Pioneers in hand protection
For over 60 years, the Japanese-founded Showa has been a world leader in the professional protective gloves market. Its research and development centres in Japan, Malaysia and the United States are among the most advanced in the world. Inventor of the first seamless PVC and disposable nitrile gloves, Showa will be exhibiting this year at A-OSH Expo in hall 3, stand D19
The word Showa means “finding a balance between different elements” in Japanese. This principle is at the heart of the company’s approach and requires full control of all stages.
Showa exercises 100-percent control over the design and manufacturing process of its protective gloves. Every day, Showa continues to innovate at each stage to provide every wearer with a product that matches expectations. This autonomy, which is impervious to competitor methods and concepts, is based on constantly outperforming what has been done before to ensure that everyone enjoys comfort and optimum safety.
Always a glove ahead
Hand injuries make up around 25 percent of workplace injuries and are the leading cause of lost time, accidents and permanent disabilities. Despite the increasing statistics, many workers still feel that it is more convenient to work without gloves, do not have access to the right gloves, or lack the knowledge of glove properties to enable them to choose the correct gloves.
With this in mind, Showa’s team of more than 100 researchers, designers and engineers devote all their energy to developing new solutions to improve resistance to harsh temperatures, aggressive chemicals and cut risks – all while remaining comfortable enough for extended use and repetitive movement.
Once a glove prototype is developed, it is tested under real conditions on customer sites before being rolled out into the market. This ability to anticipate needs and provide solutions that eventually become benchmarks is based on unrivalled technological expertise and a fully autonomous way of working.
Surpassing excellence, quality beyond compare
Maintaining full control over its industrial ecosystem gives Showa a decisive advantage over other companies. Beyond its design and production process, Showa also designs and manufactures its knitting machines and yarns, therefore yielding the ability to create bespoke, innovative products.
The secret ingredient to all this is the Showa-made hand formers, designed to achieve the perfect ergonomics of a glove that naturally fits the anatomy of a hand.
Showa performs every possible resistance test in its labs to ensure that each glove is fit for work. No glove enters the market without complying with the necessary regulations in each country, be it the European PPE Regulation 2016/425 or the ANSI/ISEA Safety Standards.
Furthermore, all production units are ISO 9001 certified and each applies a philosophy of excellence: quality control is constant at all stages and on each glove.
Investing in tomorrow
Showa dedicates a large proportion of its research to biodegradable products and to developing fibres that have no or little impact on the environment.
In 2012, Showa research and development reached a major breakthrough with Eco Best Technology (EBT), the innovation that gave rise to the world’s first biodegradable nitrile glove.
Additional efforts to reuse and conserve resources have enabled Showa to obtain the ISO 14001 certification – a global standard in environmental management that helps to continually improve operations.
What makes a good glove?
Essentially, a good glove should fit perfectly to the shape of the hand, and offer the best grip and dexterity possible. When handling slippery objects, the glove must have a specific grip coating to ensure a strong hold.
On the outside and inside, and depending on the ambient temperature, a glove must be breathable and keep the wearer’s hands warm if necessary. A good glove therefore results from a compromise between the risks to be prevented, the constraints of the job, the level of protection required and the comfort of the employees, while respecting the standards in force.
Protection for every pursuit
Innovation makes sense when it actually contributes to something useful. Based on extensive market research and listening to customer’s needs, Showa has developed a glove suited to each industry and requirement.
Grouped into seven product categories (general purpose, cut protection, impact protection, chemical protection, insulated, antistatic and single use), all glove models take into account three key factors:
• Working environment (inside, outdoor, use in wet or dry environments);
• Various actions to perform (precision work and heavy part handling);
• Types of protection required (thermal, chemical, electrical and mechanical).
Looking at every type of application in each industry, Showa focuses on how to coordinate all of these key factors to provide the wearer with a glove that it is confident will ensure safety and comfort every time it is worn.
From mining, construction, agriculture or automotive, to petrochemicals or fishing, there is a Showa glove for every pursuit.
By adopting a mentality of “always innovating, never imitating”, Showa has pioneered each product category in some way: the world’s first single use nitrile glove; the first breathable water-resistant glove (Temres); the first biodegradable nitrile glove; and the only manufacturer to offer a chemical-resistance directory (ChemRest.com) with a free chemical testing programme for customers, to name a few.
The combination of new materials and fibres, such as high-performance steels and synthetic fibres, plus the ergonomic fit and feel of its exclusive hand formers, allows Showa glove innovations to preserve the wearer’s health, improve their productivity and reduce the company’s costs.
Exceptional service for exceptional gloves
Beyond the intrinsic quality of its products, Showa’s performance would be incomplete without first-class support and services. It is one of the leading glove manufacturers in the world, but it provides its customers with local services.
In order to ensure continued availability locally, all products and systems can be obtained from a network of partner distributors established all over the world. To ensure that all wearers have the necessary information to choose the right glove for them, Showa has developed guides and tools, like ChemRest.com and the Cut Protection Guide.