BANDAI SPIRITS announced that the new factory "Bandai Hobby Center Shinkan", which manufactures "gunpla", celebrating its 40th anniversary next year, and other plastic models, will begin operations Fall 2020.
In 1969, BANDAI SPIRITS (then Bandai) acquired a factory in Shimizu, Shizuoka, and began manufacturing plastic models. For "gunpla", which began in 1980, as of April 2019 it has shipped over 500 million units and is a popular item.
In 2006, the current Bandai Hobby Center annual shipments were 6.6 million units; however, to respond to the demand for gunpla, additional multicolor molding machines were added, and the output was increased 2.4 times to 15.73 million units for 2018.
Looking forward next year to 2020, the 40th anniversary of gunpla, a life-sized moving Gundam will appear at Yamashita Pier in Yokohama, and a Hollywood live-action Gundam movie is being produced (release date undetermined). Both domestically and overseas, the demand for gunpla is forecast to increase, and to respond to further growth in China and North America, and to provide for a stable medium to long term production system, it was decided to construct a new factory.
Also, at the Bandai Hobby Center Official Website, factory tour applications are being accepted until August 18, 2019 (Sun). In addition, "Until Gunpla Is Finished" is currently open to the public. Let's go check it out.
"Bandai Hobby Center Shinkan" Summary
Construction Start：December 2019
Operations Start：After Fall 2020
Construction Details：Molding building constructed at current Hobby Center site, 6 multi-color molding machines will be added
Number of Multi-color Molding Machines After Construction：35（25 Electric / 10 Hydraulic）※Including group companies
Construction Goal：Respond to the increase in demand domestically and overseas for plastic models
Construction Result：Approximately 1.4 times the current production is possible（Compared to August 2019）
Building Name：Bandai Hobby Center Shinkan ※The current Bandai Hobby Center will accordingly be the main building
Total Site Area：12,261㎡
Total Floor Area："Main Building" 8,767㎡（3 stories）／ "Shinkan" 1,488㎡（Single story）
Number of Employees：125（Workers including contractors：150）（As of August 2019）
"Bandai Hobby Center Shinkan" Features
The following equipment will be introduced with the construction of the new building:
- Efficiency increase with 2 small AGV（AGV＝Automated Guided Vehicle）
- Prevention of defective molding contamination through use of molded image inspection machines
- Real-time understanding and efficiency increase through production molding management system (visualization)
About the Bandai Hobby Center
Bandai Hobby Center is a production base located in Naganuma, Shizuoka City, Shizuoka for gunpla from BANDAI SPIRITS and other plastic models, and was completed in 2006.
At the Bandai Hobby Center, through our original technology of putting 4 colors and 4 different materials in 1 mold, a special molding machine called the "4 Color Injection Molding Machine" has been developed. Through such techniques as creating a single multi-color runner instead of 4 separate one color runners, in addition to making it easier to create plastic models and pursue color reproduction after assembly, we aim to reduce power consumption and conserve the material and resources used, thus reducing our environmental impact.
Currently multi-color molding technology is being deployed in various ways to drive the evolution of plastic model manufacturing.
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