About Us


History of Kato Tech and KES (Kawabata Evaluation System)


The Beginning of Kato Iron Works - From Materials Store to the Manufacturing Industry

Kato Iron Works was established in 1949 to sell leftover materials from the war.
Although the production and sales of pots and kettles, etc flourished, various goods were in short supply, our business could expand as a "materials store".
On one occasion, we had a request for the production of a casting machine from a customer.
With a policy of "Make it as good as possible", we improved and automated the casting machines successfully and sold them in the domestic and overseas markets.

At the time of Kato Iron Works


We manufactured

In 1964, we cooperated in the manufacture of the medals used in the Tokyo Olympic Games. The Olympic committee presented us with replicas of the silver and bronze medals.

Replicas of Tokyo Olympic Games medals

Collaboration with Dr. Sueo Kawabata of the Faculty of Engineering at Kyoto University.

Dr. Sueo Kawabata of Kyoto University, who started the study of textile texture, enquired about the skilled craftmanship necessary to produce "a bending spacer" for physical property evaluation.
Around that time, there was a "file master craftsman" in Kato Tech who was recognized as the best in Kyoto.
We accepted Dr. Kawabata's request and successfully produced the spacer based on his image. Dr. Kawabata then made it possible to perform "accurate bending measurements" using this spacer.

Turning Point: Desire To Produce Testers That Can Evaluate Physical Properties

Collaboration with Dr. Kawabata continued and Kato Tech proceeded to "manufacture new products".
We directed the company's future towards a "knowledge intensive industry" and carried out a shift change to manufacture "small but value-added products".

The 1st Model of KES-F2 Pure Bending Tester

The 1st Model of KES-F4 Surface Tester


The Birth of KES

In 1970, with an increasing need for objective texture evaluation technology, "The Hand Evaluation and Standardization Committee (HESC)" was set up in The Textile Machinery Society of Japan. Its purpose was the "standardization of the hand evaluation of fabrics" and the "analysis of hand judgement which had been done by the experts in the factories in Japan".

At that time, Dr. Kawabata and Dr. Masako Niwa of Nara Women's University played a central role in this committee. Skilled engineers from Japan's leading textile companies and university researchers were members of this committee. The committee took three years to evaluate approx. 500 different types of fabrics and defined "primary hand expressions" and "total hand value", and successfully developed an " objective evaluation method for fabric texture".
In this study, it was found that the texture evaluation was based on the initial mechanical properties in the micro-load range, and the "texture measurement technology, KES (KAWABATA EVALUATION SYSTEM)" was developed to measure the mechanical properties of fabrics.

The KES measurement conditions do not conform to JIS and ISO standards, however they are recognized and used worldwide by many skilled technicians and researchers in universities and companies.

Sueo Kawabata, "The Standardization and Analysis of Hand Evaluation (2nd Edition), The Hand Evaluation and Standardization Committee", Osaka, Japan, 1980

The Hand Evaluation and Standardization Committee*

Typical hand movement of Japanese experts for texture evaluation*

Standard reference materials for texture


The Founder's Principles Will Be Passed Down To The Future

Since we were established, we have continued to manufacture and sell various instruments while keeping our policy of "make it as good as possible".
Our technology was originally developed for textile measurement, but it has now been utilized in various fields, such as the automobile and cosmetic industries, etc.
We will continue to support their "product development for comfort" making good use of our rich experience and advanced technology.



Kato Tech Co., Ltd. Established


Successfully commercialization of F-Type measurement instrument with fabric and yarn texture measurement technology (KES).


KES-YN1 commercialized


4 models of KES-FB series commercialized


KES-F7 commercialized


BX5450 commercialized


KES-SE commercialized
KES-G5 commercialized


KES-F8 commercialized


KES-FB1-A commercialized
The function of KES-F7 improved and modified


The head office and factory was newly built


KES-FB2-A commercialized


KES-FB3-A commercialized


KES-FB4-A commercialized


FR07 commercialized


KDMD commercialized


HFT03C commercialized
NEU commercialized


KK01 commercialized


Shanghai representative office established


AwardTRI Princeton "Best Paper Award"


HapLog commercialized
AwardJapan Institute of Design Promotion "Good Design Award 2011" (HapLog)


AwardThe Society of Instrument and Control Engineers "System Integraion Award for Technical Achievement"
AwardThe Textile Institute "Innovation Award 2012"
AwardASTEM "Oscar Certification"


AwardKYOTO Industrial Support Organization 21 "the Special Technical Achievement Award 2016 of Kyoto Small and Medium Enterprises"


Showroom was newly built


KES-QM commercialized