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Media Coverage

On-site report: Yokota Manufacturing Co.

Featured in The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun newspaper issued on Monday, Oct. 4, 1999

"On-site report: Yokota Manufacturing Co."

500 types of products, build-to-order
Attention to detail in meeting customer needs

While the overall mission of industry can be summarized in the words "quality over quantity", these words hold especially true for Yokota Manufacturing Co. Yokota is a consistent manufacturer from order and casting to machining, assembly and sale of pumps, valves, and check valves. Yokota is an order-made manufacturer, and does not do large-scale line production or maintain stock in storage facilities.

Company president Hiroshi Yokota, expressing confidence in his company's strategies, explains, "There are mountains of big companies manufacturing pumps and valves domestically. However, for a medium-small enterprise such as ours to survive, it is imperative that we pursue a path using our originally developed technology covering a vast array of product types manufactured in small quantities that meet even the smallest needs of our customers." Yokota stands out as a pump manufacturer developing pumps made of rust-free stainless steel for pumping seawater in aquarium and power generation plants, as well as especially challenging applications such as the pumping of liquid mixed with bubbles, or sludge. Yokota manufactures nearly 500 types of products daily, but "No one product is made exactly the same," comments senior managing director Mario Miura.

500 types of products, build-to-order, The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun

Copyright for this article is with The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun

The manufacturing system is also original. Manufacturing related personnel are rotated for fixed periods of time through casting, machining, assembly and testing branches. This is Yokota's specialty, called the "Job rotation system", which provides experience to workers in all of the manufacturing processes. Some may say that this only provides a mediocre level of technical development for personnel, however, Yokota's president refutes, "We ensure thorough technical training of personnel in each process. What I'm aiming for is 'general specialists' who have acquired specialized technical skills as well as knowledge of an overall manufacturing system."

It is standard practice during times of recession for manufacturers to consolidate facilities by dividing labor and increasing production lines in the manufacturing process. However, Yokota's president criticizes this approach saying, "Dividing labor has the effect of relieving the sense of responsibility for the product." Rather than throwing in the latest facilities and equipment into the manufacturing site, Yokota's manufacturing system is run on tried-and-true machinery and the skills of its employees. Yokota's president explains, "Throwing in capital and depending on machines would be the same as what big manufacturers do. We've got brains and experience, and having only that we can be confident in remaining unbeaten."

He goes on to say, "However, the realities dictate the necessity of investing capital in marketing." Yokota is working at a feverish pitch to strengthen its sales and marketing performance.

Everyone at Yokota carries business cards with the slogan, "Water at your command!" Employees coined the phrase, which is being registered as a trademark, as symbolic words that succinctly describe the company as a pump manufacturer dealing with water. Adding further meaning to this phrase, Yokota's president comments, "In dealing with a substance as common to the world as water, it is necessary to generate ideas based on a firm understanding of the principles of nature, and that surpass accepted wisdom."

The company was established in 1948. Development and manufacturing focused on the pumping out of spring water from coal mining sites. As any pump defect could affect lives under such conditions imposed by coal mining sites, it was imperative for Yokota to have meticulous operation efficiency down to the finest detail at the manufacturing site. It can be said that Yokota, of course, has had a great deal of confidence in its product precision. Yokota's president comments, "Simple is best. The conditions for our company's survival include making products full of simplicity and originality that please the customer through their use." Even after over 50 years, this business stance remains unchanged.

(Address: 1-3-6 Minami Yoshijima, Naka-ku, Hiroshima, Tel: 082-241-8672)

Featured in The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun newspaper issued on Thursday, Aug. 12, 1999

Expansion to 500kg capacity melting furnace
Yokota launches private power generation

[Hiroshima] Yokota Manufacturing Co., Ltd. (Location: 1-3-6 Minami Yoshijima, Naka-ku, Hiroshima, President: Hiroshi Yokota, Tel: 082-241-8672) will install an additional stainless steel melting furnace with a 500kg capacity in conjunction with its power unit renovation project related to the introduction of a private power generation system. The additional melting furnace variation will aid the pumping process of liquid stainless steel, reducing costs. Yokota expects to start the new melting furnace's operation from the end of August with an expected cost of about 30,000,000 yen.

Yokota is a consistent pump and valve manufacturer from ordering, casting, and assembly to distribution. Currently, Yokota has stainless steel melting furnaces with capacities of 1.2tons, 600kg, and 200kg. However, due to the number of diversified orders from customers, cases of equipment and facilities mismatching have occurred, resulting in inefficiencies.

Expansion to 500kg capacity melting furnace, The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun

Copyright for this article is with The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun

Due to this, Yokota has constructed a private power generation system powered by two turbines with an output of 240kW as a first step. The renovation of the power unit and the provision of an assured power supply have allowed the introduction of new equipment.

Although the private power generation system was also introduced for the purposes of cost reduction, electrical expenses including operation costs have not changed from the previous system where power was purchased.

According to Mario Miura, senior managing director, cost reductions can be achieved both in productivity and improved efficiency when the additional furnace goes into full-scale operation and the expanded production system is put into place.

For details of each product, please refer to
Special Stainless Steel YST series
Seawater Resistant Stainless Steel YST130N
Self-Priming Centrifugal Pump UHN series
Enhanced Self-Priming Pump UPM, UPS types
For details of aquarium related products, please refer to "Current Topics: Aquarium".
For details of power plant related products, please refer to "Current Topics: Slurry Self-Priming".
For details of Seawater Intake related products, please refer to "Current Topics: Seawater Intake".

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