Australian customers will reap the benefits of Kobelco’s brand new, purpose-built manufacturing facility in Hiroshima, Japan. The new Itsukaichi plant replaces two of Kobelco’s original manufacturing facilities: the Gion factory and the Numata factory, both located nearby.
“After more than 40 years, Kobelco had simply outgrown its existing facilities,” explained Kobelco Australia Brand Leader, Doug McQuinn. “The original facilities had done a great job, but they were located in residential areas, which made it difficult to work the night shifts, plus it was hard to get the big trucks through the narrow streets. The new factory is in an ideal location that will allow for far greater productivity.
What this means for Australian customers are that we will be able to get new products to this market more quickly than in the past and the waiting time for a new machine should be shorter.”
The new $220 million facility will include an extensive training centre and will also house Kobelco’s research and development team. The factory itself covers 35,000 square metres of the facility’s 10-hectare site.
“This investment confirms Kobelco’s commitment to being number one in excavators worldwide. Kobelco has a reputation worldwide for innovation and as excavator specialists being at the forefront of developing technology for excavators.
While the Itsukaichi factory will make all of Kobelco’s heavy excavators, the Numata factory will continue to manufacture components for new Kobelco excavators, eliminating the need for Kobelco to rely on external suppliers. The Gion factory was closed on 26 April 2012. The occasion was marked with a ceremony to celebrate the last excavator to roll off its production line: an SK135SR, which was the 238,676th machine to be manufactured in this factory.
“By managing the entire supply chain and production, Kobelco can ensure the highest quality machines and components, which is incredibly important to us, not to mention our customers,” said Doug.
Kobelco excavators have been available in Australia for the last 30 years, with dealerships in 13 locations around Australia. Kobelco offers a full range of compact, mid-size and heavy excavators up to 85 tonnes as well as dismantling, demolition and scrap handling machines up to 35 tonnes.