Yasuzo Igarashi is responsible for "machining." This work involves using a variety of machine tools to apply various methods of processing, such as cutting and polishing, to materials such as metals, and then finishing the work into a functional form as specified by the blueprints.
There are a variety of machine tools, such as a lathe, on which material is rotated and then shaved using a cutting tool, and a milling machine, on which the cutting tool rotates to shave the material. Lathes are characteristically suited to cutting material into cylindrical shapes, while milling machines are more suited to cutting material into complex shapes. High-precision automatic computer-controlled machine tools are also widely used.
Having mastered numerous techniques, Mr. Igarashi has learned to adapt to the operational requirements of the specific product being manufactured or the needs of a particular factory. Using a milling machine, he is currently engaged in machining components for IC steppers and scanners, considered the most precise of all machines.
"I've learnt a variety of techniques," he says, "but any given technique is significant only insofar as it enables the achievement of the precision necessary."