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

Vibrant SMEs of JAPAN


Protecting the "Unseen Safety" of Social Infrastructures [IPEC]

Secret to Robustness
  • Aggressively engaged in equipment development using proprietary technology.
  • Can respond to a broad range of needs using accumulated technical expertise.
  • Constantly pursuing customer satisfaction.

IPEC was founded in 1976 as Toyama Inspection. At the time, there were no other inspection companies in Toyama Prefecture, so inspection companies from the Kanto and Kansai areas travelled to Toyama to provide service. Then, someone happened to ask Chairman Sadanori Takami for advice on inspecting iron pipes at the construction site for Kansai Electric's Shimokotori Power Plant (Hida City, Gifu Prefecture), and according to Chairman Takami, "When I contacted each of the manufacturers, every one of them turned me down." Originally, Takami had been involved in machine design, but recognizing the need and importance of an inspection company for future society, he founded the company.

Expanding Business with Unique Technology

In 2010, the name of the company was changed to the current name IPEC. "I" is an initial that stands for "inspection" and "infrastructure", "P" stands for "preservation", "E" stands for "engineer", and "C" stands for "consultant". In other words, a meaning of comprehensive expansion that includes not only inspections but also repair proposals and in-house development of unique measuring instruments and inspection devices is incorporated in the company name.
When the company was first founded, it was responsible for a lot of non-destructive inspections of tanks, iron pipes, and metal related equipment. Equipment to measure leaks from underground oil tanks that cost 3~5 million yen per set was developed in-house, and that equipment is not only being used in the company's own operations but is also being sold in regions spanning from Hokkaido to Okinawa. The equipment can also be used to inspect up to 9 layers in a tanker truck at one time. Hokuriku Electric and Kansai Electric both have numerous hydroelectric power plants in Toyama Prefecture, and IPEC has taken over the responsibility of measuring, inspecting, and testing those power plants, something that was done previously by the power companies. More specifically, IPEC is developing instruments that can determine the size of vibrations numerically, and is measuring vibration and such inside power plants after turbines are installed. The company is also experiencing an increase in railroad related jobs such as inspecting the vibration of wheel axles.
With the increase in concrete structures, IPEC also began handling non-destructive testing of those structures including the internal rebar. In recent years, major earthquakes and such have resulted in the collapse of building and highway bridges, and this destruction has brought into question the quality, safety, and security of buildings and infrastructures. In particular, structures such as roads, bridges, and tunnels that were built during a period of rapid economic growth are experiencing traffic volumes and weights that significantly exceed the volumes and weights at the time of design. Road bridges are major structures that can be found in 150,000~160,000 locations throughout Japan, and small bridges spanning 2 meters or more that are managed by local governments can be found in 700,000 locations. Maintenance and repair of those bridges is becoming an urgent matter. Thus, according to IPEC President Yuichi Yoshioka, "Inspection companies have become necessary for society."

Responding to Customer Needs is Top Priority

However, IPEC is keenly aware of the difficulties that are faced when trying to obtain inspection fees even after a customer understands that an inspection is appropriate. "When it comes to safety and security that pertain to human life, a company cannot pursue only profitability." (President Yoshioka) Therefore, IPEC is focusing its efforts on building relationships of trust. To do this, IPEC works every day to fine tune its technical capabilities so that they will satisfy customers even if doing so takes time and effort and the price increases. According to President Yoshioka, through this effort, "We are able to focus on an entire system by separating large parts from detailed parts and then diagnosing the system comprehensively." When IPEC develops inspection devices and jigs, it does a lot of its thinking during operations at the actual site. "It is only after we have a comprehensive understanding of the work site that we are able to develop easy-to-use products." (President Yoshioka) It is through this process that IPEC is able to create products that are specifically tailored to a customer's needs.
The company's style is to respond to the requests of customers no matter what they may be both for inspection tasks and equipment development. President Yoshioka stated proudly, "While I don't mean that we're providing a product catalog or corporate brochure that lists everything that we can offer, the numerous jobs that we've done thus far have become our assets."
Since 2006, IPEC has promoted a "repair consulting and management service" for which IPEC undertakes a consistent inspection system that covers everything from planning, inspection, and evaluations to proposals for repairs and countermeasures in-house. As a non-destructive inspector, IPEC employs numerous qualified personnel including top level inspection technology managers and professional construction consultant engineers. The staff of approximately 80 people supports all types of fields including civil engineering and construction, electricity, and machinery.
IPEC has also made preparations that enable its engineers to respond quickly even in the event of an emergency. According to President Yoshioka, "We consider what it is that the customer desires most, and then we do whatever it takes to meet that request." This type of service has helped IPEC gain the trust of its customers, and as a result, IPEC has been appointed for numerous inspection tasks. Since its founding, IPEC's motto has been to "visualize that which cannot be seen", and guided by this company motto, IPEC is able to provide further safety and security.

Inspection of pulling a hook

Inspection of pulling a hook


Onepoint

Constantly Consider Society and Customers.

According to President Yoshioka, "We are now able to meet most of the demands of our customers." In structure related inspections, IPEC can provide the measurements and diagnoses necessary for a variety of fields, and while the Hokuriku area is the company's central place of business, sales of IPEC's inspection devices and equipment and its monitoring technology are expanding nationwide. IPEC is truly an "unsung hero" that is taking charge of our safety and security.

Company Data

President: Yuichi Yoshioka

President: Yuichi Yoshioka

Company name IPEC
President Yuichi Yoshioka
Industry Type Non-destructive inspections, measurements, environmental measurements, repair consultant, inspection equipment sales
Address 5-4 Uwano shinmachi, Toyama City, Toyama Prefecture, Japan
Phone 076-438-0808

Printing day:May 8, 2014

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