History of Nachi Robotic Systems

1889

Founder of Nachi Fujikoshi, Kohki Imura is born in 1889 in Shimabara, Nagasaki Prefecture

1925

Kohki Imura establishes a company oriented toward technological development. Besides being involved in hydroelectric power generation, Imura accepts the advice of Momosuke Fukuzawa and guidance of Professor Kotaro Honda of Tohoku Imperial University and ventures into materials research and prototypes for hacksaws.

1928

FUJIKOSHI STEEL INDUSTRY CO., Ltd. was founded in Toyama City, Japan by Kohki Imura.

1929

Fujikoshi Steel Industry Co. hacksaws are given the honor of being inspected by the Emperor as an exceptional domestically-produced product. Nachi is adopted as a trade name.

1930

A continuous hardening furnace for hacksaw blades is developed to begin mass production.

1931

Nachi Fujikoshi branches out into drill manufacturing. Nachi Saw Blade Association is formed.

1933

Nachi Fujikoshi publishes Japan’s first tool catalog. Corporate offices are established across Japan.

1934

The company gains recognition as an all-round domestic manufacturer of precision cutting tools. A Nachi Fujikoshi manufacturing facility is designated by the Ministry of the Navy as an “Appointed Plant” with more than 1,000 employees. Manufacturing locations Install the latest European and American machinery.

1936

Fujikoshi Research Institute is established, which later becomes a foundation  in 1940. Nachi Fujikoshi is listed on the Osaka Stock Exchange.

1937

Nachi Fujikoshi sends engineers to Germany to learn steel making and bearing manufacturing techniques. Firm personnel studies steel making techniques at the Kure Naval Yard. Main building built at the Toyama Head Office.

1938

  • Nachi Fujikoshi branches out into specialty steels in order to become self-sufficient in materials and establishes an integrated manufacturing system.
  • Operations begin at Higashi-Toyama Steel Mill.
  • Nachi Fujikoshi begins production of broaching tools.
  • Nachi Fujikoshi is designated as a plant under joint Army-Navy control.

1939

Nachi Fujikoshi begins production of bearings. Machine Tools Department established to supply company plants with internally manufactured machinery.

1940-1945

  • Nachi Fujikoshi consistently expands its operations, possessing 18 plants nationwide in locations like Tokyo, Kokura, Shimabara, Niigata, and Sakai and employing 36,000. (with 20,000 at the Toyama Plant.)
  • Tokyo office is enhanced and expanded in 1941.
  • Fujikoshi Technical High School established in 1937.
  • Fujikoshi Hospital established in 1940.
  • Nachi Fujikoshi develops new products, totaling almost 70 products in 17 years since its founding. (1928-1945)  (Reinecker hobs, large broaches, micrometers and gauges, broaching machines, hydraulic pumps, high-precision steel balls, valve spring steel, magnetic steel, precision grinding stones, boron carbide and other ultra-hard alloys, etc.)

1945-1946

Nachi Fujikoshi manufactures consumer products such as work tools and food machinery, bicycles, three-wheeled cycles, steel sheets, diesel engines, etc. Nachi Fujikoshi is involved in farm management.  As a result of agricultural land reform, the Nachi disposes of about 570 acres.

1947

Office established in Tokyo’s Minato-ku. The Toyama Employers’ Association is inaugurated.

1948

Nachi Fujikoshi implements its first streamlining.

1949

Fujikoshi Association of Subcontracted Plants is established.

1950

Over the course of several streamlining attempts, the firm’s flagship products recover as a result of military procurement for the Korean War.

1951

Fujikoshi Hospital handed over to Toyama Prefecture and becomes a central prefectural hospital.

1953

Development of  “Christmas tree” type broaches for jet engines. Nachi Fujikoshi’s 25 Year Aniversary. (1928 – 1953)

1954

  • Introduces shaving cutter technology from the US firm Michigan Tool.
  • Development of bearings for jet engines.
  • Begins providing technical services.
  • Begins exporting to the United States

1955

Begins cultivating large clients in the United States and Europe.

1956

Headquarters organization moved to Tokyo (Higashi-Ginza).

1957

Overseas representative dispatched.

1958

  • Trade department is set up.
  • Nachi Bearings established.
  • Nachi Tools Association formed.
  • Branches out into the field of hydraulic equipment.
  • Begins sales of specialized machinery (1959) and enters precision mold industry (1960).
  • Emperor Hirohito and his wife inspect one of Nachi Fujikoshi’s plants.
  • Number of subcontracted plants expanded.
  • New Fujikoshi Hospital established.

1960

  • Adopts a system of 6 operating departments, grouped by product.
  • Sets up a representative office in New York.
  • Introduces a method of drill rolling from the West German firm Rohde.

1962

  • Adopts the Div. system (Tools, Bearings, Equipment, and Steel Stock).
  • Nachi Tool Sales and Nachi America established.

1963

  • Top-level meeting with Henry Ford II.
  • Name changed to Nachi-Fujikoshi Corp.
  • Develops bearings and materials for the Shinkansen.
  • Establishes the Toyama Machinery Manufacturers’ Association.

