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IWAKI’s 60th anniversary – The History

The Japanese engineer Yoshiaki Fujinaka founded IWAKI in 1956 in Tokyo and 2016 marks IWAKI’s 60th anniversary. IWAKI recently celebrated its anniversary with a festive gathering for all employees in Japan.
IWAKI timeline

From distributor to manufacturer

IWAKI was originally founded as a physics and chemistry appliances trading company, but offered many other products such as TV’s and washing machines, which was regarded as luxury goods at that time.

KM type Universal Shaker Nevertheless, IWAKI’s main occupation remained chemistry appliances, and during the first many years, they focused on selling “shakers” for use in laboratories. In the 1950’s, laboratories and the chemical industry began to apply solvent extraction as a new analytical method, which led to an increase in demand for shakers.

IWAKI had through sale of shakers gained significant insight and experience with these appliances and knew, a way to increase profits, was by turning into a manufacturer. IWAKI saw the increasing demand as an excellent opportunity, and after several weeks of internal meetings, brainstorming and assistance from a well-known professor, IWAKI invented its first shaker.
“KM type universal shaker”.

The pump adventure begins

IWAKI developed its first two pumps in 1959. DP-1, a diaphragm pump and BP-1, a bellows pump complemented the physics appliances well as the wetted parts were made from fluoroplastics. It enabled the pumps to cope with aggressive fluids.

The beginning of the 1960s became a turning point for IWAKI. An increasing interest and demand in low-flow chemical pumps made IWAKI change direction. IWAKI changed to focus solely on production of pumps.
IWAKIs DP-1 pump from 1959
The company’s breakthrough appeared in the wake of the changed direction, as Yoshiaki Fujinaka invented “Labo Pump” (LP1), the world’s first centrifugal pump in fluoroplastics. The newly developed pump was reliable, small and compact, and for this reason very suitable for implementation (OEM).

In 1962, IWAKI received its first order of LP1 for implementation in vending machines. Within short time, several Japanese manufacturers had implemented the pump. Click here to read the full story about IWAKI and the vending machines.
IWAKIs LP-1 pump used for vending machines
The images shows:
- IWAKIs DP-1 pump from 1959
- IWAKIs LP-1 pump from 1962

IWAKI’s first magnetic drive centrifugal pump

In 1967, IWAKI developed MD-15, the very first magnetic drive centrifugal pump made from fluoroplastics. The pump has today obtained “icon status” as the MD-series is still in production. Moreover, MD-15 had many similarities with LP1; small, compact but this time even more reliable!

The magnetic coupling ensures a hermetically sealed pump chamber in contrast to sealed centrifugal pumps, which over time can become worn-out and leak. Click here to read the difference between magnetic drive centrifugal pumps and sealed centrifugal pumps.
IWAKIs MD pump series is still in production

Focus on quality

An IWAKI pump is very reliable and dependable. Right from the start, IWAKI has emphasized the importance of quality control and assurance which is deeply integrated and rooted in the company culture, and ranges from quality control in working processes to quality assurance of spare parts. Furthermore, all IWAKI pumps has to meet stringent quality requirements, and passes as a minimum a trial run and a visual inspection.

Research & Development

Around 20% of IWAKI’s employees engage in research and development of new products and technologies. The R&D department co-operate with the sales and marketing dep., which on an ongoing basis gathers customer feedback and analyze the market. This ensures the R&D dep. always to be at the forefront of technological innovations.

IWAKI today

IWAKI has been subject to a rapid development since the invention of the first mag drive centrifugal pump. Today IWAKI is a transnational corporation with subsidiaries, joint ventures and distributors in more than 30 countries around the world. IWAKI’s key competence lies within magnetic drive centrifugal pumps and dosing pumps, and IWAKI’s assortment of pumps encompass more than 60 pump series and over 600 variants.