Yamawa is a Japanese company, a world leader in threading tools production with 4 factories in Japan. The company headquarters is in Tokyo, and the company is still owned by the Watanabe family, who founded it in 1923. Yamawa differentiates itself for three main factors: -The focus only on threading tools since the foundation; -The broad range of solutions available for each machining applications and workpiece materials; -The outstanding Quality Control process. Yamawa production capacity exceeds 1.600.000 tools per month, and according to the tight quality control policy, each single tools undergoes three different quality inspections before leaving the factory. Moreover, all machines are subjects of regular quality controls and calibration. Since January 2016, Yamawa has opened European operations in Venice-Italy, with the objective of providing customers with timely access to products and technical expertise. Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company? Yamawa: The company is focusing entirely on high quality threading solutions: cutting and rolling taps, cutting and rolling dies, thread mills and the related products that help customers achieve outstanding results in the threading process such as centering tools. To excel in his area, Yamawa also designs and produces the majority of the over 1.900 machines deyeloped in its 4 Japanese plants, cooperates with the most qualified steel producers to define its own materials, each one carefully selected to provide each series of tools the highest performances in relation to the specific target threading application. E.E: What’s the news for 2020 about new products? Yamawa: In 2020 Yamawa made three significant introductions to its range. The first is the launch of the Z-PRO VU series, the first to market solution developed specifically to deliver top performances even with the use of emulsion and provide the highest performances under all machining conditions. The Z-PRO VU series taps embed the experience and threading expertise gained over the decades to provide the industry with a state-of-the-art product. VUSP (spiral fluted taps for blind holes) and VUPO (spiral pointed taps for through holes) are designed for use with emulsion as well as with cutting oil, both in mass production and small batches applications, allowing top performances without jeopardising operations reliability and quality on a broad range of materials, including steel, carbon steel, alloy steel, stainless steel and aluminium. VUSP and VUPO taps are developed to obtain continuous and reliable tapping, as well as to extend significantly the tool life thanks to exceptional chip evacuation. The new taps feature an innovative flute design allowing optimal chip control and lower cutting forces resulting in excellent finishing quality of the internal threads. The taps are made with premium quality powder high-speed steel, produced based on Yamawa’s specifications and feature a new special coating to maximise wear resistance. The second introduction is related to the PM Series – designed to provide outstanding performance mainly on 30-40 HRC steels, widely used in plastic injection mould construction. PM Series taps combine wear resistance and toughness, highly required in Mould&Die machining, thanks to the new special cutting geometry and the new HSSP premium material developed according to Yamawa specification. The third new product introduction is related to the AUSP family, fully dedicated to the Pipes Industry to produce G, Rp and Rc threads where the main challenge is to combine reliability with versatility and finishing quality, even on structural steel (sticky and characterized by long chips), typically used by customers in this segment. Yamawa AUSP Series meet perfectly these requirements thanks to a set of specially-developed technical features: – “high positive” cutting angle; – special “heel design”; – BLF geometry; – in-house developed coating. AUSP Series drastically reduce galling troubles on the cutting edge and improves chip ejection, allowing high reliability and long tool life. AUSP taps are multi-purpose, since they are suitable for tapping a wide range of materials: structural steel; carbon steel, alloy steel, stainless steel and aluminium. In Rp and Rc threads, this family also includes long shank solutions. E.E: What are the ranges of traded products? Yamawa: Yamawa catalogue focuses on threading solutions and includes cutting and roll taps, cutting and roll dies and centering tools with more than 20,000 items. The range spans from S05 micro roll taps for the electronics, communications and watchmaking industry to the HVSP taps for the heavy industry available up to M48 size or even the RE-HT taps for offshore maintenance of threads available from M50x1.5 up to M80x6 E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active? Yamawa: Yamawa is active in all segments globally, and since 2016 the company is serving the European customers directly from Italy. In each country we have different stages of market development, depending on historic presence of our distributors and of industry growth. E.E: What can you tell us about market trends? Yamawa: In the current production scenario, flexibility is the key that helps our clients dealing with different requests quickly while ensuring the utmost quality our new VUSP and VUPO taps of the Z-PRO range, designed to be used in modern multi-function machining centres, allow our clients to obtain the highest performance on different materials, such as steel, carbon steel, alloy steel, stainless steel and aluminium On the other hand, a large part of high-end customers looks for application-specific solutions allowing them to improve significantly productivity, gain competitive edge and reduce the overall cost per part. E.E: What are the most innovative products marketed? Yamawa: Our Z-PRO VU series is definitely the most innovative solution, being the first to market with totally new material, coating and cutting geometry to provide finally a solution designed from scratch with the goal of providing highest performances with the use of emulsion. E.E: What estimations do you have for 2020? Yamawa: Given the current worldwide scenario, it is very difficult to provide any accurate estimates for the end of 2020. The forced freeze on production imposed by emergency regulations in many countries came just after the critical slowdown in the automotive industry that has characterized 2019. This time other industries such as aerospace and the mould&dies segment related to consumers products are also heavily impacted and the timeframe for a sort of recovery is not yet easy to imagine. What we know is that Yamawa and our distribution partners are ready to team up with our customers to deploy any possible logistics and financial solutions that may help a fast and smooth recovery of the metalworking industry.