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Expanding overseas operations with WARISAKI processing [SEKI Press]

Secret to Robustness
  • Establishment of groundbreaking technology not found anywhere else in the industry.
  • Insatiable ambition to continue creating new innovations.
  • Pushing forward with concrete plans for overseas expansion.

SEKI Press designs and manufactures precision metal dies and performs precision single stage and multi-stage press processing, centered around automobile-related parts. Since the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, SEKI Press has advanced radical new technical innovations, and established a new metal press processing technique called WARISAKI. At the 2012 Joyo Business Awards, sponsored by the local Joyo Bank, SEKI Press announced the "development of one-piece forming technology for complex three-dimensional shapes through splitting and joining processing techniques in multi-stage press processing," which was awarded the grand prize. SEKI Press is strengthening its overseas operations with this new technology; "to survive in the manufacturing business, either domestically or overseas, we need original, world-class technology," says company president Masakatsu Seki.

Unshakable plan for overseas expansion

"We want to at least survive in Asia." In 2006, while serving as managing director before his appointment as president, Seki was pondering the future path of the company, which had already begun its globalization efforts in 2003. Thinking that, "to survive in Asia, we need sites in at least China and in the Asia region, and we need proprietary technology that our competitors can’t match," Seki began the process of choosing countries. Seki decided that moving into countries such as China and Thailand where SEKI Press customers had already expanded would provide only limited benefit for their customers. Realizing that Vietnam is becoming a manufacturing base for the future, and that Taiwan provided advantages related to trade with China, SEKI Press established offices in these countries in 2003 and 2009, respectively. "Then all that remained was to see if we could come up with a satisfying new proprietary technology," says Seki. Even if customers directed SEKI Press to establish foreign sites, it stuck to its plan: "We want to accomplish the first steps on our own. If we get requests after that, then we’ll handle that production."

"Without technology, there is no future"

Spurred by a realization after the Tohoku earthquake, through September 2011 SEKI Press invested around 80 million in developing a new processing method. Based on the know-how accumulated in precision press dies, the new method involves splitting metal using press processing. This technology was achieved by changing several hundred types of splitting tools according to conditions such as metal type, thickness, and shape. This enables completion of complex three-dimensional shapes, which were difficult to produce with conventional metal press processing, within the multi-stage metal forming process.
This new WARISAKI process has been successfully used on steel, copper, brass, aluminum, and stainless steel, with sheet thicknesses of 0.8 mm. The process can be used on sheet metal, coils, and bars. SEKI Press is planning to apply the techniques to difficult-to-process materials like titanium and high-strength steel, and to develop the technology to split 0.1 mm materials to a 0.05 mm thickness, by August 2014.
After splitting the metal using the new technique, SEKI Press can form the metal into different shapes, such as a circle, or shapes like the end of a wrench. SEKI Press is also developing prototype swaging processes. SEKI Press has formed the ends of split metal into U shapes to suppress cracking; the realization of zero cracks has been verified by Ibaraki University and the Industrial Technology Institute Of Ibaraki Prefecture. SEKI Press’s management philosophy is "without technology there is no future;" with this original new technology, SEKI Press has opened the door leading to the future.

Heading overseas with WARISAKI

"We want 2014 to be the year that our new processing method really sprouts;" SEKI Press is putting effort into obtaining orders from overseas. It has shifted its attendance at exhibitions from domestic to overseas. SEKI Press has increased its number of overseas business managers and engineers, and is reassigning metal forming engineers to be in charge of the new process as domestic order conditions allow. With strong inquiries from a broad range of fields other than automotive, including light electrical and heavy electrical equipment and construction, SEKI Press aims to land orders from customers both domestic and foreign.
In December 2013, SEKI Press established a subsidiary in Bac Giang Province, Vietnam. It plans to have a new factory in operation there in 2015. At present, the site is positioned as a factory for producing overseas orders for WARISAKI, and the aim is to have volume production running in 2015. When orders are received, "we will loan them equipment, but keep the dies in our possession. We don’t want to give away our trump card," explains Seki, showing SEKI Press’s intention to maintain its strengths.
In addition to attending technology expositions in Germany, the U.S., China, and Taiwan in 2014, SEKI Press will step up its marketing efforts in Asia, in partnership with the SEKI Press Taiwan office. With this, the group plans to raise its revenue from 1 billion yen, for the period ending August 2012, to 1.5 billion yen, for the period ending August 2015.

The new method involves splitting metal using press processing.

The new method involves splitting metal using press processing.


Technology used in Supporting Industries

SEKI Press was selected as a "Supporting Industry" in 2013. SEKI Press continues to work on developing new processing methods, such as joining dissimilar metals like copper and aluminum. These methods will be important for achieving lighter, more fuel-efficient next-generation automobiles at low cost. They are also important to provide reliable electrical contact in parts like bus bars, important components of inverters found in electric automobiles.

Company Data

President: Masakatsu Seki

President: Masakatsu Seki

Company name Seki Press Co,,Ltd.
President Masakatsu Seki
Industry Type Precision press processing
Address Chikoku-cho 4-30-20, Hitachi City, Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan
Phone 0294-36-0300

Printing day:May 8, 2014

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