Kobe Steel, Ltd. made public a report entitled Report on Misconduct in Kobe Steel Group (the “Report”) dated March 6, 2018 on the facts revealed in the Independent Investigation Committee’s investigation, analyses of the causes of the misconduct, and measures to prevent recurrence. To implement the various measures raised in the Report, Kobe Steel’s President as the leader launched the Project for Restoring Trust in April 2018. Various subcommittees and task forces were formed to implement the preventive measures, and concrete actions are currently being carried out. These activities have been and will continue to be monitored by the Quality Management Committee established in April 2019 as an advisory body to the Board of Directors.
Official certifications previously canceled or temporarily suspended were restored in fiscal 2019 (excluding one case where recertification is not planned due to demand trends and other factors).
This update provides the latest progress of the measures to prevent recurrence of the misconduct following the previous update announced on November 6, 2019. We plan to announce the progress of the measures biannually via our website.
- This document is a summary of the progress of the measures to prevent recurrence of the misconduct.
- Additional details are available in the supplementary material.
- The underlined portions below have been updated from the November 6, 2019 announcement.
In order to promote the points below, we established the KOBELCO Quality Guidelines of the Kobe Steel Group. The Guidelines went into effect on May 1, 2018.
- 1）Elimination of Opportunities for the Improper Handling of Test and Inspection Data and Unification of Shipping Standards: In addition to the lag in systems development, the impact of the novel coronavirus resulted in the rate of progress remaining at 60% as of the end of April 2020. Construction is underway generally as planned, and we aim to complete 100% of the work by the end of fiscal 2020.
- 2）Understanding of Process Capabilities and Utilization (with respect to the materials businesses): We are assessing our manufacturing processes to understand the level of consistency in quality, in light of the required specifications. We are also promoting the visualization (i.e., through graphs, indexing) of inspection data in the Aluminum & Copper Business.
- 3）Review of the Approval Process for Accepting New Purchase Orders: The Aluminum & Copper Business began execution/trials of a new framework in the second half of fiscal 2018.
- 4）Review of the Approval Process when Changing the Manufacturing Process
- 5）Promotion of Quality Risk Assessment in Capital Investments: Some plants and other business locations have initiated a process to make quality-related capital investment decisions by carrying out quantitative assessment of such factors as impact, frequency and detection rate. The Company has started utilizing quality risk assessment in decisions for key capital investments beginning in fiscal 2019.
We will continuously monitor improvements at each location and confirm the on-site application of the Guidelines through quality audits at each location.