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The essential part of a smoother future MIKAMI Co.

Website: MIKAMI Co.External site: a new window will open.
Category: Japanese Machinery

Carving out a niche in metal-parts manufacturing

Though the factory of MIKAMI Co. hums with activity, second-generation CEO Makoto Mikami still makes time to sit down and explain the nuts and bolts of his company. Established in 1967 by Mikami's engineer father, the enterprise began with just one numerically controlled lathe-cutting machine. Now in its 47th year, three factories are pumping out parts from their locations north of Tokyo in Saitama Prefecture. Within them, 35 employees are all busily engaged in the production of high-precision metal components. Thus parts are made for machines in fields as diverse as medicine, construction and automotive technology. The parts MIKAMI makes aren't always visible from the outside. But they are indispensable for a safe and smooth operation. Therein lies the essence of the company's motto, "Making the impossible possible."

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MIKAMI CEO Makoto Mikami

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Punching in: A worker operates a machine at MIKAMI's main factory

Always ready to try

Adaptability is the name of the game. "When a customer asks for something," explains Mikami, "we never say ‘it can't be done.'" Meeting customers' needs is paramount. And the company's willingness to try anything has translated into the production of a wide range of high-quality, precisely-made parts. The engineers at MIKAMI are proud to do everything domestically, from the procurement of materials to fabrication, heat and surface treatment, and processing. MIKAMI's specialty technologies include integrated cutting of thin film, cutting to a thickness of only 0.1mm for use in items like pressure sensors and pickup sensors. They also do surface finishing for internal mirrors, which are used in for example optical cells and cylinders, and contribute to lower friction, better sealing, and durability. This process is unique for MIKAMI, since they can machine and surface finish simultaneously, meaning that after the cutting, the surface would be in a mirror-finished state. In fact, most people will have used some of the company's parts without realizing. Your DSLR camera might well make use of MIKAMI cylinders in the functioning of its zoom and the mounts that hold its lens. Meanwhile, the company's hydraulic mechanical parts help to control oil and air pressure in many cars and construction machines. MIKAMI also makes quick-action fuses for use in equipment requiring a high-voltage current such as medical machines, next-generation automobiles, and solar-power systems.

Building a high-tech future

MIKAMI garnered interest at the 2013 SPS IPC Drives conference and exhibition in Nuremberg, Germany, and also at the MD&M West conference in California, USA, in February 2014. It currently does about 75 percent of its business domestically with the rest of sales coming from overseas in countries like China (especially sensor parts) and Germany (camera, medical and automotive parts). MIKAMI is now setting its sights on markets with highly developed technology sectors, such as North America, the EU and Russia.

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Freshly machined: A MIKAMI sensor component

Despite its quest to find trading partners further afield, Mikami plans to continue manufacturing from its home in Japan. Keeping a constant eye on quality, cost and delivery, the folks at Mikami take innovation seriously, listening to customer feedback and taking pleasure in creating things. Surely that's the essential part.


Website: MIKAMI Co.External site: a new window will open.