SHIMA SEIKI

History

History

We introduce the history beginning with SHIMA SEIKI's founder, Masahiro Shima, to the present, in chronological order.

Masahiro Shima

1937-
History before the company was founded

The founder, Masahiro Shima, and the establishment of SHIMA SEIKI

Masahiro Shima was one of the young men to lose their fathers in the war and survived the postwar era of poverty with a hungry spirit.

Working as a junior high school student at a repair shop next door, he was introduced to a glove knitting machine and created numerous inventions such as "Double Loop Stitch Sewing Machine" and "elastic yarn inserted safety gloves."

After Masahiro graduated from a part-time high school at the age of 19, he developed advanced technology for the fully automated glove knitting machines. In 1962, he founded "SANSHIN SEIKI MFG., LTD.," the predecessor of SHIMA SEIKI MFG., LTD.

The company, however, split due to one partner putting more weight on manufacturing a semi-automatic device for a glove knitting machine and Masahiro Shima, focusing on the development of a "fully automated glove knitting machine" It was in 1962 that SHIMA SEIKI MFG., LTD. (SHIMA SEIKI) was born.

Development of the world's first fully automated glove knitting machine

1962

Development of the world's first fully automated glove knitting machine

The initial development of the fully automatic seamless glove knitting machine (prototype) was considered to be difficult to put into practical use and incurred large debt.

At the end of 1964, despite being threatened with bankruptcy, Masahiro succeeded in developing a fully automated glove knitting machine (square fingertip type) in a week of sleeplessness and was able to rebuild the company.

This "automated glove knitting machine (square fingertip type)" was later certified as the "Mechanical Engineering Heritage" of The Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers.

Entering the flat knitting machine industry

1967

Entering the flat knitting machine industry

We were not satisfied with only entering the small market of glove knitting machines, so we entered the flat knitting machine industry too.

In 1967, the world's first fully automated collar knitting machine "FAC" with about 30 patented technologies owned by SHIMA SEIKI was born.

In 1968, SHIMA SEIKI relocated its headquarters and factory to Sakata, and began its full-fledged start as a flat knitting machine manufacturer.

Debut at the international ITMA Exhibition

1971

Debut at the international ITMA Exhibition

In 1971, while developing mechanical models one after another, and being observed by European manufacturers in the same industry, we made our debut at the "ITMA Exhibition (International Textile Machinery Exhibition)."

The first oil shock hit the world in 1973, and SHIMA SEIKI faced a severe business crisis. However, we succeeded in achieving dramatic technological innovations by introducing cutting-edge machine tools with reverse thinking, instead of carrying out personnel reduction.

After 10 years of entering the flat knitting machine industry, SHIMA SEIKI had become one of the top manufacturers in the country.

The rise of computerized flat knitting machine

1978

The rise of computerized flat knitting machine

Eventually, the flat knitting machine entered the second innovation period by electronic control after the first innovation period of automation.

In 1978, SHIMA SEIKI developed "SNC," a computerized flat knitting machine with the phrase "doubled performance at half price."

Birth of Shimatronic Design System

1981

Birth of Shimatronic Design System

Furthermore, in 1979, we acquired a graphics board sold by NASA (US National Aeronautics and Space Administration) and started developing computer hardware. In 1981, we developed the Shimatronic Design System "SDS-1000" and it demonstrated tremendous ability in speeding up of knit programming.

Although the "SDS" was initially developed for knit programming with flat knitting machines, due to its superior performance, "SDS" attracted attention in a wide range of other areas, from television stations to general industries.

The dawn of the first international year

1983

The dawn of the first international year

At the Milan ITMA Exhibition in 1983, we proposed the "Apparel Multi-Design System," which incorporated planning to sales, and received the endorsement of "the world's leading flat knitting machine manufacturer."

In 1984, while the third pillar of computer graphics was growing in addition to glove knitting machines and flat knitting machines, we expanded overseas at the dawn of the first international year.

The second generation of computerized flat knitting machines

1987

The second generation of computerized flat knitting machines

When Black Monday occurred in 1987, a prestigious Swiss knitting machine manufacturer with a history of 120 years went bankrupt.

At this point, it was not suitable for knitting machines on the extension line.

In 1988, through company luck and repeated trial and error, the second generation of computerized flat knitting machines "SES" was developed.

Listing and completion of new office

1990

Listing and completion of new office

In 1990, the company was listed on the second section of the Osaka Stock Exchange, and at the same time completed the new headquarters building.

