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Introduction of Group Companies
Value One Autumn 2004 No. 6
Ariake Steel Center is dedicated to building up the very best in distribution and processing systems whose functional excellence is highly appreciated by users and manufacturers.
Hand in Hand with Ariake Shipyard

If you take a train along the Kagoshima Trunk Line from Hakata Station in Fukuoka, the Sea of Ariake will intermittently come into view on your right-hand side soon after passing Omuta Station. When your train reaches Nagasu Station, you will suddenly see huge cranes. They belong to the Ariake Shipyard of Universal Shipbuilding Corporation, which has built many ships, including 300,000 dwt tankers (commonly known as VLCCs) and large offshore steel structures.

Ariake Steel Center, located 600 meters from Universal Shipbuilding with a waterway in between, was established in 1973, the same year as the Ariake Shipyard. The center has developed hand-in-hand with Ariake Shipyard, taking charge of the unloading, sorting and storage of steel shipbuilding materials for the shipyard, as well as the shot blasting and primary rust-proof painting of the plates to prevent their rusting during the machining process.

" We handle about 250,000 tonnes of steel products a year," President Kuniaki Iizumi of Ariake Steel Center explains. "Of this total, more than 90% is used for shipbuilding, and most of the shipbuilding steel materials go through shot blasting and primary rust-proof painting, which are very simple tasks. In the increasingly competitive shipbuilding industry, a company like ours should be able to contribute as much as possible to the development of shipbuilders and steel manufacturers through creative thinking and endeavors."

Shot blasting and distribution take place in a very harsh environment, but in Ariake Steel Center dust collectors operate at key points to keep the work sites clear and well cleaned. The external walls of the factory are so clean, perhaps it's hard to believe that they are more than 30 years old.

" We've rarely had to replace our facilities in these 30 years. The old machines can be adapted to meet the state-of-the-art standards required today if their users are clever enough to improve and maintain them properly," says President Iizumi. "However, our electrical systems are nearing the end of their life as we have kept them usable by a series of stop-gap measures. Thinking ahead to the next step, we have launched streamlining and reinforcement of the power distribution system this year." It seems that action for meeting the needs of the future is already under way.
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