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Introduction of Group Companies
From Value One Spring 2008 No. 20
Established in 2004, Japan Pail is the largest pail manufacturer in Japan, boasting high productivity through its network of three plants in eastern and western Japan, and is concentrating on developing high-value-added products.
Concentrating on Developing High-Value-Added Products

Japan Pail was formed in 2004 through a merger of Unicon Co., Ltd., a 100% subsidiary of former Nissho Iwai Corporation (now Sojitz Corporation); Daido Corporation, an affiliate of Nippon Steel Corporation; and the pail division of JFE Container Co., Ltd. Boasting an approximately 45% share of the domestic market, the company is Japan's largest pail manufacturer, with a production volume of approximately 11 million pails a year.

The pails, or buckets, that Japan Pail manufactures come in 18- and 20-liter sizes. Because offset printing machines are used to print directly on steel plates and sheets (tin free steel), high-quality designs can be achieved and the contents of pails can be illustrated on the outside; this is a big reason these pails are used widely as containers for petroleum products, chemicals, lubricating oil, and paint.

The company has five production lines in its network of three plants in east and west Japan: one in Takaishi (formerly Unicon), one in Amagasaki (formerly Daido), and one in Chiba (formerly JFE Container). All three plants carry out specialized manufacturing tailored to customer needs.

With a monthly production volume of 500,000 pails at both of its lines, the Takaishi Works boasts the industry's fastest lines and achieves high productivity. The plant plans to add on another line to manufacture plates for pail covers in June of this year. Universal Print Corporation (of which Masamichi Nogami is also president) is a 100% subsidiary located on the plant's site and handles the printing of steel plates and sheets. The subsidiary has an integrated line installed to manufacture pails directly from printed steel plates and sheets.

The Amagasaki Works is the industry's first clean plant, employing sealed doors to keep dust out and controlled air-conditioning to achieve a high degree of cleanliness in the 100,000-class range. High-value-added pails that are used in the production of ICs and liquid crystals, in which even tiny impurities are not permissible, are manufactured. This plant has a monthly manufacturing capacity of 500,000 pails at its two lines.

The Chiba Works is the company's base in the Kanto region and is located within JFE Steel Corporation's East Japan Works in the Chiba area. Equipped with the industry's only pure water cleaning facilities, the manufacturing volume of the plant's only line is 300,000 pails per month.

President Nogami, who came from former Nissho Iwai, enthusiastically notes, "We have a strong focus on production and quality because we are a manufacturer. While concentrating on developing high-value-added products, such as pails for resist ink-which is used in liquid-crystal TVs and for which demand has been increasing recently-on the one hand, we have begun research on low-priced pails, and we would like to answer demand from a wide range of fields." Also, products are being developed for the average consumer. A Hanshin Tigers pail went on sale in 2005 to commemorate the team's victory. Disaster preparedness pails for use during disasters have recently been developed. These pails contain water, emergency rations, a radio, and other items; the pail itself can be used as a chamber pot during times of emergency.

Responsible for managing the merged firm, President Nogami is known for his management skill and an unswerving policy of focusing on the factory floor, implementing long-term training at each plant and beefing up safety measures.

Citing his intention to make the utmost use of the Group's overall capabilities, President Nogami says, "We want to play a role in the value chain as a member of the Metal One Group. We are already using wire rods from Galvart Japan Company Limited for our handles, and at the Chiba Works, we plan to consign the primitive plate leveling work to Metal One Tinplate & Container Corporation."

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