1964

  • Shinobu Ichikawa appointed Company President. (1964 – 1971)
  • Nachi Fujikoshi enters the industrial furnace industry.

1965

  • Assets like the Tokyo Headquarters and Aichi and Anjo Plants are sold.
  • Nachi Fujikoshi cuts back on personnel. (1966)y.

1969

  • Development of hydraulic industrial robots.
  • Nachi Fujikoshi establishes new Machine Tools Division and Hydraulic Equipment Division.

1970

  • Inaugurates its Machine and Hydraulic divisions (expanding the Equipment Division and moving to a 5 Division system)
  • Relocates its Tokyo Headquarters to the World Trade Center Building.
  • Overseas distributors established in Europe (1967), Germany (1973), the UK and Singapore (1974), and Canada.(1975)

1971

  • Technical Headquarters set up.
  • Precision Tools Plant built.

1972

  • Takamatsu Toshio appointed Company President. (1972 – 1979)
  • Branches out into the housing industry.
  • Enters into overseas production in Brazil.

1976

Enters into overseas production in the US and Spain.

1979

  • Enters into overseas production in Singapore
  • Kunio Owada appointed Company President. (1979 – 1992)
  • Develops coated tools (1977) and motor-driven articulated welding robots.
  • Branches out into the field of ultra-precision machinery.
  • General exhibition site established (to commemorate its 50th anniversary).

1980

First fully electro-mechanical spot welding robot is implemented by Nachi in Japan

1982

  • Robot Plant constructed.
  • Takes on TPM.

1984

  • Robot and Precision Machinery Division created.
  • Nachi Fujikoshi’s Lion Dance Robot is well received at exhibitions around Japan.
  • Nachi Fujikoshi is awarded the Productive Maintenance (PM) award.

1986

  • Markets shifted in response to the high value of the yen.
  • Spins off divisions in related fields: PM Center.(1983) Robots & Engineering, Community Services, Information Systems.(1987)

1988

  • Inaugurates its Overseas Business Headquarters, FA Technology Div., and Electronics Div.
  • Seeks to expand its operations in hydraulic motors and robot systems.
  • Enters the fields of sensors and measuring equipment.

1989

  • Fujikoshi Guesthouse and Fujikoshi Hospital established.
  • Constructs its Precision Processing Plant (Higashi-Toyama) and Hydraulic Pump Plant (Nakata, 1990).
  • Production company set up in the American Midwest.
  • Automotive electromagnetic proportional valves made commercially available.
  • Nachi Robotic Systems Inc. (NRS) is founded in North America (Novi, Michigan)

1990

  • Engages in local production in South Korea, Taiwan, and the Philippines.
  • Begins production of material handling robots.

1991

  • Robot Plant enlarged.
  • The US firm National Broach & Machine Co. (Red Ring brand) is acquired.
  • Deming Application Prize received.
  • Platinum coated tools marketed.

1992

  • MA series (handling robots) and Excel series (bearings) are marketed.
  • Nachi Fujikoshi experiences substantial losses and undergoes management restructuring.

1993

  • Management restructured based on worsening deflation and appreciation of the yen and the organizational structure is slimmed down and compressed.
  • Proceeds with adjustments in terms of personnel, assets, and investment.
  • Partnership with Koyo Seiko., Ltd.

1994

  • Integrates its sales subsidiaries (Nachi Bearing, est. in 1969) and the Nachi Hydraulic Center (est. in 1970).
  • Optimizes the size of its workforce.
  • Consolidation of production-related companies begins.
  • Meeting of Nachi’s Exclusive Agents Nationwide held.

1995

  • Integrates Nachi Tool Sales (est. in 1962) and develops operations in the fields of commercial sales and mid-level demand.
  • Obtains ISO9001 certification for its individual divisions and overseas plants. (1995 – 1997)

1996

  • Expands its robot business in domestic and foreign markets.
  • Expands its product line of tools and bearings.
  • Resumes paying dividends for the first time in 5 terms.

1997

  • Masamichi Honda appointed Company President. (1997 – 1998)
  • Management philosophy and vision revised to make the firm more international.
  • Tokyo branch consolidated into the Main Office building.
  • Nachi is established as the corporate symbol seventy years after the firm’s founding.

1998

  • Kensuke Imura appointed Company President. (1998 – 2008)
  • Nachi Business expanded with a market and customer-oriented approach.
  • Incorporates branches in its regional and operational group system.
  • Elevates precision machinery and clean technology & thermo-technology into divisions.
  • Business expanded in the US and Europe.
  • Nachi Technosquare built.
  • HR Center established.
  • Nachi Business Guide published.
  • Marketing of environmental conservation – machining equipment and tools to handle dry cutting, bio/fine chemicals, etc.
    Subsidiaries consolidated.

