Sambo Copper Alloy Promotes Lead Free Alloy Sales

Sambo Copper Alloy, Osaka based copper and copper alloy fabricator, aims to expand its sales and profits by active capital investment and sales promotion of its lead-free copper alloy “EcoBrass” along the 3-year management plan started in April 2007. Takao Hashida, president of Sambo Copper Alloy explained the concrete strategy of the company in an interview with Japan Metal Bulletin.Mr. Hashida said the firm’s product sales decreased by about 10% in January-March 2007 compared with the same period of 2006. The firm adjusted the output volume in April, he said, with analysis that the users and distributors of copper alloyed products minimized their inventories when the unit price of copper fabricated products became extremely high. On the other hand, he said the sales keep steady for large contract users. He regarded a material shift trend from copper to other materials as a partial phenomenon in special fields because other material prices are also surging.As to the sales strategy, Mr. Hashida said the firm cultivates new demand of copper plate for sputtering targets and automobiles. In July 2007 the firm will introduce a large machining center. He said the firm will have 2 machining centers after this summer and strengthen its manufacturing capacity. He indicated brass bar demand would shift to cadmium-free and lead-free products gradually while the firm recently downs its brass bar output to 1,800-2,000 tonnes per month.Mr. Hashida also referred to the sales strategy of Sambo’s original lead-free copper alloy “EcoBrass.” He analyzed lead-free copper alloy demand is increasing in Europe and USA faster than in Japan. He expected EcoBrass demand expands to 1,000 tonnes per month in 2009 from current 200 tonnes per month because the usage of lead containing copper alloy will be prohibited for water pipes in California, USA in 2010. Sambo Copper Alloy will introduce a new melting and casting furnace for EcoBrass within 2007. He said the firm will conclude EcoBrass license contracts with domestic and foreign casting product makers in future while the firm has concluded license agreements with brass bar makers so far.