Kobe Steel to open company in China for tire and rubber machinery

March 22, 2016

TOKYO, March 22, 2016 — Kobe Steel, Ltd. announces that in April it will open a company in China to sell tire and rubber machinery and provide after-sales service.

Called Kobelco Machinery System Engineering Qingdao Co., Ltd. (or KMQ), the new company in Qingdao, Shangdong Province will supply rubber mixers, twin screw roller head extruders and tire testing machines used in the manufacture of tires for cars, construction equipment and other rubber products. Kobe Steel has invested 2 million yuan (about 40 million yen) in KMQ.

World tire production, in terms of tons, has been increasing more than 3 percent annually in recent years, with China making up a nearly 40 percent share, according to the Japan Automobile Tyre Manufacturers Association. With automobile demand anticipated to continue growing in China, tire production of approximately 520 million units in that country in 2015 is forecast to increase to about 650 million units in 2020, reported trade magazine Tire Technology International.

Demand for manufacturing equipment for automobile tires is also anticipated to grow. Kobe Steel has to date supplied over 250 units of tire and rubber machinery to China, and the need for after-sales service is also high. To capture growing customer needs, Kobe Steel established KMQ. In addition to tire and rubber machinery, KMQ will also handle Kobe Steel’s menu of plastic processing machinery.

The establishment of KMQ will contribute to expanding sales in China as well as further strengthen Kobe Steel’s position. Regarded as the top manufacturer of rubber mixers, Kobe Steel is aiming for a 50-percent share of the world market.

Kobe Steel’s Machinery Business anticipates achieving an overall sales increase of approximately 1 billion yen for its tire and rubber machinery in fiscal 2020. Expanding worldwide, Kobe Steel’s tire and rubber machinery business currently has manufacturing and sales bases in four locations: Japan, the United States, China and India.

Outline of KMQ

Company name:
Kobelco Machinery System Engineering Qingdao Co., Ltd.
Qingdao, Shangdong Province, China
December 2015 (opening in April 2016)
Total investment amount:
2 million yuan (about 40 million yen)
Investment ratio:
Kobelco (China) Holding Co., Ltd. 100%
Tetsuya Yoshikawa
Yoshio Owada
Sale and after-sales service of tire and rubber machinery and plastic processing machinery in China

Kobe Steel’s other bases for tire and rubber machinery

Name Location Business Established
Takasago Works Takasago, Hyogo, Japan Manufacture of tire and rubber machinery 1953
Kobelco Stewart Bolling, Inc. Hudson, Ohio, USA Manufacture and sale of tire and rubber machinery 1986
Yiyang Yishen Rubber Machinery Co., Ltd. Yiyang, Hunan, China Manufacture, sale and after-sales service of tire curing presses 1995
L&T Kobelco Machinery Co., Ltd. Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu, India Manufacture and sale of tire and rubber machinery 2010


Installed at the beginning of the tire manufacturing process, mixers are machines that uniformly knead rubber with carbon black, sulfur and other additives. Serving a role to induce a chemical reaction between the materials, mixers require high kneading accuracy at the molecular level.
Twin screw roller head extruders
Installed after mixers, twin screw roller head extruders extrude the rubber compound in sheet form.
Tire Testing Machines
In the finishing process and final inspection for tires, tire testing machines check quality. Tire testing machines also confirm the running safety and durability of tires.

File photo of Kobe Steel’s BB mixer. This popular series of mixers is noted for high performance and excellent batch uniformity. KMQ will supply this type of mixer and other rubber machinery as well as provide after-sales service.

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