September 22, 2023
Kobe Steel, Ltd.
Kobe Steel announces that it decided to withdraw from the tire testing machine*1 business and transferred the business to Nagahama Seisakusho Ltd. on September 11, 2023. Kobe Steel has been engaged in the tire testing machine business over many years, but the decision was made after the review of the business portfolio of its machinery business.
Nagahama Seisakusho is a company that manufactures and sells balancing machines*2 for parts of automobiles, home appliances, industrial machinery, etc. The company entered into a sales partnership agreement with Kobe Steel in the early 2000s and has been engaged in sales activities of Kobe Steel’s uniformity machines*3 for tire production lines and dynamic balancing machines*4 for tire production lines, mainly in China. Since Nagahama Seisakusho has delivered dynamic balancing machines for tire production lines to many Japanese and Chinese tire manufactures among others, we believe that the company is able to provide high-performance, high-quality products and reliable after-sales service after the transfer. Therefore, we have selected Nagahama Seisakusho as the most adequate entity to transfer the business.
The business items transferred to Nagahama Seisakusho are: (1) Manufacture, sale, and after-sales service of new uniformity machines for tire production lines (2) After-sales service of certain types of existing uniformity machines for tire production lines delivered by Kobe Steel. With this transfer, we have discontinued the manufacture and sale of new tire testing machines, and we also plan to gradually end after-sales service of our tire testing machines that have not been transferred to Nagahama Seisakusho*5.
We will continue and develop further our rubber mixer and twin screw roller head extruder businesses as key products in our machinery business.
*1 Tire testing machines are a general term for equipment to measure the performance of tires, which include tire uniformity machines, tire endurance testing machines, etc.
*2 Balancing machines are used to measure the unbalance caused by the misalignment between the center of gravity and the axis of rotation of any rotating objects, including tires.
*3 Uniformity machines are used in the final process of tire production to measure the uniformity of tires and detect the presence of surface defects, which affect the riding comfort of automobiles.
*4 Dynamic balancing machines are used to measure the unbalance of a rotating body, not in a stationary state.
*5 Tire testing machines that have not been transferred include off-line machines used for tire experiments, R&D, and inspection, such as tire uniformity machines and tire endurance testing machines for laboratories, and uniformity machines for old tire production lines, etc.
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