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Original article published in Newsweek on February 17th, 2023. Written by the Worldfolio
Komatsu Industries Corp. provides its best-in-class machinery and after-sales services to automotive makers, while leveraging IoT to champion predictive maintenance technologies.
Guided by its “Quality and Reliability” philosophy, Komatsu Industries Corp. serves as an indispensable partner for manufacturers in the automotive, construction and home appliance industries, sup- plying industrial machinery built to the highest quality and made to last. A pioneer of technologies such as its servo press, the Japanese company is today providing state- of-the-art machinery supporting the development of the automotive industry and manufacturing-based IoT applications.
Aside from press machines, the company has focused on laser technology, developing fiber-laser cutting processes that enable cut- ting to be done in water, which will result in reduced environmental impact and ensure energy savings for customers.
With the emergence of electric vehicles (EVs) that require lighter weight materials, high-tensile steel has been in high demand. In response, Komatsu has developed a laser cutting machine that trims the press-formed parts of high tensile steel. “Our TLH 3D laser cutting machine is the best solution for trimming hot-formed parts,” says president Yasushi Kitade.
Meanwhile, the evolution of cold forming, which requires less energy consumption than hot forming, bodes well for an automotive industry looking to lower its carbon footprint. “Amid the carbon neutrality trend, product development has led to cold-formed high-tensile steel having gained almost the same strength as hot-formed without hot forming,” explains Mr. Kitade. “Komatsu has been developing suitable press machines with our customers for cold-formed ultra- high-tensile steel.”
He adds: “The quality of EV vehicles is oftentimes determined by the distance it can run and operate, but at the same time, the design aspect is crucial, so we are now talking with automotive compa- nies about the strengths of our servo press, which can do so many things at once. Our products are long-lasting, so it is crucial that we provide long-lasting maintenance service and retain good relation- ships with our customers.”
As it strives to provide long- lasting maintenance, Komatsu has leveraged the strength of IoT technology to develop its predictive maintenance services, which is helping clients to increase the productivity and efficiency of their manufacturing operations.
“We have a predictive maintenance system incorporated into each machine in order to keep staff up to date on the machine’s health,” says Mr. Kitade. “There are many components in each piece of our machinery, and each component has a prediction on its lifespan. We are analyzing and taking data on each component to determine its longevity. There are many different customers, and as such, each customer takes their approach to our machinery a little differently. Some customers keep spare parts for our machinery and do regular replacements, whereas some do not. We are trying to use this system to urge our customers to do predictive maintenance and parts replacements.”
In terms of its global operations, Komatsu Industries Corp. has eight overseas subsidiaries located nearby automotive manufacturers’ plants. In the U.S., it is approaching car makers buying up old Japanese automotive factories to transform them into EV plants. “We have been approaching these companies since we have experience providing services to these existing Japanese factories,” says the Komatsu Industries Corp. president. “Globally, there are new emerging EV companies, so we are also approaching them so that we can increase our sales channels.”
As the company presses ahead with supporting a new era of manufacturing, Mr. Kitade stresses the importance of the company’s commitment as a long-lasting partner. “What is important in manufacturing is providing the products and service, and there has to be a balance between the quality of the product and the after-services added on top. We wish to keep our business growing by providing this comprehensive solution to our customers.”
This short 4 hr. session is broken up into two separate 2 hr. sessions. This is a high demand basic training also for those who don’t work directly in the tool room. Individuals like quality control inspectors, press operators, general accounting personnel, welders. A wide number of different individuals could benefit from this basic training.
Session 1 : Tuesday, April 11th
Session 2 : Wednesday, April 12th
*Each session will go from 9AM – 11AM CST
We are excited to share with you the latest developments in KOMATSU CNC precision plasma cutting technology, and how we are working to bring you the best machines on the market.
As you may know, precision plasma cutting is a key technology in many industries, including manufacturing, fabrication, and construction. With the ability to cut virtually any type of metal with precision and accuracy, plasma cutting machines are essential for many businesses.
At KOMATSU, we are constantly working to improve our machines, and this coming fiscal year we are excited to announce some major upgrades will be coming. Starting in FY23 and continuing into FY24, we will be working on implementing 2 new options on to our precision plasma cutting machines. MULTI-TORCH HEAD & BEVEL CUTTING.
Themulti-torch head option is a feature that allows for multiple torches to be used simultaneously, increasing productivity and efficiency. In addition. Bevel cutting is a process in which the machine can cut at an angle, allowing for more versatile and precise cuts. This is especially useful in the fabrication and construction industries, where angled cuts are often required.
We understand that these options are essential for our customers, and we are committed to providing the best precision plasma cutting machines on the market. We look forward to seeing the benefits of these upgrades for our customers and the industry as a whole.
As always, thank you for your continued support of KOMATSU. We are excited to continue working with you in the future of precision plasma cutting.
The KOMATSU Team.
As a professional consultant, several times a week I get this basic question: Do you know of any good tool and die makers / engineers looking for a job? The answer is typically no. “How about press operators”? We just can’t seem to find anybody to fill our open positions!” If we do get lucky enough to find someone, after we train them and get them up to speed…. they leave! This short 4 hr. session broken up into two separate 2 hr. sessions, will focus on the key communication and leadership principles that will help you to develop a culture that attracts and retains effective, productive employees. In addition, it will show you effective ways of positively motivating, encouraging and maximizing individual and team potential.
Session 1 : Tuesday, October 11th
Session 2 : Wednesday, October 12th
*Each session will go from 9AM – 11AM CST
- Looking for employees versus attracting /luring employees
- Choosing the employee bait
- More money?
- Leadership models
About the speaker
Art Hedrick is the owner of the training and consulting firm Dieology, located in Greenville, Michigan U.S.A. He is a journeyman tool and die maker with over 40 years of metalworking experience. For over 23 years, Art has been the author of the Die Science column printed in The Stamping Journal ® and has authored numerous articles published on The Fabricator.com® Art, a past instructor at General Motors University, has been the recipient of many training & education awards. He has held chairmen positions of stamping councils with the Society of Manufacturing Engineers as well as Fabricators and Manufactures Association. Art has conducted over 300 stamping, product design, and tool and die related seminars for trade organizations and private companies. Currently he has over 175 clients in the auto, appliance, hardware, defense, electronics, space exploration and commodities industries. Art is active in metal stamping training and consulting world-wide.