Established in 1930 and located in Tokyo’s Kita Ward, Matsuda Sekizai Kogyosho (hereinafter “Matsuda Sekizai”) design and erect 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 made the decision to introduce a Trotec Speedy 300 flexx laser engraving machine in September 2016.
The laser engraving machine was introduced for the purpose of engraving tombstones, mirrored and stainless-steel surfaces. In addition to the main applications, the laser is also used to create jigs and new products.
Trotec Laser Machines
A Trotec Speedy 300 flexx laser engraver（CO2: 40W, Fiber: 20W）and an Atmos Mono exhaust system (230V)
Matsuda Sekizai utilises its laser engraver to apply letters and names to the facings of stone plaques. As to why it introduced a laser machine into its business, the company started producing mortuary tablets. What is more, 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 using 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. “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 researched a number of other laser suppliers using their websites, however, what sold him on Trotec 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."
On the subject of laser engraving stone, 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.”