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0.01 sagami original



01 What is Sagami Original 0.01?

Sagami Original 0.01 is a mere 0.018 mm thick※,a thinness achieved thanks to polyurethane.※Based on our measurements.

02 More than three times stronger※

Measured by bursting pressure, which indicates membrane strength,Sagami Original 0.01 is between 3-5 times stronger than a rubber condom.The secret to its strength is in our use of polyurethane.Even this thin, you can use them with confidence.※Compared to our standard rubber condom. Based on our measurements.

03 Immediately transmits warmth

Polyurethane is an excellent transmitter of heat.Sagami Original 0.01 instantly conveys the warmth of your partner’s skin, for a natural feel.

04 Zero rubber odor!

While rubber condoms have a unique odor, Sagami Original 0.01 is made of polyurethane,for zero rubber smell.

05 No need to worry about rubber allergies

An allergy to rubber can lead to itchiness, pain, skin irritation and hives.Sagami Original uses less reactive polyurethane, ideal for those allergic to rubber.

06 A smoother surface

The smooth surface of the Sagami Original provides a softer sensation during use.

07 Polyurethane is gentle on the body

We’ve focused on the advantages of polyurethane over rubber.Polyurethane is often used in the medical field, including in components of artificial hearts and in artificial blood vessels.Polyurethane is compatible with the human body, especially blood,and is gentler on the body.

08 Blister pack

Sagami Original condoms are packaged in an easy-open blister pack.This protects the product and prevents damage when opening.The packaging is clean, sanitary and includes plenty of lubricant.And since the top side of the opened package is the side that faces your partner, the condom can be easily removed and put on.

09 The brand of choice

Thin, strong, odor-free and an excellent transmitter of heat.Sagami Original condoms provide a natural feel completely different from that of traditional rubber condoms.This 0.01 millimeter thin film incorporates the best of our technology, and our desire to always offer a better product.Our products will continue to evolve, becoming even thinner, stronger and softer.Sagami Original 0.01—the thinnest condom ever from Sagami Original.

Masataka Takeda -Initiator of the 0.01 Project- General Manager, Manufacturing Division, Healthcare Business Unit

Q.As the initiator of the 0.01, why did you want to develop this product? A.In October 2004, while I was on assignment in Malaysia, we began shipping the new Sagami Original 0.02 to Japan. That’s when I gave the order to take it to the next level by developing a product in the 0.01 mm range. I thought it was important to create a new, specific target once we’d achieved 0.02 mm. Q.How were you involved in the 0.01? A.Primarily in development of manufacturing technology for the 0.01, and in manufacturing plans.Q.What do you mean by manufacturing technology development? A.For us, it meant pursuing technology to make an even thinner product without sacrificing quality, across every manufacturing step from raw material to packaging. Q.What did you focus on in particular during manufacture? A.In the process of making the product progressively thinner since 1999,from 35, to 28, to 24, to 22, to 18 microns, we focused on maintaining quality sufficient to ensure a medical device level of safety (leakage, bursting, etc.).

Q.It’s been about 10 years since you issued your order. A.It’s not as though we took our time about it, but the work did end up taking 10 years. That comes to about one micron a year. While we went through a great deal of trial and error during that time, those results are now an important part of our technology assets. Q.How are you feeling now that the product is actually for sale? A.It’s like rushing ahead into total darkness. Following is easy, but leading has its risks and frankly, can be scary. At the same time, the 0.01 is a product with enormous potential, one that we will continue to refine as we pay close attention to feedback from the market and listen carefully to opinions from the production line. Q.Any last words on the 0.01? A.The launch of the 0.01 was brought to fruition because those in charge in each division joined together under the leadership of President Oato. But this is not the end; much still lies ahead as we work toward “0.00.”

Chiaki Yamanaka -0.01 Development Manager- Senior Researcher,Integrated Development Department,Healthcare Manufacturing Division

Q.What is your usual job? A.I spend the whole day thinking about how to make condoms thinner. Q.How were you involved in the 0.01? A.As a member of the 0.01 development project team at the Malaysia plant,I was responsible for the basic testing to achieve the 0.01, including planning large-scale production trials at the actual plant, analyzing data and establishing production requirements. Q.You were in Malaysia during the development of the 0.01. Was there anything in particular that you struggled with? A.No matter how advanced your machinery or management systems are, in the end they’re run by people, so we focused on developing our human resources. In the past,we’ve worked to improve the skill level of all our workers when introducing a new Sagami Original product. In the case of the 0.01, though, simply treating that training as an extension of what we did in the past wasn’t effective, and we were forced to review the work from scratch. Because production of the 0.01 requires a high degree of precision and careful work, we re-educated everyone involved in production starting with the basics, regardless of experience or position. Condom production, including testing and packaging, requires a lot of hands, and careless handling can ruin what might otherwise have been a great product. But people don’t change easily, and our greatest difficulties came in trying to control our people.

