Meet a Mastercam Reseller in Japan: Q&A with JBM Engineering
JBM Engineering Corporation (JBM) offers a myriad of CAD/CAM solutions to meet the changing needs of Japanese customers.
In 1970, Osaka, Japan, was the site of two major events: The Osaka World Expo and the founding of JBM Engineering, a provider of maintenance work for computer terminals, that the time were still in their infancy. Eleven years later, the company developed and launched the first NC tape making machine – the NC 2400 – in Japan.
As manufacturing became more automated, JBM began developing and distributing software solutions, and became a Mastercam Reseller in 1993. Today, JBM imports, develops, and distributes CAD/CAM, robotics, CAI measurement, and 3D printer products as well as other software solutions for machinery, mold making, prototyping, mass production, woodworking, and other industries.
We spoke with secretary to CEO/interpreter Ai Terauchi and Chairman/CEO/Founder Taiji Sano to find out a little more about how JBM serves its Japanese customers.
Q. When was your business started?
A. JBM was founded in 1970.
Q. Since when have you sold Mastercam?
A. Since 1993.
Q. Where are your locations?
A. Our headquarters are located in Osaka, and we have six additional branches in Japan. We also have one in the United States.
Q. Where do you sell Mastercam?
A. We sell in Japan.
Q. Do you have any Mastercam Reseller awards?
A. We have received awards for the highest number of Mastercam sales in the world from 2000 through 2017, with the exception of three years.
Q. What Mastercam services do you offer customers?
A. We provide training both on-site and in our office, as well as call-in support.
Q. What is the latest, most exciting customer application you have?
A. One of our customers has a 5-axis machining application that cuts a simple hemispherical pocket, which can be machined even with 3-axis operations, for reduced cycle time and improved accuracy by rotating the part on the table and using shrink fit tool holders to minimize the tool projection.
Q. What is your favorite feature in Mastercam?
A. Its versatile pocket strategies, including Dynamic Motion toolpaths. Mastercam has a great number of pocket toolpath options, compared to our competitors.
Q. What industries do you serve?
A. We serve many companies in industries such as automotive, aerospace, sub-conductor, construction equipment, machine tool vendors, woodworking, etc., as well as educational customers in industrial colleges and universities.
Q. What are some challenges/opportunities you find that are unique to your region?
A. Manufacturing in Japan is very demanding. They are not just satisfied with getting jobs done; they ask us for improvements in both accuracy and cycle time simultaneously, which can be, in general, really challenging tasks.
In addition, Japanese customers are very detail oriented. An NC code that drives their machine in an expected way may not even satisfy them; they often ask us to modify their post for small changes, based on their preference or readability of the resultant code.
Q. What are some unique issues that you can solve by being a local support hub for Mastercam?
A. Since Mastercam has been developed in English-speaking environments, it cannot handle Japanese (in dimensions and letters) very well. For example, Mastercam’s Create Letters command draws all Japanese characters as outlined letters which are not suitable for drawings and operations that machine the centerline of letters.
To support Japanese single-stroke letters in Mastercam, we have developed a homegrown add-in called Strokefont and been distributing it to our Maintenance customers without additional cost. We have favorable remarks from customers who cut Japanese letters on parts.
Q. What is your value added by being a local representative?
A. We not only translate Mastercam and its accompanying documents into Japanese for sales in Japan but also developed seven Mastercam add-ins along with Strokefont mentioned above for manufacturing in Japan. They are included in our Mastercam installation and are available to all our Maintenance customers without additional cost, to beat competitors.
Our superb support also makes a difference. Even a very useful tool would be useless if users don’t know how to use it – to avoid situations like this, we are committed to after-sales service as well.