Case Study Matsuda Sekizai.
About Matsuda Sekizai.
Established in 1930 and located in Tokyo’s Kita Ward, Matsuda Sekizai Kogyosho (hereinafter “Matsuda Sekizai”) is in the business of designing and erecting tombstones, processing stone works for building purposes, and manufacturing other forms of masonry. Under the leadership of CEO and President Yoshitoshi Matsuda, the third-generation head of the business, the company introduced a Trotec Speedy 300 flexx laser engraver in September of 2016.
Laser Engraver Applications.
A laser engraver was introduced for the purpose of engraving tombstones, mirrored and stainless-steel surfaces. A second application was the manufacturing of jigs and new products.
Trotec Laser Machines Introduced
A Trotec Speedy 300 flexx laser engraver（CO2: 40W, Fiber: 20W）and an Atmos Mono exhaust system (230V)
Application and Challenge.
Matsuda Sekizai basically utilizes its laser engraver to apply letters and names to the facings of stone plaques. As to why it introduced a laser engraver unit into its business, the company started producing mortuary tablets. What is more, in that the facings of such tablets are of a fixed style, their production required a laser engraver that met certain requirements including an ability to handle curved surfaces. On that matter, rather than resorting to the use of a rotary attachment, Mr. Matsuda decided to create a custom jig that would allow for any lettering to be applied so that it fit within predetermined areas. On that matter, he had the following to say: “our Trotec Speedy 300 flexx comes in very handy in that it is even capable of helping us fabricate jigs.”
"I had intended to buy a flexx unit from the start. In saying that, isn’t that what Trotec sells, the idea of being able to use their products seamlessly?”
Mr. Matsuda also accessed a number of websites to compare the laser engravers of other manufacturers. However, what settled matters was the fact that Trotec offered both a CO2 laser and a fiber laser in the same unit. “With the flexx, one strength is the ability to trial both laser formats. For example, even on the same stone, the finish that is delivered by the CO2 and fiber lasers is totally different.” With the CO2 laser, if stone ends up being over-processed, it can melt and crumble. That creates a finish that does not look good. What is more, even if you try and coat it afterwards you end up with a bumpy finish. As such, when engraving the surface of tombstones, we make use of both types. We tape up the surface with masking tape, and then engrave the masked areas using the CO2 laser. Over the top of that, we then use the fiber laser on the stone.
Regarding the processing of stone with a laser, Mr. Matsuda offered the following: “The biggest hurdle that we face is the weight issue. The engraving table can only support 20 kilograms of weight. That is not a very big piece of stone. Accordingly, when we have to work with big pieces, we have to do our engraving using a sand-blasting technique. That being said, sand-blasting and lasers are used for entirely different purposes. Lasers can be used for etching out photographs on stone, and for really detailed work. It is impossible to do things like that when sand-blasting.”