They needed to change how they thought. We spent a long time working to enhance the morale of the entire plant.Q.What did you focus on in particular in producing the 0.01? A.Managing our glass molds. The thin film used in condoms is produced on glass molds, and the quality of those molds determines the quality of the condom. We outsource glass mold production to an outside firm, and the manufacture of high-quality molds, which must be free of even the smallest blemish, cannot be done without the close cooperation of our outsourcing partner. We engaged in numerous discussions, shared a high goal of creating a “world’s first” condom, and took time to refine our technical capabilities. If they had responded to our strict requirements by saying “It’s too much trouble; we give up,” the 0.01 would never have been achieved. I guess you could say that we got our outsourcing partner to power up their own capabilities, and created the 0.01 together. Q.Any last words on the 0.01? A.In interviews, the focus is usually on the development divisions, but I think the 0.01 is the product of a united effort by all of Sagami’s employees. There really is no final goal in development work,so we will continue to pursue even thinner products as a pioneer in the condom industry.

Yoshiaki Kawaguchi -Product Data Manager- Head of the Healthcare Manufacturing Division

Q.How were you involved in the 0.01? A.When I was on assignment in Malaysia, we conducted plant-wide test production of the 0.01 and identified areas for improvement prior to actual production. After I returned to Japan, I held numerous discussions with those involved in actual production, worked out the details of the product specification, and prepared the product data. Q.How are you feeling about the launch of the 0.01? A.Sagami Original’s overriding mission is to be the world’s finest condom. From the start, our goal for Sagami Original was not to make the 0.03 or the 0.02.That said, there’s something deeply moving about the fact that we’ve finally come this far. It’s renewed my belief that our decision to make a completely new condom out of a stronger, safer material was the right one. For example, if we had chosen to simply switch to a new material to create a product in response to those with latex allergy, we probably would have come up with something completely different from the current Sagami Original. It’s possible it wouldn’t even be around as a product today. Since its launch in 1998, Sagami Original has continued to evolve. The 0.01 is the culmination of all of those efforts.

Q.What are your thoughts about the future of the 0.01? A.The 0.01 has finally gone on sale, but competition is what drives us, and we can’t maintain our position at the top of the market if we rest on our laurels. Everyone in this business is fighting to survive. We intend to continue taking on new challenges. I’d add that we don’t want to stop with the domestic market. We’d really like people everywhere to use this product. Our market may start with Japan, but I hope people throughout Asia and the West will use the product too. Q.Any last words on the 0.01? A.The product will continue to evolve.

Akira Maruyama -0.01 Malaysia Development Manager- Sagami Manufacturers SDN, BHD R&D Manager

Q.How were you involved in the 0.01? A.Since 1997, I’ve been working on polyurethane condom development in Malaysia. First I was involved in development of a 35 micron condom, then shifted to 28 and then 24 microns, and finally I got involved in developing the 0.01. Q.Tell us how you felt when you first heard Sagami would be developing the 0.01. A.We first started testing development of a 0.01 mm condom back round 2004. At the time we were still shifting from 35 microns to 28 microns, so the 0.01 seemed like a total pipe dream. I remember my somewhat over-the-top thought at the time being “If we can productize this, it will revolutionize condoms!”  Q.What challenges did you face when developing the 0.01? A.Once you get to the 18 micron level of thinness, a number of issues come up.To resolve those issues at the source, we had to repeat really painstaking processes over and over years.

Q.What did you focus on in particular during manufacture? A.At 0.01 mm, we naturally focused on preserving softness and maintaining strength.As the product gets thinner it also becomes softer, but you also lose some of the sense of security about strength during use. To ensure customers could use the product with confidence, we referenced ISO standards to create a condom with an emphasis on quality. Q.How are you feeling now that the product is actually for sale? A.I’m very honored to see a long-held dream come true.I’m also very happy that we’re now able to provide consumers with the 0.01 condom.We’ll continue to refine our technology and develop even better condoms. Q.Any last words on the 0.01? A.This condom emphasizes a good fit, softness and warmth, all while maintaining strength. I think we’ve ended up with the condom consumers have been asking for.

