Japanese major brass and copper sheet and strip maker, headed in Saitama Prefecture, Mitsui Sumitomo Metal Mining Brass & Copper has completed installment of an another reflow tin plating line at Mie plant in Mie Prefecture. The firm will almost finish outsourcing of reflow tin plating process within fiscal 2011 ending in March 2012 and utilize the additional plating line in Mie after the firm gains approval from users for product quality. The firm aims cost down by self plating.Reflow tin plating copper strip represents high corrosion resistance and connection reliability. The demand is expected to increase for automotive connector pins. Mie plant has operated one reflow tin plating line with output capacity at 750 tonnes per month. The new plating line was recently installed and the capacity increased to more than 1,500 tonnes. The firm’s head plant in Saitama has outsourced plating process at monthly 200-300 tonnes to the third party and about 80% of the outsourcing has been reflow tin plating. The outsourcing will be shifted to Mie plant after the firm gains quality approvals from users. The firm plans to optimize product items between the head plant and Mie plant. By diversification of same item production, the firm can continue product supply if one plant is suspended by disasters and certain accidents. The diversification is also expected to realize flexible output expansion or product supply from the nearest site to the users. The firm plans to accelerate the optimization between Saitama and Mie mainly for sheet and strip items. One example is that the firm presently produces 60% copper and 40% zinc alloy products only at Saitama head plant, those which are the firm’s strong items. Howeber, the plant has no space for additional capacity expansion at the plant. The firm plans to send intermediate products from Saitama to Mie and start downstream processes at Mie plant. On the other hand, the firm examines production of tough pitch copper strip at Saitama head plant though the item is now produced only at Mie plant.
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