Strength of NISSHIN STEEL
In April 1959, the Company made a new start, with Nihon Teppan Corporation and Nichia Steel Works, Ltd., merging to form NISSHIN STEEL Co., Ltd. In 1962, the company constructed a blast furnace, emerging as an integrated steelmaker. Furthermore, the company developed a unique industry position as a manufacturer specialized in light-gauge materials, including surface-treated products and stainless steel.sheets.
The Kure Works, the Company's melting center, that is one of the core plants and supports its ability to put customer satisfaction first by competing on quality, is a leader in Japan in a variety of principal technological indices, including unit consumption of pulverized coal in the blast furnace, hot-rolling yield and unit consumption of fuel in the reheating furnace.
Conducting galvanizing operations since the time of its founding in 1908, the Company earned a solid market reputation for the excellent corrosion resistance and attractive surface layer of its galvanized steel sheet and aluminized steel sheet, produced with the gas wiping (YG) method, which the Company developed. Under the brand name of MOONSTAR, these became widely known throughout the industry. In 2000, we commenced commercial production of steel sheet hot-dipped with a zinc-aluminum-magnesium coating, or ZAM®. Compared with conventional galvanized products, ZAM® offers superior corrosion resistance at every level. These characteristics suit the product for use in housing & building materials, as well as in a wide variety of applications such as in the automotive sector, electrical equipment sector and agricultural sector, steadily boosting our production volume.
Through aluminzing technology for stainless steel sheet and by taking the lead in creating a lineup of chromium-free products and developing SELiOS, which contributed to the functionality of coated steel sheet, we have achieved a wide-ranging scope of manufacturing potential. In these ways and have used our technological development capability to expand the product repertory. This enabled the Company to establish a unique position as a leading manufacturer of surface-treated products to meet customer needs quickly.
We introduced Japan's first Sendzimir mills in 1958, paving the way for an era of stainless steel mass production. Thereafter, we employed the basic oxygen furnace degassing method, lined up the Sendzimir mills for tandem operation, introduced a high-tech mill for processing ultrathin products, and established continuous operations of annealing and pickling to cold rolling. Through the development of these new technologies, we consistently maintained a lead in the stainless steel industry.
We also developed high-performance, highly functional stainless steel with a variety of characteristics such as corrosion resistance, processability, heat resistance and strength, enabling us to meet even more sophisticated customer needs.
Combining the vacuum degassing vessel installed in 1989 and a vertical continuous slab-caster enables us to produce high-quality special steel through integrated quality control starting with raw materials. Furthermore, in 2008 leading-edge cold-rolling mill (1ZM) went on line at the Sakai Works, further raising the precision of our manufacturing system.
We conduct careful quality management for individual orders to match customers' applications, processes and heat-treatment methods. In particular, we hold the top position for both quality and quantity of cold rolled steel strips.
In 1986, we established Wheeling-Nisshin, Inc., a joint venture for the manufacture of aluminumized and galvanizedl steel sheets, in the U.S. state of West Virginia. Since its start of commercial operations in 1988, the venture's production and sales volumes have risen steadily, with cumulative production reaching 10 million tons in January 2006. In 2013, we plan to commence production of ZAM® highly corrosion-resistant hot-dip coated steel sheets at the venture.
In the stainless steel business, we have forged a global supply system through cooperation with Acerinox, a world leader based in Spain with which we have closely collaborated since their establishment. Recent developments between us include the founding of Bahru Stainless SDN. BHD, a cold-rolled stainless steel joint venture in Malaysia,. This company began commercial production in 2011 and is currently moving forward with construction that will further expand its operations.
Also in China, we have pursued joint venture business for the production of cold-rolled stainless steel sheet with such companies as Baoshan Iron & Steel Co., Ltd., by participating in Ningbo Boaxin Stainless Steel Co., Ltd. (Ningbo, Zhejiang Province), which commenced production in December 1998. In response to the growing Chinese market for stainless steel, this company has augmented its facilities in four stages. Operations are currently proceeding apace, with a production capacity of 660,000 tons per year.
NISSHIN STEEL's Group companies in Japan comprise 30 entities operating in a host of businesses. We have fabricating and processing companies that add value by processing our products, companies that sell our products, companies that process raw materials for us, and companies that provide us with transportation and a variety of other services. Our principal distinguishing characteristic is the formation of a group centered on the Company's steel business.
To reinforce and expand operations in the steel business, we have taken further steps to consolidate Group companies' management resources and informational strengths, focusing specifically on two pillars: expanding new products segments and reinforcing processed products segments.
The year 2008 marked the 100th anniversary of the start of operations of Tanaka Galvanizing Works, our predecessor. Furthermore, 2009 was our 50th since we began operating as NISSHIN STEEL.
Over the course of this long history, the NISSHIN STEEL Group has undergone diverse changes. All the while, we have sought to maintain our position at the leading edge of the market, working with customers to fulfill their dreams through the development of new technologies and products.
F-Tech. Plaza opened in July 2009 to showcase our development activities. These include not only our developments in steel materials, but also our proposals of total solutions that combine our product repertory involving a variety of materials and employing our processing and joining technologies. Going forward, we will continue our aggressive development activities in the aim of contributing to our customers' successes in the introduction of new products.
Looking forward to the next 50 or even 100 years, we will strive to remain the company of choice for our stakeholders and achieve harmony with society.