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Introduction of Group Companies
From Value One Winter 2006-2007 No.15
Mizushima Metal Products Corporation is a company that specializes in blank processing for the automotive industry and the handling of all the blanks used at the Mitsubishi Motors Corporation Mizushima Plant. It is responsible for vital downstream manufacturing processes.
Handling of Downstream Manufacturing Processes of the Mitsubishi Motors Mizushima Plant

Mizushima Metal Products operates an automotive blank processing plant at the JFE Steel West Japan Works, Kurashiki District.

The company was established in February 2004 through a joint venture between Metal One and JFE Shoji Trade Corporation. It was a result of the blanking business of JFE Shoji subsidiary Mizushima Kohan Kogyo being carved out and the blanking line at the Mitsubishi Motors Mizushima Plant being shifted to specialize in blanking operations for the automotive industry.

" Blanking" refers to the initial process of cutting steel sheets in sizes that correspond to various dies before starting press work of exterior panels for car doors, roofs, hoods, and so on. This is an indispensable part of the car manufacturing process because square steel sheets cannot be immediately pressed into shape correctly.

The company is currently equipped with four blanking lines, and processes all the blanks used at Mitsubishi Motors Mizushima Plant, with a monthly processing volume of around 15,000 tonnes. It has continued to operate at full capacity because Mitsubishi Motor's production situation is good.

President Takeshi Higashi, who also serves as president of Mizushima Kohan Kogyo, considers quality and "just in time" deliveries extremely important. He comments, "We are undoubtedly a unique example of a company that undertakes contracts to manufacture all the blanks needed by car manufacturing plants. We feel a strong sense of responsibility since we are in charge of one of the automotive manufacture line's core downstream manufacturing processes."

The company is located only about 1.4 kilometers from the Mitsubishi Motors Mizushima Plant and has implemented a system that allows for deliveries to be made four hours before the use of its products on the car manufacturing lines. JFE Steel manufactures most of the steel products used. Maximum distribution efficiency has been achieved, with the blast furnace manufacturer, processing company, and customer's production line all located in the same area.

Personnel training is an interim issue. President Higashi aims to raise the level of employee awareness, and comments, "We want employees to be aware that they share the responsibility of the car manufacturer as well as that of the sheet processing company."

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