1999

  • Set up new management system with the philosophy of “Prospective Selection and Integration”.
  • Restructured organization for the maximum utilization of human resources.
  • Changed eight-division structure to three main manufacturing divisions and three strategic divisions.
  • Established Strategic Management Committee.
  • Begin sales of Aqua Drills, SF Series Robots, PW Series Robots and Vacuum Carburizing System.
  • Concluded technical assistance agreement with TISCO (India) for the manufacture of bearings.
  • Inclusive business tie-up with Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd. in the area of cutting tools.

2000

  • Expanded overseas supply systems (Thai plant and others) to enhance sales bases.
  • Proceeded with selection and created a global brand with competitive products.
  • Cooperated with Daido Steel Co., Ltd. in the materials field.

2001

  • Built a new factory for broaches, high speed steel wire materials, automobile bearings, and piston pumps.
  • Cooperated with OTC Daihen Corporation to achieve the world’s top rank in robotics.
  • Obtained ISO 14001 Certification.
  • Introduced Meister system.

2002

  • Established a three-headquarters framework, which consist of Marketing Strategy Headquarters, Production Management
  • Headquarters, and Development Headquarters.
  • Formed Gear Production Alliance in the gear-processing field.
  • Cooperated with Sodick Plustech Co., Ltd. in the precision injection-molding field.
  • Expanded the Stock Ownership Plan (employees, distributors, suppliers, etc.)
  • Cooperated with Erasteel S.A. (France) in the high speed steels field.

2003

  • The 75th Anniversary of Nachi Fujikoshi.
  • Announced mid-term management plan “NACHI Business Plan 03.”
  • Established NACHI-COMPLEX which consists of NACHI-BUSINESS Galaxy with QA Laboratory, Kohki Hall and Development office by endowing training functions, strengthened demonstrations and R & D systems.
  • Consolidated staff for Machinery, Cutting tools and Bearings into the production office.
  • Integrated Ultra-Precision Machining field into Machine Tools Business and synergized.
  • Expanded Namerikawa Plant (Automotive Hydraulics, Precision Machinery, etc).
  • Started local production in China.
  • Strengthened supply capacity in overseas.

2004

  • Moved Tokyo Head Office to Shiodome, Tokyo.
  • Increased the share capital.
  • Established FUJIKOSHI Associé Co., Ltd. to strengthen training.
  • Built new bearings factories in the Toyama Plant (Japan), Czech and China.
  • Consolidated hydraulic equipment business into the Higashi-Toyama Plant and established a new hydraulic valves factory.
  • Divided manufacturing of hydraulic equipment with DAESUNG-NACHI HYDRAULICS CO., LTD.
  • Set up NACHI Material Association.
  • Entered into the field of seismic isolator business.

2005

  • Renewed the Nachi-Fujikoshi Museum and Café Across (2004), and expanded NACHI COMPLEX with NACHI-BUSINESS Galaxy.
  • Designated new brand names for each products group.
  • Organized business locations in America, Europe and ASEAN respectively.
  • Built a new factory for high-payload robots.
  • Launched a new HR project encouraging each employee to improve their skills.

2006

  • Set up NACHI Major Dealers Meeting.
  • Strengthened the business for industrial machines.
  • Established a new broaches factory and a new materials factory.
  • Founded a representative office in India.
  • Expanded the engineering business for machining in both domestic and overseas market.
  • Expanded FUJIKOSHI Hospital.

2007

  • Set up International Trade Headquarters, expanded overseas businesses.
  • Formed a business alliance with Sankyo Tateyama Aluminum, Inc. in magnesium business.
  • Built a new gear cutting tools factory, machine parts processing factory, hydraulic motor factory and YAMAGATA factory.
  • Established “R&D Material”.
  • Cultivated business in the industrial machinery sector by releasing a new robot platform

2008

  • Focused business plans on emerging countries.
  • Set up ASEAN Business Center in Thailand.
  • Built three new factories for precision bearings, bearing heat-treatment, automotive solenoid valves.
  • Established NACHI Industrial Service Co., Ltd. and NACHI Thermotech Co., Ltd.
  • Focused on environmental and energy saving business.
  • Expanded the engineering business.
  • Integrated production of bearings in Europe into Czech.

2009

  • Hiroo Honma was appointed as President.
  • Developed new management structure.
  • Started up the internal control system.
  • Expanded the bearing factories in Thailand and Brazil.
  • Assigned a representative in Turkey and expanded the business in emerging countries.
  • Established Central Japan Hydraulic Center to enter the energy and infrastructure markets.
  • Established NACHI Tool Engineering Co., Ltd and NACHI Tool Genesis Co., Ltd.
  • Built NACHI Logistics Center and integrated production of tools in the US into Indiana.

2010

  • Enhanced the structure for production, sales and services in China, ASEAN and India.
  • Introduced the LP Series palletizing robots to revolutionize  the distribution infrastructure markets.
  • TODAY NRS is the technological and market leader in Robotics
  • Over 25,000 robots installed in North America
  • ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management System Certified
  • ISO 14001:2004 Environmental Management System Certified
  • Industry successes through comprehensive product integration and project support teams
  • Branch offices in Novi, Michigan, Toronto, Canada, and Mexico City, Mexico
  • Service centers located in South Carolina, Indiana, and Mexico.