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The Japanese firm KOBELCO is a large manufacturer of metals which include steel, aluminium, copper and titanium. Along with its metals business, the firm produces machinery and vehicles and delivers environmental and welding services.

A Century of Metal Manufacturing and Industrial Expansion

KOBELCO was founded in 1905 through the merger of the trading company Suzkuki Shoten with steel firm Kobayashi Seikosho. Initially the firm focused on steel production, but the 1930s saw KOBELCO launch cement manufacturing operations, and the production of electric mining shovels. Metal production continued after the war, and KOBELCO pioneered the production of titanium in Japan. During this period, he firm became an industrial giant with interests in steel and non-ferrous metals production as well as industrial machinery. International expansion followed, with an American subsidiary KOBELCO USA opening in 1960 and the opening of a fertiliser plant in Bangladesh. By 1980, the firm had operations across Asia, the Middle East and North America. The 1995 Kobe earthquake set the firm back, but it responded by expanding into power production and focusing on international production, meaning that by the firm's centenary celebrations, the future looked bright. Nowadays, KOBELCO's major industrial activities involve steel production, where the firm seeks to drive up productivity in line with global competition. But the firm also offers a thriving welding service and manufactures aluminium and copper products as well. Meanwhile, the machinery sector of the firm has become a leading supplier to power generators, while KOBELCO Eco-Solutions deals with environmental areas such as sewage processing and waste disposal.

The KOBELCO product portfolio

KOBELCO's range of products includes:

  • Steel products - including rods, wires, beams and tubes
  • Titanium products
  • Steel powder
  • Wholesale electricity
  • Welding materials
  • Gas and air compressors
  • Heat pumps
  • Plastic processing machinery
  • Rolling mills
  • Ultra high-pressure equipment
  • Waste incineration plants
  • Methane fermentation systems
  • Cranes
  • Construction machinery
  • Urban transit systems

KOBELCO is a large industrial concern which provides products to a wide range of industrial customers. It serves everything from municipal governments (in waste processing and transport) to militaries and industrial manufacturers.