High-precision equipment with Non-backlash|KAMO SEIKO CORP.

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HISTORY

The history of the Kamo Seiko Corporation

The Kamo Seiko Corporation started in 1977, almost four decades ago. Mr. Imase, the current chairperson, quit his company when he was 32 years old. He built a small, six tatami mat size garage on his property next to his house, and there he set up a drawing board, desk and a phone. He took advantage of his mechanical design skills to open a design office called “Imaken Machine Industory”. One year after starting the business, he started to feel a strong sense of dissatisfaction for so-called subcontracting work. So he decided to become an independent manufacturer and to attempt to develop his own products. Following that, he successfully created a pneumatic indexing device prototype called a “Mini-Dex”. The company has remained “Passionate” since its founding, and Kamo Seiko has been growing on its own, as a mechanical components manufacturer.

October, 1980The company was established

The first office and factory at that time
The first office and factory at that time
In October 1980, the company was named “Kamo Seiko Co., Ltd.”, and officially started company operations with a working capital of 1.5 million yen. He had a 50 square meter, two-story prefab building set up on his property as his office and factory. Gradually, the number of orders increased, so another 50 square meter slate factory was built on an adjacent land. Then, in-house processing was started after the installation of a few machines. There were 5 employees at that time, including the president’s wife. The name Kamo Seiko comes from a combination of the president’s birthplace, which is called Mino-Kamo City, and the place where the company was established, called Nishikamo-Gun.

1980’sOur ball speed reducer was successfully developed

The world's first ball speed reducer
The world’s first ball speed reducer
Five years after the establishment of the company, business was strong, supported by Japan’s rapid growth. This led to the construction of a two-story steel frame factory, 264 square meters in size. The number of employees increased to 12. Now we were in the midst of a second robot boom, and the robot industry was waiting for the development of a high precision speed reducer for their robots. The president, with his irresistible passion for invention, quietly made the decision to develop one. In July 1986, after much trial and error, he finally succeeded in creating a prototype of an unprecedented, world-first ball speed reducer. It has since been patented in 11 countries around the world. In 1987, the company started sales of its ball speed reducer. The sale of the ball speed reducers was on fast track, so a new factory was built in Fujioka-cho in Nishikamo-gun (now known as Toyota City), in 1990. It was five times as large as the former factory. Annual sales were now over 400 million yen, and the number of employees expanded to 25. This represented a big investment, boosted by his dreams over the past 10 years after the company’s initial establishment.

1990’sOverseas deployment and the development of TCG (Trochoid cam gear)

Our current logo
Our current logo
For our 10th anniversary, we renewed our logo with a tree design. On the new logo, the branches and leaves were spread out more. Our willingness to develop new products became stronger and stronger. New products, including the “Cam wing” and the “Pearl index” were developed and released. Sales staff members worked hard for sales to exhibit products in various locations, and also endeavored overseas expansion with the aim of further growth. We signed a sales contract with the Lancie Systems in Boston, US. We also displayed Kamo products for the first time in overseas exhibitions; the products received good reviews. After the collapse of the so-called bubble economy, Japan’s economy began to decline; however, thanks to the uniqueness of Kamo Seiko’s products, we were able to move forward without any setbacks. After receiving an investment of 100 million yen from a venture capital, a new factory was built for the development and manufacturing of our new products “TCG”, and equipment and machinery was also installed. In May 1998, we opened our first overseas sales office in Seoul. Beginning with two local staff members, we started full-fledged overseas expansions.

2000’sThe high-tech industry and global expansion

Customer response for “TCG” products was very positive, so we expected increased future sales. Owing to the efforts of the Korea office, the world’s largest LCD panel maker decided to use Kamo’s “TCG” on their production line, which enhanced our business opportunities.

Then, in addition to straight line motion, we launched development of a non-backlash circular gear “TCG ring”, and stated its sales. We had confidence in the usefulness of our products, so we tried to further expand our sales channels around the world. We signed a TCG license agreement with “Nexen”, a machine manufacturer located in Minnesota, USA, to expand our market in the United States and Europe. After South Korea and the United States, we established a base in Nanjing City, China in 2006, and advanced our idea of globalization.
We continued expanding our business into the United States, Europe and China
We continued expanding our business into the United States, Europe and China
We became certified as one of the top 300 small and medium-sized enterprises that are actively manufacturing
We became certified as one of the top “300 small and medium-sized enterprises that are actively manufacturing”
Kamo Seiko’s uniqueness and rapid advance were highly evaluated and regarded as a good model for small and medium-sized enterprises in Japan; we were certified as one of the top “300 small and medium-sized enterprises that are actively manufacturing” by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. In September 2008, Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy. It was the kind of global recession that only occurs once in a hundred years. However, we firmly believed in the usefulness of “TCG”, and the future growth of our market, so we followed through with the opening of our Tokyo office this year. We also decided on the construction of a factory dedicated just to “TCG” production, which we planed to enable manufacture three times more than our conventional factories. “TCG” is being used in new fields, such as the platform doors at New Shinagawa Station, and at the theme park Disneyland.

