used in the Tokyo Dome at this factory has been in operation for over 30 years. Huge membranes are inevitably finely soiled during production. Carefully check it with the eyes of machines and people.

Create a drawing, avoiding dirt. This software that creates efficient drawings was also developed by Taiyo Kogyo so as not to waste as much as possible. According to this drawing, the machine accurately cuts the membrane material and pastes it together to create a roof.

The machine-cut film finished in the form of a roof at the factory. It is this transparent film that bonds the films together. When melted, it becomes a paste. The shape of the roof depends on the order. That’s why you have to paste them one by one with craftsmen.

A membrane made at a factory in Hirono-cho, Fukushima Prefecture was actually installed. This is also known as the holy land of soccer, and J Village was home to a Japanese camp. However, after the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake in 2011, it was not usable. The company decided to create a soccer practice field there. An indoor type with an artificial turf soccer field. Construction was progressing toward completion in August this year. The main point of the facility is the “membrane” roof of Taiyo Kogyo.

On the roof, craftsmen carefully weld the film. The advantage of the indoor type is that you can practice comfortably regardless of the season or weather. “The biggest reason why you can use the film is that the bright light will pass through when you go inside. After all, you don’t use lighting during the work, but anyway, the brightness is the most merit. I think that you have been adopted as. “

The soccer field inside is said to be as bright as it is outside during the day. Saving electricity bills are also a big attraction. The work to make the entrance roof has begun. The film glued by the craftsman at the factory, and when it was unfolded, it fits perfectly on the roof frame. All you have to do in the field is a membrane and a skeleton screw. It will be completed in 2 days. The construction period can be shortened. This is one of the attractions. In addition, the appearance is artistic beauty. Taiyo Kogyo’s technology is shaping Fukushima’s wish to resurrect the sacred place for football.

Membrane materials are evolving day by day. The development was carried out at the research center of Taiyo Kogyo in Hirakata City, Osaka. “In this laboratory, from the development of the tent material, we are measuring the strength of the tent, and trying various performances.” This is the heart of Taiyo Kogyo. About ten researchers are working on the development of new membranes. What was shown was a surprising new technology that expanded the possibilities of membranes.

The “membrane” developed here is said to have a self-cleaning function that cleans the dirt by itself. The name of the film is a photocatalytic tent. “The photocatalyst itself does not change anything, but when the surface is exposed to sunlight and ultraviolet rays, a chemical reaction takes place there. It is a mechanism that decomposes organic matter.”

The company had an experiment. Press stamps to represent organic stains on the normal and photocatalytic membranes, respectively. Twenty minutes to wait in the sun. When looked at the film again… “It’s all thin. The dye on the stamp is completely gone. Only the pressed mold remains. It means that the organic substance that simulates the dye has been decomposed. This function lasts for about ten years.” When exposed to light, a chemical reaction takes place, and the organic dirt is decomposed.

Other than that? A film with a new function is a film material that can store the light energy of the sun and lighting. The light is emitted when the surroundings become dark. “If there is a power outage due to the earthquake, there is a possibility that if there is a big tent using it, it may become a landmark and become a refuge. The company developed it because it was visible.”

The ETFE, a transparent membrane material that uses highly functional fluororesin, is also attracting attention. “It’s a transparent film. It’s called the next generation of glass. Glass is broken by an earthquake, but it isn’t broken by the film. It’s very light and strong.”

Taiyo Kogyo is a global “film” manufacturer. In anticipation of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, it was working to create new innovations. Last December, an indoor running stadium was born in Toyosu, Tokyo. Not only the roof but also the building construction was done by Taiyo Kogyo. The transparent film “ETFE” covers the stadium. A new era stadium was born.

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