Shinji Shimomura, President & CEO
Then translated in English, this Japanese word means ‘making things.’ A better translation would be manufacturing or craftsmanship. Yet, much of the intended meaning is lost in the translation. If Monozukuri was just the creation of products, then music would be no less than a string of sounds and words put together. Monozukuri is so much more than just creating things. It is a mindset, a spirit, and a philosophy that guides an organization through the art of manufacturing the perfect products.
However, only a few organizations have mastered Monozukuri like Sumitomo Heavy Industries–a provider of the machinery of some of the biggest clients across the world. Sumitomo embodies the spirit of Monozukuri in its products and solutions, enabling its clients to rise to the existing standards of quality and craftsmanship.
Sumitomo Heavy Industries always strives for technological innovation and applies cutting-edge technologies wherever possible. The company operates in a broad range of business areas ranging from manufacturing equipment and infrastructure to fields making use of the latest advanced technology. Most recently, the company’s research and development efforts have focused on fine, mechatronics, and systems technologies, and by doing so, it has been able to gain a foothold in the areas of precision control devices and key components. For example, it has succeeded in developing equipment for the manufacturing of LCDs and semiconductors as well as digital home appliances. This new area of business is positioned to become the third core competency for the company after power transmission equipment and plastics machinery.
How it All Began
Known initially as Izumi-ya, Sumitomo began its operations in the fields of copper refining, trading, and mining. Its Shikoku Besshi Copper Mine first opened in 1691, and by 1888, mining operations had expanded enough to warrant the introduction of the “shop practices” concept as a way of manufacturing and repairing equipment and tools used at the mine. This marked the beginning of Sumitomo Heavy Industries, Ltd. Since then, we have grown in line with the development of society and industry. Presently, the Sumitomo Heavy Industries Group is a comprehensive machinery maker that manufactures goods ranging from general machinery and advanced precision machinery to construction machinery, ships, and environmental plant facilities. It utilizes the spirit of “product making” that it has developed over the past 100 years to make advancements in various fields, including nanotechnology and megastructures. In addition, through the use of precision technologies that “move and control”, the company is able to contribute to making society a more harmonious place to live in.
“Under our management philosophy, the Sumitomo Heavy Industries Group has made it our corporate mission to become a manufacturer and provider of first-class products and services to the world. We hope that by providing high-quality products and solutions backed by tested technologies to customers worldwide, we can support society as well as its industrial foundation, and in turn, make the lives of people easier,” says President and CEO Shinji Shimomura, Sumitomo Heavy Industries Group.
In essence, Sumitomo offers a comprehensive suite of solutions like precision machinery, construction components, industrial equipment, ships environmental facilities and plants, and many more that caters to variegated domains. With its cyclo drives, compact gear motors, motion control drives, and gearboxes, the company’s products find themselves not only in factories but also in train stations and office buildings.
Under our management philosophy, the Sumitomo Heavy Industries Group has made it our corporate mission to become a manufacturer and provider of first-class products and services to the world
Its power transmission & control equipment has the leading market share in Japan and plays an active role throughout the backstage of society. Besides, from smartphones to semiconductor manufacturing equipment, Sumitomo provides one of the best precision machinery technologies to meet a wide range of industrial needs. Through its laser systems, motion components, cryocoolers and cryopumps, transfer molding presses, and others, Sumitomo promptly resolves several problems readily.
Paving the Way for a Better Tomorrow
The SHI Group contributes to the realization of a sustainable society by holding fast to “Sumitomo’s Business Philosophy” and taking action throughout all its business activities to protect the global environment. It offers proposals for total plant systems that satisfy the requirements of its customers, such as reducing carbon dioxide emissions through the utilization of non-fossil fuels or reducing costs through the highly efficient use of low-cost fuels, etc. The company has under its hood promising plant systems to help achieve a recycling-oriented society by making effective use of resources. In that regard, it brings to the table innovative circulating fluidized bed boiler, rotary kiln type facilities, electrostatic precipitator, reactor vessels, ash handling system, and the likes of it. To begin with, several companies who embedded the Sumitomo circulating fluidized bed (CFB) boiler as the core facility are now capable of generating electricity and steam from multi-use fuels, such as biomass fuels and waste material fuels, from which highly efficient uses had been difficult to achieve in the past. The impressive designs, based on Sumitomo’s delivery record and after-sales service experience of more than 20 years for CFB boilers enable it possible to incorporate the latest know-how in its proposals for highly reliable facilities.
In the century and more since its founding in 1888, the SHI Group has developed and refined manufacturing technology that ranges from nanotechnology to enormous steel structures and helps sustain every major field of industry. The collaboration between the Minabe-Tanabe region and Sumitomo stand testament to the company’s unprecedented capabilities. Located south of Wakamaya Prefecture, one of the longstanding issues for the local umeboshi firms was the increasing cost of properly treating the seasoning liquid effluent left after the manufacturing process as industrial waste. The wastewater contained a very high concentration of contaminants, with its biochemical oxygen demand (BOD)*1 exceeding 100,000 mg per liter, a level that conventional aerobic wastewater treatment methods*2 cannot handle easily. Enters Sumitomo Heavy Industries. It solved this problem with a system for anaerobic wastewater treatment and biogas power generation. The seasoning liquid effluent that had been simply discarded was now being used as biomass input for this system as an energy source, reducing both the environmental load and processing cost for the local industry.
Illuminating the Path to Success
This is but one of the many success stories that Sumitomo has scripted over these years. For the company, innovation is not just about products, but also about delivering value to the clients. Sumitomo’s incredible legacy evinces its role in providing visionaries with unparalleled machinery suites able to bring their goals into making within the shortest periods. In years to come, there is no doubt that Sumitomo Heavy Industries will continue removing all barriers in the realm of quality equipment and help create a sustainable tomorrow. “As we continue on the path to achieving this goal, I look forward to your continued support and cooperation,” concludes Shimomura.