Hamamatsu Kohan Kako was established in 1967 with joint investment by Iwai Sangyo Company Ltd. (now Sojitz Corporation) and Suzuki Motor Corporation (headquartered in Hamamatasu City ) as a coil center for Suzuki, a major manufacturer of compact cars, mini-cars and motorcycles. Its main business consists of cutting automotive steel sheets supplied by Nippon Steel Corporation with levelers, slitters and shears for delivery to about 200 parts manufacturers. In 1975, Hamamatsu Kohan began manufacturing structural pipes for motorcycles, etc. It is a unique coil center engaged in both cutting of steel sheets and pipe manufacturing. The company's monthly output now ranges from 10,000 to 12,000 tonnes.
"Our business mostly consists of 'multi-item, small-lot, high-frequency' processing jobs that our customers require. Partly because Suzuki has introduced the just-in-time delivery system, our production management has become even more difficult than before. Even so, we would like not only to maintain high product quality and punctual delivery, but also offer something of more value that will appeal to our customers. This would contribute to increasing our business volume, albeit gradually," says President Shigeo Eto.
Plant Director Masayuki Miyatake (who also serves as executive director) is proud of the state-of-the-art addition to his plant, saying, with a satisfied smile, "I think few other coil centers have an oscillate shear line, which allows free variation of the cutting angle to cut trapezoids and rhombuses."
Having long experience in working abroad, President Eto finds an immediate problem in the limited site area and decrepit equipment.
"Since most coil centers overseas were built in or after the 1980s, their strength lies in modern equipment and favorable locations. Unlike them, ours is already in its 38th year and located in a mostly residential area. So we may have to think about moving to a better location." He is already looking ahead to a longer-term future.
"Looking at marketing from a long-term perspective, we would like to develop personnel who can speak directly to our customers," President Eto added. In July 2004, Metal One's Hamamatsu Office was moved to the site of Hamamatsu Kohan. Working together in marketing as the coil center's Business Development Department, it is planning an integrated manufacturing/marketing framework.