Updated: May 27
Naito, an amusement machine company, has begun to manufacture and sell the face guards for newborn babies to prevent the spread of COVID-19 infections since late April.
Naito is located in Aichi prefecture and develops pachinko, a Japanese gambling game of pinball. That is one of the few companies which supports the Japanese entertainment industry. In late April, the pachinko manufacturer began producing and selling face guards to support medical institutions as a social contribution activity.
Introduction to Medical Institutions
Naito’s support for obstetrics and gynecology clinics started in late April. To prevent airborne infections from newborn babies, Naito produced face guards, called Baby Shield. At the same time, to show their respects to medical professionals fighting against the viruses, the pinball manufacturer also started to sell the Face Shield, which is for adults working at medical institutions.
The Wise Lady's Clinic, a medical corporation located in Saitama prefecture, immediately introduced this guards for newborns in May. Because babies would neither wash their hands or put on face masks, health-care workers were worried about infections of babies and their mothers. Hiroshi Segawa, chairman of the clinic, said it was not good for mothers to touch their babies with anxious face expression. Even in the time of it is difficulties, to treat babies with a smile is important. The guards can prevent airborne infections from newborns and reduce mothers’ anxiety. Baby Shields will be needed at a lot of medical institutions from now on.
Contribution Apart From Main Business
Apparently, the pachinko business and the face guards have nothing to do with. However, it is not uncommon for companies to contribute to the COVID-19 indifferently from their main business. With the outbreak of the viruses, corporations producing face masks or alcohol disinfectants for medical institutions regardless of their core business are emerging. Naito is one of them and they are successful in applying the pachinko machine parts technology to smoothly production of these guards.
The pinball manufacturer’s strengths are planning ability to provide new ideas full of originality towards major amusement machine companies or high technical ability to quickly shape those ideas. Therefore, these two strengths which have supported its core business of producing pachinko parts also apply to the production of the guards. These abilities are familiar with the guards in terms of using resin parts or secondary processed parts.
Also, most of the components of the face guards are made of domestically produced materials and that is assembled at the Naito’s own factory in Japan. Compared to overseas production, it is more flexible about modifying the production systems if any matters come up. Moreover, it enables to shorten the term from production to introduction. With the motto of "safe and secure domestic production quality," the pachinko manufacturer thoroughly manages production workers’ health condition and hygiene and that produces in a clean environment.
In addition, the pinball manufacturer’s another strength is mass production. Only Naito has a mold factory and an electronic factory so that the company can consistently manage from the planning to manufacturing. Furthermore, the pachinko manufacturer is promoting the automation of production by introducing the latest robots and machines, and that enables to produce a lot of face guards all at once in the same way.
Preparing for More Patients
Within about 2 weeks, the pinball manufacturer launched a production line. Naito is producing 300,000 face guards per month, including ones for adults. They also plan to increase the production to 600,000 sets a month after June.
It is unclear when the viruses will end, and Naito face guards business will continue to be needed for the new lives in Japan.