Shinichi Saito -Thin Film Technology Manager- Section Manager, Integrated Development Department, Healthcare Manufacturing Division

Q.How were you involved in the 0.01? A.Since 1997, I’ve been working on polyurethane condom development in Malaysia.First I was involved in development of a 35 micron condom, then shifted to 28 and then 24 microns, and finally I got involved in developing the 0.01. Q.Tell us how you felt when you first heard Sagami would be developing the 0.01. A.We first started testing development of a 0.01 mm condom back round 2004. At the time we were still shifting from 35 microns to 28 microns, so the 0.01 seemed like a total pipe dream. I remember my somewhat over-the-top thought at the time being “If we can productize this, it will revolutionize condoms!”  Q.What challenges did you face when developing the 0.01? A.Once you get to the 18 micron level of thinness, a number of issues come up.To resolve those issues at the source, we had to repeat really painstaking processes over and over for several years.

Q.What was your biggest struggle in selecting a detergent? A.The biggest struggle was identifying whether the detergent would have an effect on the product during actual production. It was tricky, because sometimes a defect wouldn’t turn up until a week later. Q.Is there any one episode that stands out for you? A.I remember I once ruined 120 glass molds I’d used in testing. The effect of the detergent left behind a coating on the surface of the molds. Reluctantly, I had to throw them all away. Q.Any last words on the 0.01? A.This will be the ultimate condom, so my expectations are high.

As with the Sagami Original 0.02, we conduct rigorous testing of the Sagami Original 0.01 to ensure we provide our customers with a safe,reliable product. The Sagami Original 0.01 is the thinnest condom ever in the Sagami Original series. In handling this even thinner material, we not only tested the film according to prescribed standards, but also introduced Sagami Rubber Industries’ own proprietary testing. Our challenge is not only to develop a thinner condom, but to discover new testing methods as well.

Public testing

This testing verifies quality using methods defined by the International Standards Organization (ISO).

Proprietary testing

These are new tests introduced prior to the launch of the Sagami Original 0.01.

Public testing

01 Airburst test

One of the tests used to measure condom strength.The condom is inflated with air to until it bursts. The volume of air tolerated until bursting is then measured, along with bursting pressure, which tells the amount of force the condom withstood.

Public testing

02 Tensile test

This is also used to measure condom strength. A band is sliced from the condom and its ends stretched. The length it stretches before breaking, along with the amount of force tolerated, are then measured.

Public testing

03 Water leak test (hanging test)

This test is used to detect pinholes in the condom. It involves filling a condom with water and visually checking for leaks.

Public testing

04 Water leak test(rolling test)

This test involves removing the hanging condom used in the water leak test, tying the base, and rolling the condom over absorbent paper using hand pressure.Any pinholes will be revealed as a stain on the absorbent paper. This makes it possible to discover holes that even the hanging test doesn’t detect.。

Proprietary testing

01 Friction tolerance test

Using a piston motion, this test determines whether the condom can tolerate frictional force far greater than the frictional force assumed during actual use.

Proprietary testing

02 Water expansion test

This test focuses on condom tip strength. The tip of the condom is filled with water until it can no longer handle the force exerted by gravity and bursts.

history 1964. The Beginnings of Polyurethane Condoms

In 1964, that exciting year of the Tokyo Olympics, a pharmaceutical manufacturer approached Sagami Rubber Industries to ask whether we could develop a polyurethane glove for surgeons. As that work was underway, one of our researches wondered whether, given the highstrength of polyurethane, the technology could be transferred to condoms. That proposal was adopted, and in 1965 we officially began joint research with a manufacturer of polyurethane. Natural latex was the conventional choice in the condom industry at the time, so this was a groundbreaking concept. Later, we built a dedicated plant, began developing the required manufacturing equipment, and obtained patents for our manufacturing methods. The start of production trials followed in 1977, but with very high capital costs forecast for the move to mass production, and with demand for condoms rising with the AIDS crisis and population increases, our development emphasis shifted to mass production of natural rubber condoms. As a result, the project was essentially frozen between 1984 and 1990.

history 1991. Start of Sagami Original Production

In 1991, we decided to once more shine a light on this once-frozen project, reorganizing our development division for research and beginning work on redevelopment. Research resumed the following year, and in 1994, we finally succeeded in establishing the necessary manufacturing technology. This accomplishment came nearly 30 years after the project was first proposed. In 1996, our executive board approved an investment in the project, and construction of a production plant began in Ipoh, Malaysia,work which was completed in May of the following year. That marked the start of production of Sagami Original.

