Gabler said that since Shimadzu traditionally ships its testing machines by air freight, the company has not experienced many of the supply line issues—from inflation to freighters sitting off the coast of ports for extraordinarily long times—afflicting rail and sea shipments.
Besides its universal mechanical testing machines, Shimadzu boasts a thermal product line for differential scanning calorimetry, a thermo-analytical technique in which the difference in the amount of heat required to increase the temperature of a sample and reference is measured as a function of temperature.
Its instruments in the automotive and aerospace testing realms include X-ray inspection machines; leak inspection and detection technology, especially as it relates to helium and the airtightness of a product; dynamic balance testing for tires, alternator motors and starter motors; and film deposition technology, "which ensures high-quality film properties and offers among the highest throughput rates available in the industry for automating operations in line with injection molding machines."
Film deposition can be remarkably important, according to Shimadzu, as the industry transitions from metal alloys to plastics for automotive parts.
The technology features high-throughput and is characteristic of high-adhesion, high-coverage on three-dimensional parts. These film deposition instruments have unique applications in heads up displays, headlamp reflectors, EMI shielding and other optical parts.
Finally, within automotive, is Shimdazu's proprietary vacuum heat treatment technology, via vacuum furnaces, to meet the non-oxide ceramic needs during sintering applications.
This can help improve maintainability during mass production and represents the ultimate destruction of a sample or part, as the temperature is raised in a particular furnace until the part is totally destroyed. Shimadzu then can report back to the customer about the thermogravimetric analysis, or how the mass of a sample is measured over time against temperature changes.
Like so many other companies, the pandemic hit Shimadzu from an operational standpoint, in the sense that the company restricted travel, had to adhere to different regulations in different countries and had to adapt to a digital world with online meetings.
"People could not go on-site, buying physical hardware at a given location—and we had to figure out how to adapt to that," Gabler said. "We had to make as much digital as we could. We became very well-versed in remote training, guiding and teaching people how to install an instrument themselves.
"Now we have kind of gone back to normal, but we have kept the things that work, like the perfection of the digital side when we could not be in-person. Things are still opening up, and like here at the IEC, people are getting back together. People are looking for an opportunity to get in front of customers and suppliers, one-on-one. This conference allows those who maybe have not heard of you to get a chance to talk face-to-face and see their products."