Yasui is a name that has long been associated with casting solutions for the jewellery industry. Visit any jewellery manufacturing facility in Thailand, China, the US and elsewhere and chances are you would find Yasui’s blue machines playing the role of workhorse on the factory floor.
“For 44 years, I have dedicated my life to the development of casting solutions for the jewellery sector,” said Shouzui Yasui, CEO of Tokyo-based Yasui & Co and the recipient of the 2016 JNA Awards’ highest honour – the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Always moving and always seeking ways to improve its products, the company, which lives by the tagline, “The gold standard in fine casting,” is perhaps one of the unsung heroes of the jewellery industry: The people behind it are rarely seen in the spotlight – and they are more than happy to remain invisible – but the impact of their innovations have long-lasting and far-reaching effects on the sector’s development.
According to Albert Cheng, a member of the JNA Awards judging panel and an advisor to the World Gold Council, the Lifetime Achievement Award is a well-deserved honour for Shouzui Yasui.
“Yasui’s casting solutions, starting from the wax injector, were seen as pivotal in the mass production of jewellery, which consequently made jewellery accessible and affordable to many. This spurred on demand, triggering a ripple effect across precious materials suppliers, gemstone and jewellery manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers. These innovations changed the way jewellery was marketed and sold,” Cheng shared. “Mr. Shouzui Yasui keeps his ear to the ground and listens to what his customers are saying. He constantly looks for opportunities to innovate. As a result, his total casting solutions undergo many generations of reiteration and improvements – be it in process optimisation, efficiency and output.”
Letitia Chow, founder of JNA, director of Business Development – Jewellery Group at UBM Asia, and chair of the JNA Awards judging panel, added, “It is common knowledge that there are two ‘blue boxes’ in the jewellery industry. One is represented by a high-end consumer brand that has come to symbolise gifts of special significance. The other represents a jewellery casting company that the trade associates with high-quality and cost-effective manufacturing solutions. The latter is Yasui’s ‘blue box.’”
Spirit of innovation
Yasui’s pioneering culture is evident in its product line-up in the last four decades. It started developing its Vacuum Wax Injector in 1980, which was marketed globally starting from 1983. In 1991, the company commenced exports of its casting machines. Three years later, Yasui launched its electric Rotating Burnout Furnace. In 2002, the casting expert released its Digital Vacuum Wax Injection System. Ten years later, Yasui rolled out its third-generation wax machine, ALTIMA.
Shouzui Yasui, CEO of Yasui & Co
“One of the lessons I have learned in this industry is to always set higher goals because there is so much that we can accomplish. Our mission is to be the best at what we do,” Shouzui said. “In fact, immediately after releasing a new product, we are already busy developing the next one.”
Yasui is poised for the next phase of strong growth as it continues its aggressive product development. The casting solutions expert is scheduled to inaugurate a new factory powered by 30 employees by the end of 2016.
In 2015, Yasui established a Global Technical Center in Thailand, which endeavours to provide high-quality service and solutions to the jewellery sector.
“We never stop innovating. We will be launching even better casting solutions in the years to come,” Shouzui said. “In order to do so, it is imperative that we build an even more dynamic organisation, and that’s something that we are working on every day.”