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Latest update: 10/02/2021 16:32:06


Creating weight-saving automotive parts with metal pipe production technologies

Kunimoto Industry is an automotive parts manufacturer providing weight and cost reduction through the use of structurally integrated pipe formed materials. The company has proprietary presses and other production equipment that enables metal to be worked like plastic, and has a proven track record of achieving significant cost reduction by replacing forged parts with pressed pipe components.

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Other presentation

[Company strength]
Making full use of its advanced pipe processing technologies, the company develops and supplies energy and resource conserving lighter weight parts. Valuing effort, progress and challenge, the company believes that its greatest strengths lie in (i) putting in place an environment that enables participation in customer production from the development phase, (ii) zero-based thinking that isn't confined to traditional structures or production methods, creating (iii) high quality, (iv) low cost and (v) highly reliable lightweight parts, with a corporate posture of actively reducing impacts on the environment and (vii) having an organization that can independently design equipment to efficiently manufacture these components and complete and utilize such equipment in mass production.

[Business description]
The company is an automotive parts manufacturer, established in 1960, with 60 employees engaged in metal forming and production. Proposing and supplying downstream industry customers with lighter and less expensive components, integrally formed from pipe materials, Kunimoto is working to boost the country's automobile manufacturers and prevent the hollowing out of the domestic auto industry. In order to achieve this, under the motto of “winning survivor for the future,” the company focuses on strength rather than size, and quality over quantity. With a challenging spirit and high levels of technology that make the impossible possible, we do business directly with major domestic automobile manufacturers and their affiliates.

Manufacture and sales of component parts for vehicles

[Strength of products/technologies]
By breaking down metal pipe processing into its component elements and working to master the basic technologies, the company has created its own proprietary presses and production equipment that enable flexible processing and high volume mass production. Kunimoto Industry has a track record of significant cost reduction resulting from the use of such technological innovations to substitute pressed pipe parts for cast components. These achievements have earned the company favorable recognition. Customers' design departments request various improvements to their components — with the objectives of conserving resources, reducing weight and reducing cost — and the company is capable of dealing with these designers on an equal footing in order to commercialize such products. We feel that being recognized by customers as a technology group company is one of the significant strengths of our company.

[Representative's message]
Under the motto of “winning survivor for the future,” the company pursues not size but strength and courage, and quality over quantity. With a challenging spirit and advanced technical capabilities that make the impossible possible, we work with Toyota Motor, its affiliates and other automobile manufacturers. For this company, the word “cannot” does not exist in our vocabulary. We will do whatever is needed to come up with a path to success. This means zero-based thinking, and the company seeks young people full of such a challenging spirit. Looking ahead, we will continue to march forward together as a united company toward the achievement of our major goals.

[Company structure for market development/overseas expansion]
Although the company is small, with less than 60 employees, we have established intellectual property and educational groups within our Intellectual Properties Department. In our engineering and manufacturing sectors, we have established a machinery group, creating a structure with an emphasis on the distillation of technologies that we have developed, and promoting their advancement. The reasoning behind this is our basic philosophy: to produce products domestically that can compete internationally, to win business and export to customers overseas. We believe that overseas expansion should be based on the desires of our customers. Therefore, our internal structure is focused on domestic business and strengthening the domestic organization, while developing overseas trainees so that local actions can be taken immediately if the customer so desires.

[Market share/Ranking]
This year, five items geared toward hybrid vehicles are transitioning into mass production, and prototype orders for future mass production have been active, indicating a substantial expansion of market share going forward.

[Awards and media coverage]
[Commendations]  Development Award, Japan Society for Technology of Plasticity (May 2007); Grand Prize, 3rd Manufacturing Awards, Japan Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (July 2009); Director's Award for Shaping Elemental Materials, 25th Industrial Technology Awards, Small and Medium Enterprise Agency (November 2009); Grand Prize, Ultra Craftsman Environment Related Parts Award (November 2011) [Media exposure]   Itto Jukken, "Innovation Emanating from Regions," (September 2007); Nikkei Business, "No sacred zones in parts selection" (September 1, 2008); Elementary Shape Materials, "Pipe conversion of aluminum die cast products" (January 2009); My Shizuoka, Vol. 39, "Industry Vitality Toward No. 1 in Japan" (2009); Vol. 3, posted as a case study of utilization of industrial property rights (February 2009) 

Small and Medium Enterprise Act, Business Innovation certification (establishment of pipe fabrication technology), May 2005. Simultaneous acquisition of ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certification, 1998  

[Joint research and development]
In 2006, implemented Strategic Foundation Technology Enhancement Support project with Shizuoka University as the managing entity; 2008, development of integral automobile parts by J-Net; 2009, independently implemented Strategic Foundation Technology Enhancement Support project (Sapoin)  

[Factory (domestic)]
Kunimoto Industry Hamakita Plant (Hamakita-ku, Hamamatsu, Shizuoka)

[Other sites]
Kunimoto Industry Head Office (Higashi-ku, Hamamatsu, Shizuoka)

[Transaction form]
Development and orders of mass produced parts

[Transaction terms]
To be determined based on discussions

[Main Clients / Business History (domestic)]
Secondary supplier to Yutaka Giken of four exhaust pipe components for Honda Fit; primary supplier to Toyota Motor of turbocharger pipe and three other items for Aqua, and subsequently primary supplier to Toyota affiliates, Toyota Industries, DENSO, JTEKT 

[Main Clients / Business History (overseas)]
Yutaka Giken Co., Ltd.; Sango Co., Ltd.; JTEKT Corporation; T.RAD Co., Ltd.; Toyota Motor Corporation; Daihatsu Motor Co., Ltd.; Toyota Industries Co., Ltd.; DENSO Corporation; Toyota Boshoku Corporation

[Exhibition History/Information]
New Alliance Results Reporting Exhibition; Parts exhibited at National Museum for Nature and Science; Exhibition of parts at World Number 1 Exhibit 

This company is recommended by the following support organizations.

Kanto Head Office, SMRJ