Technologies and passions behind Uchida paper drills

“Sell the hole, not the drill.” If you have ever worked in marketing or you are familiar to it, maybe you have heard of this phrase for hundreds of times. Some says that this is the essential of marketing, and other says it’s just a cliche.

Anyway, we have sold quite a large numbers of paper drills and drill bits as a manufacturer for a log time. If you look around, you may be able to find paper product with holes, such as documents ready to be bound in folders, paper bags and swing tags etc.. These are different materials and each have different diameter holes. So, it’s easy to say “hey, I need a hole on this pile of paper”, but printers would agree that it’s not always easy to get this job done properly.

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Sakura Seiki, the one of the manufacturer plants for Uchida, started producing paper drills and drill bits in the 1970s’, and they know there are several different demands from the market. In general, customers want to punch “beautiful” holes “efficiently” on paper piles. When you look at drill bits, below factors need to be improved for better results .

1. Sharpness of blade : To punch holes on paper piles beautifully and easily.
2. Smoothness for both outer & inner surfaces : To prevent wastes clogging up inside and to prevent burrs and damages on papers.
3. Abradability – ease of resharpening, longer lifetime : To keep longer lifetime in good condition.

In order to improve each factor, drill bits have to be processed very accurately and there surfaces have to be as smooth as possible.

Uchida drill bits are made of special steel used for cutting tools, such as razor, scissors and knife, that has higher hardness and viscosity. The original material is a round column special steel stick. By using a CNC, both outer surface and caliber (inner surface) are lathed. As shown on the below drawings, the drill bit itself is tapered as it goes up to its base, while the caliber is tapered in opposite direction in order to prevent the wastes clogging up inside the bit. As a result, the thinnest part of the drill bit becomes as thin as 0.15mm, and this part must be evenly thin.

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Inconsistency in thickness affects durability and lifetime of a drill bit. Even though this process is done by the machine, to keep certain accuracy, the machine itself needs to be highly accurate, carefully programmed and calibrated. Therefore in order to procedure truly high quality drill bits, Sakura Seiki installed a fully customized machine, specialized in processing drill bits. And to make sure that the machine is calibrated perfectly, drill bits are carefully inspected by skilled workers before delivery.

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Back in the 1970s’, the quality of our drill bits were of course not as good as that for current ones. Some drill bits broke after some hundreds of strokes, but after all the trials and improvements, if used properly, our drill bits works perfectly even after 10,000 strokes. Plus, their enhanced technology invented the world smallest drill bit, which diameter is only 1.5mm. (This drill bit is used only for plastic. )

For these significant products and practices, the factory was awarded for its “Takumi” (craftsmanship) from Osaka city.

“Also, since Uchida developes and produces both paper drills and drill bits, we have tested enormous combinations of drills, drill bits and works. For example, manual stroke type drills such as VS-25 and VS-55 have to be easy enough for operator to stroke. Testing several combinations, such as various length, thickness and coating of drill bits in a wide range of drills with different rpm and stroking speed, analysing the results, improving drills and drill bits, and testing again. Since the beginning, we have kept this trial and error procedures circulating to find best practices.” Mr. Tsubakihara, the director of Sakura Seiki adds.

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Based on a lot of experience and passions, Uchida is proud to take a marketshare of 75% in Domestic (Japanese) market. Yes, we sell not only the drills to punch holes, and also experiences how smoothly our drills can do it!

To see more about our drills, check our portfolio.

(Written by Yasto)

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