"There are a lot of things to learn in business affairs. In the meantime, we try to collect a wide range of information while considering how widely I can store ideas in “drawers”."
"Work-style reform" has been started by enforcement of the related bill since April 2019. First of all, large-sized general contractors such as construction consultants and bridge manufacturers were asked to carry out the reform. Then the target bodies gradually increased. As the requests to small- and medium-sized corporations become severe, their impact is bringing about diverse changes in subcontracting industry, says Mr. Makoto Mitsui, President of Sinyu Techno. LLC.
"(Speaking of correction of long working hours) so far, there has been no upper limit in our industry, and (when needed) it was usual to work overtime or overnight. Now, however, no such situations are seen." Since business affairs that general contractors cannot perform are supposed to be committed to small- and medium sized subcontractors, their work contents are changing; for example, works related to preparation from the planning phase or examination increase year by year. In addition, while engineers who bear subcontractor's work are certainly aging, they have fostered relationship with large-sized general contractors by teaching their new employees who join the contractors one after another. Under such situations, he says that they are trying hard to offer what is most suitable to the situation taken from their "drawers" of information they have been positively collecting and accumulating from day to day.
40 years Since Foundation, Sinyu Pursues "Work That Leads to the Next"
The origin of Sinyu Techno. LLC (Sinyu) goes back to Sekkeishitsu (Design Office) Sinyu (Kita-ku, Nagoya-shi), which was founded in 1980 by Mr. Nobuyuki Mitsui, present Executive Chairman. Next year, registration of a corporation was made as Sekkeishitsu Sinyu LLC, and it is its 40th anniversary this year. In the meantime, it renamed itself to the present company name in 1995. Having moved its office several times along with steady business expansion, Sinyu is based in the current office (Higashi-ku, Nagoya-shi) since 2020.
Partly because the Executive Chairman comes from a bridge manufacturer, Sinyu kept engaged in subcontracted works of total design of steel superstructure and substructure since its foundation. At present, Sinyu specializes in superstructure, RC and steel substructure, mainly of steel road bridges. Sinyu undertakes works including design of new bridges, seismic reinforcement, and repair/reinforcement, and bridge inspection from large-sized construction consultants and bridge manufacturers.
"We would like to do work that will lead to the next stage both for customer satisfaction and ourselves," says Mr. Makoto Mitsui, President, expressing their policy. This shows their self-confidence that they have been building up long-time relationship of trust with general contractors as a result of coping with challenges while always answering their own questions saying "is this right?" in addition to closely cooperating with their clients each time.
Currently, 12 employees are working in the company. The ratio of males and females in the company is 6 to 4; that means the ratio of female workers is exceptionally high compared with that of the construction industry as a whole. In addition, they are taking the lead in coping with work style reform.
Sinyu covers the whole area nationwide including Chubu area which accounts for more than 80% of its business performance and through the support system of Doboku Sekkei (Civil Engineering Design) Center Cooperative Association mentioned below. Regarding its clients' types of business, construction consultants accounts for more than 80%, and bridge manufacturers nearly 20%.
It was 1992 when Mr. Mitsui, President joined the company. Until then, he had been working for Yokogawa Techno-information Service Inc. (YTI) for 9 years and engaged in design work etc. for various types of steel bridges. After moving to Sinyu, he took charge of designing steel superstructure. Since he took office as President in 2011, he has been leading the design staff of superstructure while managing company.
"This fiscal year, we had comparatively many works of designing new bridges. In recent years, however, repair or reinforcement and inspection of bridges have increased, and therefore, we go to the site more often than before."
Introduced Various Types of Software Products of FORUM8 on Substructure and Earthwork since 1990
Mr. Satoru Nakashima, Corporate Executive Officer, First Design Group leads design of substructure within Sinyu Techno. In 1986 (when it was Sekkeishitsu (Design Office) Sinyu), he joined the company as the 3rd engineer. At that time, as the staff members were limited, each of them took charge of diverse design works ranging from superstructure to substructure of steel bridges. Initially, they were making drawings wholly by hand. Actually, though they had the early version of design program made by other company just developed, it was not easy to handle not only because it took long hours to design but also its output was not smooth. He says, therefore, that he seldom used it.
In 1990, Sinyu introduced "Mighty Bridge" (developed by Yaesu Kogyo Co., Ltd) that FORUM8 was dealing with for the first time. Since they realized its advantages by using it, they also adopted other software products such as the one related with substructure and earthworks of UC-1 series as a package, although in those days they were not spread even among large-sized general contractors so much. It became an opportunity for Sinyu to largely shift from hand drawing to usage of computer.
At that time, a specialty team system started. In one team, Mr. Nakashima and Executive Chairman Mitsui (then-President) took charge of substructure design, and in the other team, two other members took charge of superstructure design. Since then, as human resources were expanded step by step, Mr. Nakashima has been using the software programs of FORUM8 mainly among others.
"Though there are some detailed requests, we think it is the best program we have ever used so far." As part of such evaluation, Mr. Nakashima recollects that every time they faced with something unclear or questionable in the process of using their software programs respectively, they often inquired, and got answers from FORUM8 that were more minute than they had expected early, which saved them.
Besides, they have kept adopting "Engineer's Studio(R)" for the nonlinear dynamic analysis of 3D laminated plate cable since they introduced the previous version of UC-win/FRAME(3D) in the year of 2000 or so when it was just released. They still often use it at present mainly for repair and reinforcement design of substructure.
Regarding this, President Mitsui mentioned the present situation in which they greatly depend upon dynamic analysis software. He emphasizes the significance of the software being capable of supporting the changes in rules that are made every time a great earthquake occurs.
Great Importance Attached to Collaboration with Partners through Civil Engineering Design Center
Sinyu Techno. is a pioneer in utilizing diverse software programs related to steel bridge design including CAD, which is not limited to the manufacture of FORUM8, in the industry including general contractors and subcontractors. In the days when there were few users, Sinyu collected information through YTI CAD Center and Civil Forum Society, in which multiple software companies such as FORUM8 made actions aiming at dissemination of package software, and tried to utilize IT positively from early.
There, it was planned to contribute to raising software usages as a whole by collaboration of software venders with each other rather than having them to compete with each other. Furthermore, users of diverse enterprises doing design work as subcontractors were playing important roles. This was the starting point of the relationship between Sinyu Techno. Later, Sinyu kindly takes part in FORUM8's anniversary events as well as SPU (Super Premium Users) every time.
After YTI CAD Center, for which Executive Chairman Nobuyuki Mitsui served as its chairperson, found a good place to stop its activities, some of the concerned members of the Center newly formed "Civil Engineering Design Center Cooperative Association" (Kita-ku, Osaka-shi). Sinyu also joined it as its major member.
Civil Engineering Design Center's goal is to make social contribution through infrastructure development, using knowledge and networks obtained from the design work that the members have been engaged in for long years as cooperative companies of construction consultants. The main activities of the Association are formulated as joint acceptance of order for large-scale projects, common use of equipment, joint technology development and education. Currently, its members include 11 companies with different specialties. Service areas of these companies as a whole cover the entire nation.
Approach to 3D, Thought towards Designer
|(Written by Takashi Ikeno)
(Up&Coming '21 Spring issue)