With the completion of the computerized fabric cutting machine "P-CAM" in 1991, SHIMA SEIKI became the first CAD/CAM manufacturer in Japan.

Furthermore, we extended the base to the field of system equipment including the computer graphics (CG) field.

Birth of the world's first WHOLEGARMENT computerized flat knitting machines

1995

Birth of the world's first WHOLEGARMENT computerized flat knitting machines

With the hollowing-out of industries do to the trend of globalization, we focused on domestic production and decided to develop the WHOLEGARMENT computerized flat knitting machines to convert the labor-intensive industry to a knowledge-intensive industry.

In 1995, the WHOLEGARMENT computerized flat knitting machines "SWG," acclaimed as the "Oriental Magic," knit a single sweater from yarn in only 30 minutes. This had a historical impact on the industry with an innovative solution of "eliminating sewing."

In 1997, with the aim of creating products of "woven-like knitwear," the “SlideNeedle” (needle for knitting), which was developed to enhance the appeal of WHOLEGARMENT, had created its own knit fashion.

Start of a new challenge

2000

Start of a new challenge

Moreover, an innovative new design system called "SDS-ONE" was created, based on the concept of all-in-one.

In 2002, a no-plate ink jet printing machine "SIP-100F" was developed, and a "Total Fashion System" based on "SDS-ONE" strengthened the cooperation between "SIP" and "P-CAM," contributing to a revitalization of the industry.

At SHIMA SEIKI's 40th Anniversary event in 2002, we held a full-fledged fashion show by famous staff from Italy in Wakayama, and vowed to develop our technology even further.

Aiming for an environmentally conscious company

2002

Aiming for an environmentally conscious company

Dealing with environmental problems became a major issue for companies, and as a result, we promoted the introduction of solar power generation facilities and environmentally friendly factories.

"If you don't have a good environment, you can't create good products. I want to keep working hard for the people and the earth," said Masahiro Shima, the president at the time.

In search of efficiency

2007

In search of efficiency

The models of knitting machines to be manufactured are roughly divided into two groups, including general-purpose knitting machines for mass production in labor-intensive production areas and WHOLEGARMENT computerized flat knitting machiness for consumption area production.

In 2007, we developed the super-high-speed WHOLEGARMENT computerized flat knitting machines "MACH2X" and design system "SDS-ONE APEX" enabling the three-dimensional representation of WHOLEGARMENT, increasing the efficiency of knit production.

WHOLEGARMENT goes to space!

2008

WHOLEGARMENT goes to space!

In 2008, the seam-free technology was recognized for its appealing characteristics and was adopted for everyday clothing on the space shuttle, sending WHOLEGARMENT knitwear to space!

Also, we opened the Knit Museum in the same year to share information about the history of our knitting machines and to have younger generations that will lead the future experience the appeals of manufacturing.

50th Anniversary Celebration

2012

50th Anniversary Celebration

In 2012, SHIMA SEIKI celebrated the 50th Anniversary since its founding.

We completed a dedicated assembly factory for WHOLEGARMENT computerized flat knitting machiness.

Realistic, three-dimensional simulations proposed with the design system "SDS-ONE APEX3" shocked users, encouraging the concept of "Total Fashion System."

In the P-CAM-related field, we began to enter industries other than apparel and received high marks in the composite materials exhibition and the aircraft exhibition.

WHOLEGARMENT debuted 20 years

2015

The Age of Innovation

WHOLEGARMENT debuted 20 years ago.

By formulating the “Mid-term Management Plan,” the entire company will work in the same direction for the next 50 years.

At the 2015 ITMA Exhibition, 18 models including the WHOLEGARMENT computerized flat knitting machines “MACH2XS” were exhibited. At the 2016 ITMA ASIA exhibition, not only hardware but also software made use of SHIMA SEIKI's strengths. This included Shima KnitPLM (network management system) as well as “staf” (fashion archive & trend information), which are integrated with the design system “SDS-ONE APEX3” to propose a new form of the supply chain.

A Dedication to Innovation

A Dedication to Innovation

In 2017, on the 55th Anniversary, Mitsuhiro Shima became the new president, and a stronger management base was born.

"Create things that do not exist in the world and become an indispensable company."

SHIMA SEIKI continuously takes on challenges to develop new technologies. With the mantra of "Love," "Creativity," and "Passion," as well as the corporate philosophy of "Ever Onward- Limitless Progress," SHIMA SEIKI aims to become "an indispensable company" through sustainable development of business.

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