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Introduction of Group Companies
From Value One Winter 2008-2009 No.23
Seikoh, a leading stainless steel plate distributor in the Kansai region, became a wholly owned subsidiary of the Metal One Group in April 2008. Excelling in stainless steel plate processing and sales, a sector in which Metal One had been lacking up to now, the company will contribute substantially to Value Chain Strategies in stainless steel operations.
Contributing to the Metal One Group’s Stainless Steel Operations

Seikoh, a venerable stainless steel wholesaler that celebrated the 40th anniversary of its founding last year, became a new member of the Metal One Group in April 2008. With Sus-Tech Corporation and Stainless One Corporation, the Metal One Group boasts the largest stainless steel sheet coil center in the industry but had no investment affiliates to handle plate processing. Seikoh’s addition to the Group has made it possible to offer a broad range of stainless steel sheet and plate products.

Katsu Kimura, who is now chairman of Seikoh, founded the company in downtown Osaka in 1968, handling stainless steel plate shearing from the outset. The business steadily expanded, and additional plants were built in Himeji in 1991 and Osaka in 1998. Also, the company has devoted efforts to putting a high-value-added business model in place by expanding its spheres of operations into engineering, handling everything from the design and manufacturing of stainless steel construction materials and component parts to their installation.

In speaking about what led to the buyout, Masanori Uchida, who was president of Seikoh at the time it became a Metal One subsidiary, said, “Katsu Kimura built Seikoh into a sound, superior company, but competition is becoming even more intense in the stainless steel distribution industry. Thinking about the next stage, Seikoh determined that its capabilities would be even better demonstrated as a Metal One Group member.”

The company’s three plants—one at its headquarters, in Ichioka, and the others in Himeji and Osaka—currently process and sell approximately 1,400 tonnes a month. Along with plasma and laser cutters, the main Osaka plant is equipped with shearing and polishing machines and handles various kinds of stainless steel plate processing. In addition to steel plates, the Himeji plant processes and sells various types of stainless steel bars, including flat steel, angle bars, channel bars, and round bars. The Ichioka plant, on the first floor of the headquarters, handles stainless steel wire drawing. Describing their ability to respond to diverse customer needs, Mr. Uchida says, “We are capable of handling all sorts of stainless steel, ranging from sheets, plates, bars, and wire rods to forged items.”

Another of the company’s special qualities is its engineering division, which can deal with a full range of orders, from design to manufacturing and on-site installation, for structural steel and component parts that employ stainless steel. Utilizing the qualities of stainless steel, Seikoh can handle a broad range of projects, such as the construction of water purification plant facilities, tanks for petrochemical plants, and stainless steel flooring, which require high corrosion resistance. Noting that the company’s high competitiveness is a strength, Mr. Uchida says, “We are able to cut overall costs by handling a full range of activities, from material production and processing to installation.” Above all, Seikoh was granted a patent on stainless steel flooring that employs a unique technology to achieve highly uniform precision, giving the company a competitive edge. The flooring is used in food plants.

Mr. Uchida has worked in India and the United States and senses new possibilities, saying, “We hope to take advantage of the Metal One Group’s overall capabilities to expand overseas in the future.”

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