Screws of Katsuragawa built by children to the moon's surface
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Screws of Katsuragawa built by children to the moon's surface

by Shun Otsuki
President & Editor in Chief KINSAN FASTENER NEWS


Children's handmade screws may fly to space and land on the lunar surface. Katsuragawa Seira co.,ltd. (Ota Ward, Tokyo) is advancing the development of screws for the lunar rover "YAOKI." The plan is to use screws that children actually made using a manually operated processing machine developed by the company.

The lunar rover "YAOKI" is being developed by DAIMON (Ota Ward, Tokyo), led by inventor and robot creator Shinichiro Nakajima, to realize lunar exploration by private companies. It is expected to play an active role in NASA's lunar transportation mission, "CLPS," and the "Artemis program" for manned spaceflight (lunar landing).

Katsuragawa established a technology partnership agreement to handle the production of approximately 100 screws for "YAOKI," thanks to the introduction by a local regional bank, Kiraboshi Bank. The company has a deep connection to the space industry, serving as a filming location for the drama "Shitamachi Rocket" and having a corporate emblem with a "star mark." With a long-standing aim to enter new businesses such as the aerospace field, this project presents an excellent opportunity.

"YAOKI" is characterized by its ultra-compact size, fitting in the palm of one's hand, its ultra-lightweight of 498 grams, and its high strength capable of withstanding an impact of 100 G. As the name suggests, it is designed to keep running even if it falls multiple times. The ultra-lightweight design is also required for screws, and the company plans to leverage its accumulated forging technology to conduct research and development, including the selection of shapes and materials and the design of molds. The significant highlight of this project is not only that the company manufactures and supplies screws but also that children themselves create the screws. In the showroom of the company's main factory, they have permanently installed modified processing machines such as old headers and rolling machines, allowing visitors to experience manual screw production. The initiative aims to teach the actual process of screw production, and the screw-making experience during factory tours has received positive feedback. The company's goal is to modify these processing machines to allow children to make screws for "YAOKI." It is a dream project where screws made by children could land on the lunar surface.

The running tests of "YAOKI" will also be conducted at the company's main factory. Inside the factory, there is a spiral-shaped staircase, and from there, they will drop "YAOKI" enclosed in a tank-shaped box to conduct running tests that replicate the gravity environment of the moon.

The company has been conducting basic research on forging technology, looking beyond its main customer base in the automotive industry and aiming to build new businesses in fields such as aerospace and medical. In addition, the main factory has a rental factory area with six spaces, which has been designed to facilitate collaboration with startups and other manufacturing industries. Currently, two spaces, measuring 60 square meters and 330 square meters, are available for rent. With the participation in the "YAOKI" project, the company also expects the entry of aerospace-related startups, and it anticipates the development of new business models where the company produces items developed by these companies for prototyping and development.