This year we were asked to feature our business story in Australian Earthmoving Magazine January/February 2014 issue.
We are extremely thrilled to share this with everyone, and here is a sneak peak where you can read a little about our history, global engineering centre, key focus, leading products and philosophy. Enjoy!
Many companies claim to be pioneers in the construction industry but few have the pedigree as exceptional as Kobelco’s. Since its formation in Japan more than 80 years ago, Kobelco has been at the forefront of technological development and advances in the international construction industry.
A History of Innovation and Global Outreach
Kobelco began operations in 1930 in Japan as a division of Kobe Steel Ltd, which was founded in 1905 and moved into the construction machinery field in the 1920s.
By 1930 Kobelco engineers had produced the first Japanese electric shovel. It proved popular and was soon followed by larger models.
The 50K electric mining shovel was the first piece of construction machinery to be manufactured in Japan.
“Since then, Kobelco has shaped its own future through our spirit of strength and innovation. We have gone on to develop construction machinery products and technologies like no other in the industry,” said Doug McQuinn, Kobelco Construction Machinery Australia General Manager Sales and Service.
In 1954 Kobelco released the first diesel pile hammer manufactured in Japan. This was followed by its first diesel excavator in 1956 and Japan’s first wheel excavator in 1963. Kobelco developed a crawler hydraulic excavator in 1967.
Global Engineering Centre
In March 2012 Kobelco completed construction of its Global Engineering Centre (GEC) and Itsukaichi Factory in the town of Itsukaichi in Hiroshima Prefecture, to strengthen their global network and double production levels.
By improving productivity and reducing production lead times, Kobelco can supply customers with the products they need more quickly.
The Itsukaichi factory is one of the most efficient plants in the world. “The GEC has enabled the plant in Itsukaichi, Hiroshima to attain one of the world’s highest levels of productivity and now serves as a command centre, functioning laterally across the Kobelco Construction Machinery Group,” said Doug.
Quality a Key Focus for Kobelco
Kobelco continues to prove itself a leader in manufacturing technology and is associated with the highest quality products available in the construction market.
Across all its manufacturing plants, Kobelco has adopted state-of-the-art robotic welding and machining tools; however, their staff is still a key part of the manufacturing system.
Leading Environmental Products
Kobelco has embraced market demands and constantly strives to develop more fuel efficient and lower emission machines that cost less to run and are more productive.
In Japan’s competitive construction machinery field, Kobelco won the 2010 Minister of the Environment Award for the Prevention of Global Warming (technology development and commercialisation) for its SK80H-2 hybrid excavator. This award is given once a year to individuals or enterprises that have distinguished achievements in the prevention of global warming.
The Kobelco Philosophy
Kobelco is dedicated to providing customers with excavators that hold true value through market leading design and technology.
These include the Acera and Geospec series that delivers unbeaten low fuel consumption, and the iNDR
system for optimal noise reduction – all part of the True Blue Kobelco Evolution.
“We will continue to listen carefully to our customers to identify exactly what they want and expect from the machines they use, and look out for anticipated emerging trends,” said Doug.