Sumitomo Metals to Brash Up Advanced Technology

Sumitomo Metal Industries’ vice president Yasuyuki Tozaki said to a reporter of Japan Metal Bulletin the firm plans original research and development program in fiscal 2012 started April while the firm merges with Nippon Steel in October. He said the firm expects the merger contributes to better competitiveness in technology in operation, products development and research and development by combining the different expertise of the both companies.

Mr. Tozaki said the firm tries to accelerate distinctiveness by improving advanced technology. He said the firm invested consolidated 22.8 billion yen in research and development in fiscal 2011 as fiscal 2010 while the firm planned 24.5 billion yen of investment before the budget cut to secure fund for the recovery plan from damage by the major earthquake.

Mr. Tozaki said the firm cleared 90% of targeted development theme in fiscal 2011 in the development areas including basic technology, process technology, application technology and products. He said the firm uses advanced process technology when the firm conducts renewal in steel making shop, seamless pipe making facility, hot rolling mill and forging process.

Mr. Tozaki said the firm got order of hot pressed steel bumper with 1,800 mega pascal strength from CX-5 of Mazda Motor. He said the firm completed technology development of 3 dimensional hot bending and quench (3DQ) and the technology is used by automakers. He said the firm started sample shipment of 17% chrome seamless pipe for energy applications. He said the firm got order for H-SA700 as material for concrete filled tube and world highest strength building steel, SSS1000.

Mr. Tozaki said the firm invests 24.5 billion yen for R&D in fiscal 2012 as fiscal 2011. He said the firm tries to reduce pig iron making cost by using low grade raw materials more and reducing coke use while the firm reduces input of reducing agent. He said the firm also develops efficient steel making technology for high valued steel and innovative rolling process.

Mr. Tozaki said the president Hiroshi Tomono said the firm tries to expand intangible assets while the firm tries to get patent in core processes and major products as technology oriented manufacturers. He said knowhow is a key for the operation technology while patent and knowhow are keys for technology assets. He said the firm checks the value of the technology assets along with moves of rivals in China and South Korea. He said the firm selects technologies for patent application for better competitiveness. He said the firm applies around 400 of patents per year at home and abroad and the firm conducts examination request for almost all applications.

Mr. Tozaki said the merger company also tries to improve advanced technology. He said the new company has world No.1 of 800 of researchers and the new company expands the laboratory functions including speed. He expects the wider R&D base contributes to better technology advantage for better solutions and competitiveness.