Nadaka Corporation deals with cutting process for difficult-to-cut materials such as titanium, nickel and heat-resistant steel. Their main products are car parts like turbochargers. Their technology is widely used in various areas, including aircraft and the medical field. Their corporate identity is to “challenge to perfect the craftsmanship in manufacturing.” They have focused this challenge on cutting work for difficult-to-cut materials and complex shapes which others in the same trade show reluctance to deal with. “Even an order for something that we have no experience, we go for it. If we decline it, we get no growth,” Mr. Nadaka says. They study and understand the characteristics of unworkable materials and develop a special jig for each part individually in order to respond to customers’ demands. The mass-production of such high-value-added processed goods are their strength.
High Precision CNC Machining and Assembly
Challenge to perfect the craftsmanship in manufacturing
The five factories of Nadaka Corporation stand alongside a quiet river in Uji, Kyoto, 3km north from Byodoin Hoohdo (Phoenix Hall), which is a world heritage site that Japan boasts to the world. “This is technology that only we have,” proudly says Shingo Nadaka (41), the executive managing director, holding a cutting part for a turbocharger used by a leading manufacturer. In 2012, they expanded their business to Thailand, where they could rediscover their technical strength.
Nadaka Corporation deals with cutting process for difficult-to-cut materials such as titanium, nickel and heat-resistant steel. Their main products are car parts like turbochargers. Their technology is widely used in various areas, including aircraft and the medical field. Their corporate identity is to “challenge to perfect the craftsmanship in manufacturing.” They have focused this challenge on cutting work for difficult-to-cut materials and complex shapes which others in the same trade show reluctance to deal with. “Even an order for something that we have no experience, we go for it. If we decline it, we get no growth,” Mr. Nadaka says. They study and understand the characteristics of unworkable materials and develop a special jig for each part individually in order to respond to customers’ demands. The mass-production of such high-value-added processed goods is their strength.
Challenge of overseas expansion
Nadaka Corporation expanded into Thailand because of the proposal by a major heavy industry manufacturer producing turbochargers. When this manufacturer established overseas bases in Thailand, they suggested that Mr. Nadaka set up operations in the same area. They thought that overseas expansion was unavoidable as top manufacturers in Japan were increasing their production abroad; however, at first, they were not able to make up their minds and initially declined that proposal. Instead, Mr. Nadaka unstintingly gave full instructions on the technology and know-how of their production to the manufacturer.
In fact, what Mr. Nadaka heard from the manufacturer was a cry for help. In Thailand, either local manufacturers or other Japanese companies in the same industry couldn’t provide a similar quality of parts as Nadaka’s. Even when they used the same machines and blades under the same conditions, they couldn’t imitate Nadaka’s quality. In order to provide high precision production, the manufacturer must understand the “character” of the processed goods.
They realized, “This is the technology that only we can handle.” With the confidence that they were a world-class manufacturer, at last, they decided on the overseas expansion. Their bases in Bangkok, with a total area of 20,000 km2, have eighty local employees and two staff members from Japan. Gaining the full cooperation of the major manufacturer, the establishment of their factory was completed without any problems. Now, as a good example of expansion into Thailand, they are having endless visitors from Japan.
Create a company culture
Nadaka Corporation, founded in 1954, celebrates its 60th year in business next year. “The technology is important, of course,” Mr. Nadaka says, “but without feeling the philosophy which we have built for the past 60 years in our guts, neither the technology nor any other expertise will be handed down after all.” In order to raise the “company DNA” inside each member of staff, he tells the employees to value every day and every moment.
Under the president, who is his father, Mr. Nadaka became the executive managing director ten years ago. Since then, he lets the employees set their personal goal every day. Any small goals are all right. The accumulation of each day’s steps makes a big difference ten years later, he believes. “This is how we’re creating the culture of our company,” Mr. Nadaka explains.
In their factory, when they introduce new technology, even if it is small work, they let young staff join the operations. How can we make it stronger? Which material has which characteristic? Those are realized only by actual field experience. Depending on their attitude towards the job, the “aura” radiated by the young workers changes.
Becoming a company undertaking “local production” all over the world
Mr. Nadaka is aiming at being a company which has factories both in Japan and abroad, and provides its technology to all their business partners. In recent years, leading manufacturers are promoting a shift to more overseas production. Orders for parts are also swiftly being switched over to local manufacturers rather than from Japan. Mr. Nadaka doesn’t see that as a crisis. They have no doubt that “local production for local consumption” must be the fundamental form of manufacturing.
Because of this movement, they decided to build their bases in Thailand. Competitive local companies are also developing their technological competence every day; however, Mr. Nadaka emphasizes, “I believe that we can beat the local manufacturers even for mass-production.” From the beginning, mass-production of parts was the strength of Nadaka Corporation. The mechanization that they have developed in Japan over decades and the know-how to eliminate waste must be paramount in developing countries.
“We would like to respond to any customer inquiries and demands. When our customers expand their business to anywhere in the world, we will be responsible for the production locally.”
Mr. Nadaka takes pride in Japanese manufacturing. It is manufacturing that supported Japan through the high-growth period of its economy. It cannot disappear from Japan. What he is aiming at is “the Global Comprehensive Development Centre for Difficult-to-Cut Materials,” which can undertake assignments from trial production to mass production. After sixty years in business, Nadaka Corporation’s challenge continues.
Nadaka Corporation Co., Ltd.
Business Description : Cutting work for industrial equipment parts and assemblage
Headquarters Address : 28 Nakagahara, Makishimacho, Uji, Kyoto 611-0041 Japan
President & CEO : Toshiro Nadaka
Established : 1954
Number of Employees: 90