HOME > 経営をよくする > Vibrant SMEs of JAPAN

Vibrant SMEs of JAPAN

Proprietary Technology in Fluid Control to Environmental Sector Cross-section of multi-tubular heat exchanger [RGL Joint]

Secret to Robustness
  • Management approach insistent on complete in-house development.
  • New business development with continuity of technology.
  • Build up of network of businesses and people.

Aiming to be an independent manufacturer, even if a small one, RGL Joint has been creating fluid control products developed in-house one after another such as flow meters, hose fittings, and manifolds. The company is particularly strong in products for semiconductor manufacturing equipment, flat panel display manufacturing equipment, and cooling systems. In recent years, the company has been venturing into next-generation sectors such as ozone water generators and fuel cell heat exchangers. RGL Joint has a management approach that focuses on in-house development.

Brand Strength Established with Fluid Control Equipment

RGL Joint's biggest business platform is fluid control equipment. It became known in this industry in 1988 when it developed and released the Kantouch hose fitting. This fitting can be fitted to a hose cut on-location at a job site. At the time when metal piping was the norm and outcomes were often influenced by the skill of the installer, "This was a hit product for 20 years because it produced the same quality no matter who did the job," says company president Inaba.

In 1992, RGL Joint released the FS Series of impeller-style flow sensors. These flow sensors made of resin undergo less wear than metal versions as long as there is water flow, so "Sensors ten years or older will come back for maintenance," says Inaba, an indication of their penetration in the industry. Also in 1992, the company released a flow meter for cooling systems in semiconductor manufacturing equipment and a fluid control assembly "magic manifold" that integrates the valve. The latter was a revolutionary product that enabled various pipe products to be freely mounted and connected.

In 1997, RGL Joint released the KSL Series of Karman vortex flow sensors that prevent debris from collecting, and in 2006 it released a low-power electromagnetic valve RSV with low standby power consumption. These products are developed in-house, and are examples of the growing lineup of in-house developed fluid control products including flow meters, hose fittings, manifolds, sensors, and electromagnetic valves. Currently, as a result of multi-functionality and modularity, all control products fundamentally are designed to be compact and to enable short installation times.

Use in "Ene-farm" Home Fuel Cell Co-generation Systems

The company in recent years has continued unending development of fluid control equipment. Mature ozone water generation systems developed based on technology and expertise nurtured in this field are being sold in the food and healthcare industries as deodorizing, bacterial elimination, bleaching, and purification systems. Heat exchangers for fuel cell systems have been formed with a multi-lobar shaped cross-section while maintaining the heat transmission surface area of the original tube prior to shaping. These heat exchangers have already been adopted in home fuel cell co-generation systems known as "ene-farms." Ozone water generation equipment and heat exchangers can be counted on growing into the next foundational businesses. Both of these businesses are characterized by the company's unchanging management approach of in-house development.

Inaba also values communication outside the company. The company's heat exchangers would not have been possible without the efforts of the fuel cell research committee of the Sagamihara Incubation Center (SIC), a local industrial promotion company based in Sagamihara. Contact with the Sagamihara Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Kanagawa Industrial Technology Center is also critical. "We are also trying to increase learning opportunities not only for executives but also regular employees. It would not be good for only the president to have a huge head. We are building team strength," says Inaba. The company is also accepting diagnosticians from small and medium-sized businesses as well as college students as opportunities arise. "Teaching and communicating lead to a person's growth. We want to actively leverage this viewing it as a positive," says Inaba, whose focus on team strength is leading to a new style at RGL Joint.

Multi-Tube Type Heat Exchanger

Multi-Tube Type Heat Exchanger

One Point: Key Point is Foreign Market

Continuity and Creation of Business

In 2012, the then 37-year old Jun Inaba took over the company and business foundation built by the company's first president, Kunio Inaba. While many small and medium-sized businesses nationwide experience problems with business succession, at RGL Joint a management style not obsessed with the previous generation is taking hold. This is a small company capable of focusing on both continuing and developing its foundational businesses and also creating new business, new frameworks, and a new corporate culture.

Company Data

President:Jun Inaba

President:Jun Inaba

Company name RGL Joint Co., Ltd.
President Jun Inaba
Industry Type Design, development, manufacture, and sales of fluid control equipment
Address 1-9-49 Ohnodai, Minami-ku, Sagamihara City, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan
Phone 042-756-7567

Printing day:April 30, 2014

Recent Posts