Obiko began as Obihiro Kogyo, Ltd., a steel wholesaler established by former Nissho Iwai Corporation in 1985 in response to requests from regional general contractors in Obihiro, Hokkaido. Obihiro Kogyo moved into colored steel sheet processing and forming operations in 1995 and changed its corporate name to Obiko Corporation in 2005.
The company shuttered its Obihiro headquarters last year and withdrew from retailing steel bars, shapes, and other steel materials. At the same time, it shifted its headquarters to its Sapporo office and began focusing its business configuration on colored steel sheet processing and forming. Furthermore, in the same year, Obiko acquired the main operations of Hokuban Co., Ltd., i.e., the processing and forming of colored sheets, thereby expanding the scope of its operations even further. Hokuban was a subsidiary of Hokkai Koki, which is headquartered in Ebetsu and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Nippon Steel & Sumikin Coated Sheet Corporation as well as Hokkaido's only colored steel sheet manufacturer.
The colored sheets that Obiko processes are mainly plated sheets for roofing, siding, and other construction purposes and are widely used as residential roofing and other materials because, along with their superior resistance to corrosion, they can be produced in various color combinations.
Twenty sheet forming machines and two slitter lines are installed in the approximately 3,300-m2 plant next to the headquarters building, and some 2,000 types of materials are used in processing and forming various kinds of roofing and siding materials. Extremely thin colored sheets with a thickness of approximately 0.35 mm are roll formed into products in various configurations.
Much of the company's processing is for general residential roofing and siding, primarily for delivery to regional sheet metal operations, etc., and one of the company's great strengths is its ability to quickly respond with next-day product deliveries. Additionally, Obiko handles the consignment processing of roofing and siding materials used in large projects across Hokkaido for Sanko Metal Industrial Co., Ltd., a major metal roofing material manufacturer. Current processing capacity is around 6,000 tonnes per year, and the company boasts top-of-the-line processing capacity within Hokkaido's colored steel sheet distribution industry.
Mr. Toshiyuki Kenmochi, who went from managing director of Metal One Hong Kong Ltd. to president of Obiko last year in July (and is concurrently serving as president of Metal One Hokkaido Corporation and general manager of Metal One Hokkaido Branch), says enthusiastically, "Metal One is the only trading company with colored sheet processing capabilities in Hokkaido. We want to take advantage of this strength to seek out synergies with Metal One Hokkaido. We will strive to expand our share of this mature market with the services at which Obiko excels, such as multiple product lines and quick deliveries."