Every Sinto America employee takes pride in ensuring the best possible outcome for any challenge that comes its way. As a matter of fact, the company’s very name boasts a clue to that philosophy.
In Japanese, Sinto is written as two characters: “new” and “east.” Within those two simple words are the key to how Sinto America approaches its customers: by taking on new challenges while always moving forward with hope — essentially combining its strengths with its passion.
“I would say our overriding philosophy is to help our customers succeed with cost-effective products and services we can provide; we aim for satisfaction across the board with our customers, starting from the first phone call, all the way to supporting them after their equipment has been installed,” said Charlie Gorman, vice president of Sinto Surface Treatment. “But specific to gear manufacturing, we want to develop and provide the latest technologies to our customers in order to participate in the advancement of the transportation industries that use these products that depend on the applications.”
Enhancing the value of gears
Particularly for the gear industry, Sinto America provides services that can enhance the value of gears, according to Mike Fredbloom, director of Sales for Sys-T-Mation and new products.
“Sinto provides foundry equipment and services; one of the product lines we provide is blasting equipment for a foundry’s cleaning room to de-sand castings,” he said. “From that, Sintokogio (the parent company of Sinto America) adapted their products for other applications; peening gears for the automotive industry is an example. Sinto has developed several different models of shot peening machines for different applications, including the gear industry. Peening is one of the ways we are becoming involved in the gear manufacturing industry.”
Sinto has a product line called Sightia for nondestructive testing and quality assurance, according to Fredbloom. Sinto will be submitting a technical paper to GEAR Magazine for their fall technical conference concerning non-destructive testing and quality assurance. Using Sinto’s Sightia product line, manufacturers may perform 100 percent in-line, product quality checks. The process is very rapid, as little as 10 seconds, depending on the surface treatment performed on the gear.
“With any type of development, we’re always trying to look ahead in the industry that we’re participating in and see what challenges our customers are facing,” Fredbloom said. “We want to provide a better way to achieve a goal that improves quality, reduces process variation, and ideally lowers costs.”
Maximum Customer Satisfaction
With an international engineering support team, Sinto America can tackle a customer’s challenge from both a high level, as well as a lower level of detail, according to Gorman.
“From a high level in order to stay within the scope and budget of the project and then we tackle the details so we can ensure that the product is going to correctly function, be dependable, and be repeatable over the lifetime of the product or service,” Gorman said.
Also, looking for partnerships with other companies is becoming the norm for Sinto America to give its customers more value-added product. Gorman emphasized such arrangements will ultimately strengthen Sinto America’s reputation, as well as its products and services.
“I think in today’s business environment, it’s going to require multiple types of solutions, whether it’s our equipment or not,” he said. ”We want to participate primarily with the technology. Sinto has worked very hard to develop non-destructive, quality control products. Sinto’s Sightia product line is designed to perform 100-percent part-quality assurance checks within the production process ‘in line.’ Our PSMX-II, an X-ray diffraction device, measures the residual stress to confirm surface treatment is performed to customers’ specifications, while our ECNI eddy current device determines if the treatment covered the entire part.”
With a history that covers decades of providing products and services to a variety of industries, Sinto has carved an impressive swath of innovation, particularly when it comes to peening, according to Fredbloom. For example, Dr. Yuji Kobayashi, a development manager at SintoKogio, was named “shot peener of the year” in 2018 and holds several patents on Sinto technology.
“Many of the technologies and processes that Dr. Yuji Kobayashi has developed are now the products that we are trying to promote in the North American gear market,” Fredbloom said. “His development in the area of peening and non-destructive testing have led to multiple products now being sold.”
That approach to peening will be necessary as electric vehicles become more of the norm, according to Gorman.
“With electric vehicles, weight is a huge concern,” he said. “Providing compressive stress adds strength and fatigue resistance to components that allow designers to reduce the weight of those components. We see that as a big driver going forward. The use of more automated processes and controls — non-destructive testing being one of them —reduces costs associated with surface enhancement processes. Sinto is striving to lead the way in the development of several of these different technologies.”
As Sinto America continues to evolve and move into the future, the company is developing new Industry 4.0 technologies. Among these technologies are remote monitoring capabilities that are able to monitor processes and provide immediate feedback to the customer, according to Fredbloom.
“We have seen this technology demonstrated,” Fredbloom said. “Sintokogio has an internal video of this process of remote gear surface treatment evaluation, where a customer is at their manufacturing location, peening their gear, and Sinto technicians are located remotely at Sinto’s Surface Technology Center, reading the information on those gears. Then, the Sinto technicians advise the customer on how to calibrate the process to effectively peen the gears better.”
Peening, particularly for gears, is a critical process. Gorman pointed out that process control also remains critically important in the gear industry. Sinto is working to advance peening technologies and developments for future industry requirements.