Kamijima Heat Treatment Co., Ltd
Hidemi Kamijima, President
“Heat treatment” changes steel properties themselves by applying heat processing. Kamijima Heat Treatment Co., Ltd. has engaged in the heat treatment that requires high level of technologies and skills over 50 years. “Trust Kamijima with difficult heat treatment jobs”; Customers have much confidence in the company’s capability.
Heat treatment is a process of heating and cooling steel to change its properties. This involves an invisible but important and highly difficult process to create steel with appropriate properties such as hardness, toughness, and machinability optimum for its use. Take a die made of high-speed tool steel equipped in a plastic working machine for which hardness or toughness is highly valued or a component of aircraft or a rocket that requires high level of security as an example. Heat treatment is a vital process that affects quality of such products. In addition, it is an essential process in various other fields of automobile, industrial machinery, construction machinery, and so forth.
Kamijima Heat Treatment Co., Ltd. moved from Kawasaki City to Ota City in 1959 and has engaged in heat treatment for over 50 years. Kamijima’s reputation is so high that it is called “a refuge for difficult heat treatment works.” Even without any salespersons, its reputation has spread all over Japan by word of mouth. The company now handles as many as 1,000 orders a week.
Quenching with salt bath
Kamijima Heat Treatment Co., Ltd. has two heat treatment processes: "Salt bath" and "Vacuum furnaces"
In "Salt bath" products for heat treatment are immersed into a furnace in which chlorides (salts) are melted and treated by heating and cooling. This processing is suitable to products requiring the ultimate properties. On the other hand, heat treatment with "Vacuum furnaces" is a process of heating and cooling inside a chamber in which vacuum state is maintained and suitable to products that require bright finish.
"General heat treatment has processes of 'quenching' and 'tempering'. In this processing, steel is heated and then quickly cooled down for quenching, and it is reheated in the tempering process at a temperature lower than that of quenching, and then cooled. In this method, however, products optimum for the use cannot be produced unless operations are done closely observing minute theory of heating and cooling temperatures and rates."
Kamijima Heat Treatment Co., Ltd. is also specialized in metal processing appropriate for its use such as surface modification treatment for further enhancement of product performance and FW friction welding for material processing , as well as heat treatment testing with precise temperature control and receives orders from large-scale companies and national research institutes.
Group of heat treatment professionals led by "masters"
A group of professionals led by ten Certified Special-Grade Skilled Workers in Metal Heat Treatment is engaged in daily tasks. Four members out of the ten are commended by the Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare as “Contemporary Master Craftsman” and five are certified as “Tokyo Meister. ”
These members possess engineering and skills created from their long experiences that competitors cannot imitate as evidenced by their ability to correct distortions of metal products while checking them visually.
Their strength is not, however, just “intuitions.” Kamijima Heat Treatment owns data of know-how that have accumulated through a long period of experience. Kamijima’s high quality is realized thoroughly on scientific basis.
President of Kamijima Heat Treatment Co., Ltd. says, “It is vital how we succeed these skills to the next generation,” and is devoted to inheriting skills and developing human resources.
It comes as a matter of course for employees to take the National Trade Skill Testing and for veteran workers to provide one-on-one training to new employee.
“That will surely lead to improvement and succession of our skills.”
Vacuum furnaces for aerospace parts
Kamijima Heat Treatment Co., Ltd. became the first company in Japan to obtain JIS certification in quenching and tempering processes of steel. It was also the first company specialized in heat treatment to obtain ISO9001 and ISO14001. Such efforts toward thorough quality management support the company’s reputation.
“We would like to provide customers with performance and quality that they would be proud of.”
The company has also obtained JIS Q 9100 (Quality Management System for Aerospace Industry ) and Nadcap (international certification for special processes of aero components) and is now able to accept orders for aerospace components.
New vacuum furnaces for aircraft components were introduced in 2010. Technologies of Kamijima Heat Treatment Co., Ltd. that has always challenged high-difficulty metal heat treatment are now utilized for high-level aerospace engineering.
Appearance of the factory
Kamijima Heat Treatment Co., Ltd. is located in a semi-industrial zone in Ota City, a Monozukuri town, where houses and factories co-exist in the same area. Targeting creation of a harmonized community with mutual understanding, Ota City has awarded “resident- and community-friendly factories with excellent technologies and skills” as an “Outstanding Factory.” Kamijima was appointed as an Outstanding Factory in 2000.
“With great location for transportation, products can be delivered to customers from the Tohoku region to the Kinki region on the next morning. Delivery date is an essential factor for good works.”
The best advantage of Ota City is that there are many companies with high value added in the area. Bonds between factories are strong, and nearby businesses in the processing industries rely on Kamijima, saying that “works can be done two days faster with Kamijima located closely.”
The company is registered to the “Ota Brand” network that utilizes strong points of Ota City and craftsmanship for Monozukuri. It is also involved with the “Shitamachi Bobsleigh ” project in which small- and medium-sized companies come together to produce the first made-in-Japan bobsled for global competitions.
“The network in Ota City has helped us. We would like to contribute to the community with our technologies.”
A major strength of Kamijima Heat Treatment Co., Ltd. lies in the location that is Ota City. Each product produced every day now supports Monozukuri technologies of Ota City and farther those of Japan.