Featured Story – NSSC – continuous improvement and upgrade to expand synergy effects

FEATURED STORY NSSC: continuous improvement and
upgrade to expand synergy effects

Following the successful integration of three business units to create NIPPON STEEL Stainless Steel Corporation last year, the company has grown from strength to strength.

Proud to call itself Japan’s largest integrated manufacturer of stainless steel, the synergies generated have produced a lean and efficient company  focused on upgrading every aspect of its capabilities. Company President Mr. Hitoshi Ito explains NSSC’s strategy to upgrade across the board to reinforce the company’s position as one of the world’s leading producers of high quality, cutting-edge stainless steel products.

NSSC 2120 duplex is increasingly specified for public infrastructure, such as the bridge connecting esplanades along the Sumida River in Tokyo.

NSSC 2120 duplex is increasingly specified for public infrastructure, such as the bridge connecting esplanades along the Sumida River in Tokyo.

Shunan area Yamaguchi works

Shunan area Yamaguchi works

“For the high-end market, we must dare to offer products we never have before.”

Expansion of business strategy options

Through the integration last year, NSSC has gained the potential for further improvements to grow its business. “The integration enabled us to concentrate the superior management resources from each company,” explains Mr. Ito. “These include production technology, technological development, and marketing power, combining the expertise presented in each separate unit into one coherent whole. By combining these resources, it became possible to meet new challenges and achieve levels of improvement which could not be achieved individually in a short period.”

Mr. Ito identified particular areas of future progress including:

  • Further improvements to manufacturing efficiency, quality levels, and R&D capability;
  • Effective utilisation of each company’s intellectual property and acceleration of R&D;
  • Reinforcement of NSSC’s ability to serve customers with a combination of processing technologies and unique solutions.

“Through these initiatives, we can focus on enhancing our high-end market presence by daring to offer products we never have before. These include future-oriented materials, option combinations and new manufacturing techniques.”

Antibacterial stainless-steel products

Stainless steel is widely recognized as the ideal material for hygienic applications as it is easy to clean and sterilize even after decades of service.

NSSC has taken these properties a major step further by developing grades that have active antibacterial properties. Not surprisingly, the COVID19 pandemic has led to a surge in consumer demand for these products. In response, the company launched a dedicated website in July 2020 featuring its line-up of antibacterial stainless-steel products.

“Before COVID19, these products were mainly used in the food and medical industries. However, we anticipate that in the future, demand may shift to general-purpose applications. Examples of applications include surfaces that frequently come into human contact such as doors, hand-railings, etc” explains Mr. Ito.

The antibacterial products come in two varieties: either copper added, or coated with acrylic resin.

Stainless metal mask

Extremely fine crystal grains make FYGRAS stainless steel ideal for precision machining.

Facts & Figures

Name: NIPPON STEEL Stainless Steel Corporation (NSSC)
Headquarters: Tokyo, Japan
Overseas Offices: Bangkok, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chicago, Jakarta
Number of employees: 3,200
Production sites: Kashima, Kinuura, Yamaguchi (Hikari Area and Shunan Area), Yawata (all in Japan)
Turnover: 3.4 billion USD (2019 fy)
Products: Sheets and strips, plates, and bars and wire rods.
Key markets: Power generation, infrastructure, desalination, shipbuilding, chemical industry, oil & gas, pulp & paper, automotive, construction, electric appliances and home appliances, cookware
Website: https://stainless.nipponsteel.com/en/

Hikari area Ymaguchi works

Hikari area Ymaguchi works

Summing Up

Improved customer solutions through integration

Through the integration, NSSC is improved its solution-oriented business model.

“Our team offers proposal-based sales that provide not only high-quality, value-added materials but also applications and manufacturing technology/know-how which fulfil our clients’ needs,” explains Mr. Ito.

“Offering a solution-focused business is not just about solving customers’ problems by presenting them with existing materials and products. We have our engineers actually meet with customers and then make appropriate proposals to them. We may recommend a particular material to solve a problem which the customer is experiencing. Some materials may also be developed together with customers; the engineers take the problem back to the office if necessary, research and solve it. All the former companies had been involved in this type of solutionsfocused
business, and now, their DNA has been combined.

Great synergy was created by multiplying the technology and knowledge of each company; it wasn’t simply an addition. So our capability to offer solutions has been upgraded.”

NSSC’s mission statement

  • High quality, high value-added and cutting-edge stainless steel products
  • Providing processing technology and other services; offering precise & prompt delivery
  • Providing solutions to customers through the above initiatives

About this Featured Story

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