Hideo Tanaka: Innovative Designer of Processes and Machinery
On Sunday, Hideo Tanaka entered into the Plastics Hall of Fame, a recognition for helping Toshiba grow and for his innovative designs, which extend over a wide range of processes.
Hideo Tanaka helped lift Toshiba Machine Co. to its preeminent position in the plastics machinery industry. His engineering designs spanned a wide range of processes from nylon inflation blown-film through all-electric injection molding machines.
He joined the industry, after graduating from college when he was assigned to the plastics department of Toshiba Machine Co. at 22 years old. “Toshiba Machine Co. was well known for large size machine tool manufacturing and, at that time, it also was expanding into industrial machinery areas such as die casting, printing, injection molding and extrusion,” Tanaka says. “I worked in various departments but always related to plastics.”
Among the achievements he is most proud of, is his involvement with injection molding machine development and the expansion of the injection molding machine business. “Working together with the people, as a team, is the Japanese secret to achieve great success,” he says.
Regarding the challenges that the plastics industry is facing, he believes recycling is a big challenge, as plastics are absolutely necessary now and in the future. but they must be properly disposed of. He also mentioned as a challenge new material production (metal substitution, biodegradable production etc.) and their corresponding parts production solution (technique and system).
According to Tanaka, the development of human resources is also key, and it is a priority to set the opportunity and the system for young college students to learn and have interest in the industry.