history 1998. Launch of Sagami Original, and a Total Product Recall

On February 16, 1998, sales of Sagami Original, the“condom that’s not rubber,” were launched nationwide in Japan. The condom sold well, and after just two weeks on store shelves, succeeded in dominating the top of the market, coming in 1st, 2nd, 4th, and 5th in the condom rankings for February. Unfortunately, Sagami Original’s strong sales didn’t last long. On April 8, just a little more than 50 days after the product’s launch, microscopic holes were found among unshipped products at the plant. On April 9, we decided to initiate a total product recall,and held a televised press conference. We then reviewed all of our plant facilities and inspection systems from the ground up and began preparing to re-launch the product.Our decision was that, with such strong customer interest in the product, we needed to check our production line. Looking back at the product recall, our staff in charge at the time had this to say:“During the recall, we brought all hands on deck to answer phones, handle returns and refunds, and explain the situation to the authorities. We were all running around. The phones didn’t stop ringing day and night for two weeks, and none of us had any time to think. Still, our way forward was clear—we needed to investigate the cause and establish a response—and that helped us get through what we knew was the most critical time.”

history 1998. Preparing for Re-launch

After the recall, our most urgent task was to identify the cause of the problem. After repeated re-examination of our production equipment and testing systems, we determined that a momentary power failure—a brief, instantaneous interruption in the plant’s power supply—was to blame. One day, the plant in Malaysia experienced a short, heavy rain accompanied by lightning. When that happened, the supply of power to the plant stopped for an instant. Because this occurred in the midst of a 100% inspection, condoms with microscopic holes were able to slip through the inspection process. Once the cause had been determined, we installed an uninterruptable power supply in the plant, as well as equipment to handle momentary power failures. We also completely revised our production equipment troubleshooting manuals, adopted a system of double checks for all products, and implemented quality inspections through a third party organization directly attached to England’s royal household. These and other preparations for the re-launch continued for 678 days following the voluntary recall. On February 16,2000, Sagami Original was finally re-introduced to the market.

history 2000. Response to the Re-launch

About two months before the product was to go on sale, we placed an ad in the newspapers in preparation for the re-launch. This was to announce to the public the cause of the total product recall and the steps we were taking to address it. By publicizing our full product double-check inspection process and other systems for ensuring product safety, we were making an effort to provide customers with peace of mind. This ad brought approval for the company’s good faith approach, and that year we were named a winner of the Nikkei Advertising Award. Because Sagami Original had already set a record as a major hit product, expectations for the re-launch were high among distributors and retailers. Fortunately, customers also welcomed the product back, and after the re-launch, Sagami Original once again returned to its No. 1 spot.

history 2005. Launch of Sagami Original 0.02

In February 2005, we began sales of Sagami Original 0.02, the world’s first condom in the 20 micron range. Within one month of the product’s launch, it had captured No. 1 in sales by volume. After that, we continued our relentless research and succeeded in making Sagami Original even thinner, achieving 24 microns in 2011. Sales by volume rose steadily with each achievement in thinness we made over other condoms, as we firmly cemented our position as the No. 1 condom in the market.

history 2013. Launch of Sagami Original 0.01

As we sensed the enormous need among consumers for greater thinness, we continued to pursue greater thinness in our research.The result was that in November 2013, we finally completed work on Sagami Original 0.01, the first condom in history made from a film in the 0.01 mm range. Initial sales were limited to the Tokyo area, but significantly exceeded our forecasts,and at the end of May we were forced to temporarily suspend sales. In September 2014, Sagami Original 0.01 went on sale nationwide in Japan. We invite you to experience for yourself what the world’s thinnest feels like.


A condom that’s not rubber. Introducing the thinnest Sagami Original ever,just 0.01 mm※

15 years since the introduction of the first Sagami Original in 1998.Sagami has now achieved the thinnest Sagami Original ever,at 0.01 mm※ (18 microns※) ※Based on our measurements. ・Polyurethane material provides advanced biocompatibility. ・Has none of the unique odor of rubber. ・Provides superior heat transmission to instantly convey body heat. ・The smooth surface offers a natural feel during use. ・Highly transparent for a natural appearance, too. ・Recommended for those with a latex allergy.

Just open it, take it out and put it on!

To reduce stress when putting on the condom, the lid (top) of the blister pack is in the front (facing your partner).