2010’sNow

KAMO SEIKO CORP. CEO
In January 2014, as we looked towards the next 50 years, we considered the first stage from our opening through our 34th year of business to be closed, and we started our next stage with a new president. Under our new president, we want to contribute to society by proposing and creating new useful machine elements. With our passion, “We would like to spread the KAMO brand to engineers around the world”, and our motto “Growing, linking and thinking”, we will continue to evolve ourselves for further development and growth. We celebrated our 35th anniversary in 2015, and advanced the development of our new products “Belt crawler” and “PSR”, in which we successfully developed the world’s thinnest speed reducer. We also plan to work for the renewal of mission-critical task systems to secure a foundation for growth, and to devote ourselves to the creation of products useful for society, making our company a pillar in the industry.

Timeline

  • October 1980
    The current chairman used a working capital of 1.5 million yen to establish the company “Kamo Seiko Co., Ltd.” for the manufacturing and selling of industrial pneumatic equipment. The location of the company was Kakimoto-cho in Toyota City.
  • May 1985
    Working capital was increased to 6 million yen, and a factory was constructed on an adjacent property
  • December 1985
    Successfully produced a prototype of the world’s first ball speed reducer
  • January 1986
    Professor Hiroshi Makino of the University of Yamanashi gave a presentation regarding the theory of the ball speed reducer at the Japan Society for Precision Engineering
  • July 1986
    For the research and development of our ball speed reducer, we were approved for technological advancement grants by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry.
  • May 1987
    Commercialized a ball speed reducer and started its sales
  • February 1988
    The ball speed reducer won the Idea Achievement Award of the 13th Invention Awards
  • October 1988
    Our ball speed reducer was patented in the United States of America
  • March 1989
    The ball speed reducer won the 1989 Precision Engineering Award
  • April 1990
    Working capital was increased to 20 million yen
  • May 1990
    A new headquarters and factory were constructed in Fujioka-cho, Nishikamo-gun, Aichi Prefecture, and our entire company transferred to the new office.
  • April 1991
    New equipment was introduced to increase manufacturing capabilities
  • April 1994
    Working capital was increased to 35 million yen
  • May 1994
    Started expanding into the markets of the United States, South Korea and Taiwan
  • November 1994
    The ball speed reducer received the Science and Technology Agency Award
  • March 1995
    Our first exhibition was held in the United States (Chicago Exhibition)
  • March 1996
    The ball speed reducer was patented in Japan
  • February 1997
    Working capital was increased to 85 million yen
  • April 1997
    Our new factory was constructed for developing products; and such development began.
  • January 1998
    Started sales of a straight line motion unit, the “TCG Runner”
  • February 1998
    The “Ball cam indexing device” won the Mochida invention Achievement Award of the 23rd Invention Awards
  • March 1998
    Opened a liaison office in Seoul, South Korea
  • May 1998
    Certified as one of Aichi Prefecture’s Sokatsu (actively conducting business) Companies
  • January 2000
    The “TCG runner” was patented in Japan (It had already been patented in five other countries)
  • December 2000
    Acquired factory land next to our headquarters
  • October 2001
    Started sales of the “TCG Ring”
  • January 2002
    The “TCG Runner” won the Chunichi Industrial Technology Award
  • February 2003
    The “TCG Runner” won the Idea Achievement Award of the 28th Invention Awards
  • February 2004
    Certified as an “Aichi Manufacturing Brand Company” by Aichi Prefecture
  • July 2005
    Signed a TCG license agreement with Nexen Inc.
  • April 2006
    Started sales of our orthogonal ball speed reducer “CBR”
  • October 2006
    Opened a sales office as a liaison office in Nanjing, China
  • June 2007
    Certified as one of the top “300 small and medium-sized enterprises that are actively manufacturing” by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
  • August 2007
    The ball speed reducer won the Excellence Award in the “Manufacturers of Japan Awards” sponsored by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
  • August 2009
    Started construction of our third factory for enhancing TCG production
  • June 2010
    Started sales of our slim speed reducer JFR
  • August 2010
    Korea KAMO FA became our fully owned subsidiary
  • May 2011
    Started sales of a small-size TCG Runner
  • April 2012
    Started sales of a TCG-dedicated speed reducer “SFP series”
  • October 2012
    The “TCG-dedicated speed reducer SFP series” won the Good Design Award
  • January 2014
    Genta Imase was appointed as the President
  • January 2014
    Kenji Imase was appointed as the Chairperson
  • March 2015
    Started sales of pneumatic intermittent indexing equipment “MDF Series”
  • June 2016
    Appeared on NHK General’s TV program “Transcending technology!”, SP “Ultimate gear showdown – A small motor lifts up a fridge!”
  • June 2016
    Started sales of our ultra-thin “pancake” speed reducer “PSR series”