Hennecke machine technology is the choice for KURIMOTO, Ltd.
New state-of-the-art composite center in Japan
With a population of almost 130 million, the island of Japan represents the third largest economy in the world. Japan is one of the most important target markets for composite applications for KURIMOTO and Hennecke, not least because of the particularly strong Japanese automotive industry, in which appropriate lightweight solutions are in ever greater demand. The automotive industry in Japan employs over five million people and in 2018 alone it generated a turnover of more than 500 billion euros. In 2018 over nine million cars rolled off Japanese production lines. China and the US were the only countries to produce more cars than Japan in the same time period. But the automotive industry is not the only important target market: Japan is considered to be a high-tech country with a multitude of relevant industry sectors for those offering composite solutions. It is not without reason that the headquarters of three of the world's largest carbon fiber producers TEIJIN, TORAY und MITSUBISHI RAYON are located in the ‘land of the rising sun’. The rapidly growing demand for composite solutions was the main reason behind KURIMOTO's decision to set up a brand new, larger composite center in the Shiga prefecture. Together with customers and other partner companies, the aim is to speed up the development process and make it even more efficient. A key requirement here is to manufacture and develop prototype parts under real production conditions right up to the stage of serial production.
In the new composite center with a surface area of 2300 m2, KURIMOTO offers customers a variety of technologies for the mass production of composite parts. These include a carbon LFTD plant, a 200 kN pultrusion machine and two hydraulic presses for HP-RTM and WCM processes. The presses have a closing force of 4,700 kN or 10,000 kN. The latter is a complete in-house development that will also be on offer to KURIMOTO customers in the future. The metering of the reactive raw material systems is carried out by the STREAMLINE high-pressure metering machine, already well-established in the market and used in the previous KURIMOTO technical center. In order to offer discerning customers an even better selection from the comprehensive technology portfolio, the Hennecke metering machine has been extended for the move to the new composite center to include a robotic wet shot function for WCM applications, in addition to the HP-RTM process. By setting up the new composite center, developing in-house press technology and collaborating with the Hennecke GROUP on technologies, KURIMOTO is now a one-stop supplier of composite solutions on the market and a competent partner for its customers in the areas of product and process development, in addition to offering all the systems required for the production process. And Hennecke - as well as making enormous technological advances in the areas of HP-RTM and WCM, leading to the new STREAMLINE MK2 machine generation - has also invested in a new subsidiary company in Japan. Hennecke's many Japanese customers have received even more intensive support from here since the beginning of 2019. A six-person team works in the heart of the Japanese capital Tokyo to meet the needs of the local customers and offer improved services in their own language.
As a Hennecke GROUP site, the new local presence provides access to the whole product portfolio of the core brands of the Hennecke GROUP. Besides optimized customer service, Hennecke Japan is placing greater focus on the country-specific requirements for new machine business. This is how a large number of available machines and plants will be on offer in the future with control system technology that has been adapted to the Japanese market.
Further plans for the subsidiary involve a local storage facility for replacement parts that are required during critical outage periods. Hennecke’s investment in its Japanese subsidiary is not only beneficial to KURIMOTO: the newly established local presence means that the group is even better placed to drive forward further exciting projects in the Japanese composite market.
The traditional Japanese company with headquarters in Osaka was founded 110 years ago and employs over 2000 staff across the globe. KURIMOTO's expertise is divided into six product lines: ductile iron pipes, valves, plant engineering and machinery, materials and machinery, construction materials, and plastic products. Thanks to a high level of diversification, KURIMOTO has access to an excellent network in many different branches of industry.
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