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Parts and components formed by processing raw materials with heat, pressure, etc. are called “sokeizai (materials).” These materials are essential to the products that surround us as well as indispensable to the manufacturing industry. Kubota studied raw materials, polished its skills, and provided what the customers genuinely sought for. Behind this was Kubota’s passion for contributing to the society. It can be said that the materials business is one of the businesses that embodies Kubota’s principles. With a thorough understanding of raw materials, Kubota’s forged materials continue to support industries around the world today.
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In order to process various materials, it is necessary to understand its components. Through producing forged materials, Kubota deepened its knowledge of the qualities and properties of various materials, refining its material development technology. TXAX is one of the materials created by Kubota’s material development technology. This material was developed through the shape control technology for titanium acid compounds and the intercalation technology utilizing layered chain architectures of TiOx polyhedra. It featured outstanding heat resistance, high-temperature heat insulation, wear resistance, and frictional strength. TXAX is widely used as friction material for brakes in automobiles and various other machines.
Reformer & Cracking Tube
In order to design and form materials based on its use, high-level engineering skills are necessary. For instance, Kubota’s cracking tube MERT is used for ethylene production in petrochemical plants. It is an original product, which has mixing function with a spiral element on the internal surface of the tube The mixing element improved thermal conductivity and evenly heated the fluid inside the tube. It reduced the temperature inside the tube as well as the carbon (coking) that accumulated on the internal surface of the tube, dramatically improving the efficiency of cracking furnaces. Kubota’s manufacturing technology that can respond to diverse customer needs, such as centrifugal casting, is also the strength of Kubota’s materials business.
In 1930s, the heavy and chemical industries, such as iron, automobile, aircraft, and machine industry, were booming. The casting industry, which supported the machine industry, became extremely busy with increased production of military supplies. However, once the war ended, the industry was forced to respond from military demand to private demand and was left to search for a path for survival.
Steel Ingot Mold, Ductile Cast Iron Roll
After much trial and error, Kubota expanded its market from cast iron to cast steel. In order to differentiate itself from other companies, it focused on special cast steel and developed the Japan’s first steel pipe through centrifugal casting.
G Column for Building Structure, Centrifugal Cast Composite Roll, Spiral Iron Pipe
Kubota, which owned the centrifugal casting technology for cast steel pipe, further promoted research pursuing product individuality. It entered new markets including casting materials for civil engineering construction.
As the “Building a New Japan” boom started and the development of transportation network accelerated, public works projects also increased. Thus, the civil engineering industry began to thrive even more. Accordingly, the steel pipe pile industry also flourished. Construction works became larger in scale, and the demand for products also changed.
Spiral Steel Pipe Pile, Cargo Oil Pipe
Kubota exerted a strong presence in the market with its highly unique special steel pipes. Along with the shipbuilding trend and “Building a New Japan” boom, the production of cargo oil pipes for oil tankers and steel pipe piles grew exponentially. These items joined the line of Kubota’s representative cast steel products.
In 1973, oil prices exponentially rose as a result of the oil crisis, and the world was at once plunged into recession. As one way to overcome this crisis, countries promoted energy and resource efficiency. However, this brought on a change to the industrial structure and encouraged the development of new technologies and products.
Cylinder Liner, Hearth Roll, Suction Roll, Reformer & Cracking Tube, Cast Iron Parts for Nuclear Power Generation
The casting and cast steel businesses suffered a major blow as a result of the oil crisis in Japan. Looking for new directions in order to survive, opportunities rose for regularly creating new technologies and products.
Due to the rise and fall of the bubble economy triggered by the depreciation in Japanese yen, the country entered a period of long economic stagnation. While domestic demand faltered, the diversification of customer needs further accelerated. In order to respond to this diversification and differentiate its products, industries focused on developing new products and materials.
Reformer & Cracking Tube, Skid Button, Composite Ring Roll
Responding to diversifying customer needs with the concept of “forged materials,” Kubota newly established the Material Consolidated Division and devoted itself to developing new material qualities and technologies. As a result of this endeavor, it created numerous products that represent Kubota’s material business today.
In recent years, economic globalization has progressed at an unprecedented pace, and emerging countries such as China, Russia, India, and Brazil have developed economically. Meanwhile, with a weak economy, Japanese businesses have stagnated altogether, and industries rapidly pursued rationalization, as customer needs further diversified.
Reformer & Cracking Tube, TXAX, Laqnican Joint
Along with economic globalization, Kubota reinforced its business foundation for public sector demand and promoted overseas growth strategies. It responded to the needs both in and outside Japan with reliable technology.
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