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Vibrant SMEs of JAPAN

Weighing Systems Backed by History and Technology [Kamacho Scale]

Secret to Robustness
  • Top domestic market share for 2 scale products.
  • Advanced technology that has continued since beginning as a weight manufacturer in the Meiji Era.
  • Expanding to markets overseas.

Kamacho Scale Co., Ltd. is a manufacturer that specializes in industrial scales and weighing systems. Armed with its technical strengths and customer-based proposal capabilities, the company is expanding its sales and now commands the top share of the domestic market for truck scales and hopper scales. Takeaki Kameda, the 6th generation president of Kamacho, is advancing the company into relevant products fields and aggressively cultivating markets based on a motto of "manufacturing products that satisfy customers."
The company was founded in 1880 as a casting company. It was designated as a "manufacturer of weights" through a decree by the Grand Council of State of the Meiji government, and began manufacturing weights, weighing devices, and balance scales. Kamacho developed a method in which the weights were first cast with a hollow cavity and then filled with lead for quick adjustments. The company then expanded with technology to produce even higher quality weights from inexpensive scrap iron, and this technical strength became the company's foundation. Now, Kamacho produces numerous products and is recognized around the world as a manufacturer of industrial scales, weighing systems, and measurement control systems.

Sensing Danger with 3-Dimensional Technology

Kamacho is an industry pioneer of truck scales that measure vehicle weight. The company quickly recognized the trend to convert scales, which had been analog, to digital, and in this period of rapid growth, Kamacho expanded its sales as transportation by truck shifted into high gear and trucks grew in size. In recent years, the company developed a digital load cell method that integrates an amplifier and a microcomputer into the main load cell body that detects loads, and it achieved the first practical applications of this type of method in the world. President Kameda himself is involved in the developments, and in December 2011, his team completed the development of the "SATRS [SAfety TRansport Support System]" truck scale with a 3-D center of gravity measurement function.
When the center of gravity of cargo loaded on a trailer is high or is shifted either to the right or to the left, even if the truck driver observes the speed limit, the trailer could overturn on a curve. Due to international rules, the contents of cargo loaded in shipping containers that come from overseas cannot be viewed, but with SATRS, the cargo's center of gravity can be identified three-dimensionally (front to back, right to left, and height) by merely driving the truck onto a truck scale and without ever opening the trailer. As a result, high risk trailers can be identified, and overturning accidents can be prevented before they occur. The SATRS truck scale has already been installed at the Port of Yokohama and the Port of Takamatsu. The improved scale installed at the Port of Takamatsu can be installed without opening up any holes in the concrete and can be fully installed in just three days. This three-dimensional center of gravity measurement system is being researched in order to achieve applications with cargo aircraft for which inclining is a concern at takeoff and "scraping" is a concern when landing.
Kamacho also has the top domestic market share of hopper scales, which are used to weigh feed, grains, and other products when they are received into a silo. The hopper scale was first released 50 years ago. According to President Kameda, "The issue was that air was also being weighed together with the grains." However, with its many years of expertise, the company was able to achieve a design that takes into consideration the flow of air, resulting in a product that can accurately weigh grains. Recently, the company also started selling products that support the measurement of liquids such as chemicals and paints.

Product Diversification and Overseas Expansion

Kamacho has also engaged in efforts to diversify its products beyond scales. Around 1965, the company began working on the development of environmental and recycling systems. According to President Kameda, "Our largest customers of truck scales are industrial waste contractors. They were having a hard time trying to figure out how to improve the transportation efficiency of empty cans, so we proposed a can compressor. Before long, the recycling law also served as a tailwind wind that helped us promote this idea, and now over 50% of municipalities have adopted our can compressor." The company expanded its product lineup to include products such as crushers for metal goods, fluorescent lamps, and other items, and PET bottle compressors, and also advanced into the recycling plant business.
Currently, truck scales account for forty percent of the company's sales, automated scales account for thirty percent, and recycling system related business accounts for the remaining thirty percent. Moving forward, Kamacho intends to expand the number of orders it receives overseas. As part of this effort, the company established an office in South Korea in 2009, and in 2010, it established the subsidiary Thai Kamacho in Thailand. South Korea is a promising market with the Port of Busan being the number one container port in Asia, and in Thailand, business is going strong for liquid filling machines and scales that also implement bagging. Currently, overseas sales account for approximately 10% of the company's overall sales, but Kamacho plans to increase this percentage significantly in the future.
While the company was founded in 1880, President Kameda emphasized the company's ongoing motivation and explained, "For us to continue surviving in the marketplace, we must constantly pursue cutting-edge advancements and continue to produce new products that our customers want."

Truck scale with the function of 3-D center of gravity measurement / satrs

Truck scale with the function of 3-D center of gravity measurement / satrs

One Point: Key Point is Foreign Market

Synergistic Effect with Responsibilities at Two Companies

Takeaki Kameda, who became president of Kamacho in July 2012, actually researched image processing in graduate school at the University of Tokyo, and while in school, he launched a university-originated venture company, and is now the second generation president of that company. Thus, he is now experiencing the challenge of serving as president of two companies, one in Tokyo and the other in Kagawa. Technology that he researched while in graduate school is also being utilized in the "SATRS" truck scale with a 3-D center of gravity measurement function. Utilizing his ability to get things done as a business manager and his development strengths as a researcher, President Kameda is promoting an aggressive position to "continuously produce new products that meet customer needs."

Company Data

President:Takeaki Kamada

President:Takeaki Kamada

Company name Kamacho Scale Co., Ltd
President Takeaki Kamada
Industry Type Manufacture and sales of industrial scales, weighing systems, measurement control systems, and processing equipment for recycling
Address 2246 Mure, Mure-cho, Takamatsu-shi, Kagawa Prefecture, Japan
Phone 087-845-1111

Printing day:January 16, 2014

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