As a kid -- if you're of a certain age, that is -- you likely visited the local barbershop at least once a month for a haircut. Whether you got a razor cut (a styling notch above "the regular"), a flattop or just had your bangs trimmed, there was usually a kindly old gent on duty to hold your fidgeting head in place as he snipped and clipped and ran the electric shears along the nape of your neck, causing tingles along your spine, a distinctly pleasant if not hedonistic experience. The barber chair itself was a marvel of comfort and engineering: It was plush leather, and you eased into it as you might slip into a favorite pair of slippers. In that chair you felt like a potentate on a throne. If you were 14 and looked tough enough, you could even smoke during your haircut; the arms of the chair had... More >>>
By Jennifer Silverberg
When chief engineer and product designer Michihiro Hirayoshi is not designing new
products, he is planning ways to make the manufacturing floor more efficient.