Pollution Issues Caused by Japan's High Economic Growth －we aim to develop and promote the simplified analysis－
KYORITSU CHEMICAL-CHECK Lab., Corp. was established in November 1952, as a private enterprise with the aim of disseminating simplified analysis that does not require complex instrument or difficult operations.
After trial and error, the very first product to be commercialized is "pH Test Foil".
At that time, many pollution problems occurred nationwide along with the high economic growth after the war in Japan, and the rivers flowing through cities were dirty in black due to air and water pollution.
As a countermeasure, the Basic Law for Environmental Pollution Control was enacted in July 1967.
At this time, we developed test strips for heavy metal detection, similar in form to pH test foils and began selling "Ion Selective Test Paper".
However, a large number of high-precision analyzers have already been in the market, so the test paper was turned away, because it is considered to be just simplified method among heavy metal analysis. There is a big difference in detection sensitivity and accuracy between several "million" yen analyzers and several "tens" of yen test strips. We could only appeal to audience at exhibition, that this is the test strips anyone can use at anywhere.
"Ion Selective Test Paper"
Became Useful Tool to Draw Line for Polluted Land.
In 1973, a heavy metal soil pollution problem was discovered in Tokyo.
Soils containing heavy metals had been recycled in many places. As a result, heavy metals leaked from the soil violated the Water Pollution Prevention Act, which came into force in June 1971. As a result, there has been a widespread movement to replace and contain the reused soil.
However, the scope of the accident was too large, and it was difficult to grasp the harmful substances that leaked into the surroundings.
Then, our Ion Selective Test Paper began to attract attention, because it was easy to use and could obtain result right on the spot.
Increasingly Stringent Environmental Standards
Since then, the Water Pollution Prevention Act became more strict. Companies were required to take measures against pollution and comply with environmental standards, and offending companies were subject to penalties such as suspension of business operations.
Many SMEs conducted business activities while considering the wastewater measures to comply with the standards at the same time. However, there were some problems; they did not know if the effluent meet the standard by its appearance, sending out samples to laboratory took several days to get result, it was impossible to stop the production line and effluent until the test results come, and it could be very expensive for SMEs if commissioning lab analysis every day.
At that time, the regulatory values became more strict, making it difficult to measure with "Ion Selective Test Paper".
So, we were asked from many relevant parties, to develop a simple analyzer beyond the test paper that could detect the regulated value.
Birth of PACKTEST,
Simple Analyzer for Anyone at Anywhere.
In-house development of new product with higher sensitivity exceeding that of Ion Selective Test Paper has begun.
Instead of test strips, we brought up idea of using polyethylene tube containing reagents inside and put sample water into it.
It was not easy and we realized how difficult to put ideas into shape.
Among these difficulties, we repeatedly validate various tests: determination of required sample volume, selection of the reagents, long-term stability, checking on pH, and interfering substances. Finally, we made products which can measure the level of regulatory values.
It was a tube containing reagent, making a hole in one side of the tube with a pin, draw the sample water into the tube in the same manner as a dropper, and compare the developed color with provided Standard Color. What you read on the Standard Color indicates the ion concentration value.
It was 1973. The birth of PACKTEST, which allows anyone to measure water quality at anywhere.
PACKTEST was Launched,
but It was Not End of The Challenges.
The PACKTEST soon became popular, but it also soon hit the barriers of Mass Production. We had knowledge, gained experience, and intuition have enabled us to understand the principles, but if we are able to mass-produce PACKTEST, it cannot become a business.
Who came in to solve the problem: it was Kanji Okauchi, who later became the second generation.
Working with first generation for concept and ideas, Kanji visited some machine manufacturer to build automated machines to put ideas into shape. However, all presented estimates were inconceivably expensive. At this time, Kanji clearly made a decision: "if they cannot make for us, I have to make it by myself..."
It was very fortunate that there were variety of machines and tools already in the company, and Kanji himself is a mechanical engineering had experience on site, he finally developed automated production machine after many try and errors.
Existence of Simplified Analysis
About the same time as when PACKTEST was launched, pollution became an increasingly serious social problem, so the demand for on-site instruments for quick determination also increased. However, people were not familiar with simplified analysis yet and many have started to question about it. Increasing demand was clear, but it was hard to be recognized and accepted the "existence of the simplified analysis".
Despite of public reactions, it was practical tests in many public institutions that wiped them off. They took samples on-site for measurement and comparison by both official method (JIS) and PACKTEST: the results showed that PACKTEST was generally practical.
Today, PACKTEST has become a widely used product: from industry, government, and academia, to general house hold.
What is PACKTEST
PACKTEST is a simplified analyzer that allows anyone to easily measure water quality anywhere.
Currently, there are more than 70 analyte in PACKTEST product line.
Since the launch in 1973, we pursue to develop and improve our products. Today, we stay close to customers' "needs to know", and continue to offer our products in a wide range of applications; including wastewater management and quality control at factories and business sites, inspections of water, environmental surveys, and many more fields.
There is What Simplified Analysis Can Offer. －On-site Rapid Detemination, Stable High Quality and High Reliability－
With our technology specialized in simplified analysis, we have developed quite a few products which was considered to be almost impossible to measure by simplified method; PACKTEST Lead for lead measurement and PACKTEST Zoom series that can measure trace level beyond conventional PACKTEST.
Shuntaro Okauchi, the current president, is aiming for the future with the mission of "There is something can be done because it is Simplified Analysis", he expands the possibility of new system of simplified water analysis utilizing ICT (information and communication technology) in April 2020.
We will strive to take on challenges with our tradition and innovation so that our "simplified water analysis products" will be useful in various fields.
Our products support not only local activities in Japan, but also activities in all over the world, so that each and every one can meet one big goal of Environmental Protection.