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Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation: Steel Sheets

Outline

Steel sheets refer to sheets of less than 3 mm in thickness. Normally, these sheets are heated to more than 1,000°C on slabs, rolled into the required thickness by multiple roughing mills and finishing mills, left to cool, and then rolled into coils. Very advanced technology is required to ensure quality consistency throughout the process. Of all steel products, Japan particularly excels at the manufacturing of steel sheets. As a result, made-in-Japan steel sheets are used in numerous applications all over the world today.

Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation, previously a government-operated company, became in 1902 the first in Japan to manufacture steel. It has gone through various mergers and changes, but growth has been consistent throughout as it has worked towards becoming the world’s most advanced manufacturer of steel. On October 1, 2012, formar Nippon Steel Corporation formally merged with Sumitomo Metal Industries, and Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation is the world's 2nd largest steel producer by volume as of 2012.

From the mid-20th century, demand for good quality steel sheets grew sharply for diverse purposes, such as automobiles. Nippon Steel consequently found its products in high demand. Its high-grade products, developed and manufactured in-house, are used in numerous products in Japan and around the world. This has greatly enhanced the reputation of Nippon Steel. Today, Nippon Steel’s steel sheets support a wide range of modern industry and daily lifestyle, through applications including automobiles, digital appliances, electrical appliances, housing, beverage cans, and electrical transformers.

In recent years, Nippon Steel is characterized by its ability to quickly respond to diverse customer requirements, and by its extensive product line-up. For users who require more advanced products, Nippon Steel has pioneered the production of high-performance steel sheet materials. These pioneering Nippon Steel products play an important role in the following situations:

1) Contributing to the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions by improving the strength of sheets and enabling the weight reduction of automobiles.

2) Helping make cans more lightweight with ultra-thin tinplates.

3) Helping lower energy consumption by producing high-efficiency electrical sheets which conserve electricity in home appliances and hybrid cars.

4) Contributing to the reduction of the environmental impact of manufacturing by removing the need for the galvanization or coating of corrosion-resistant galvanized sheets, laminated sheets for cans, and pre-coated sheets for home appliances.

Nippon Steel has long retained its reputation as one of the world’s top companies, but many of the world’s leading steel companies have been moving towards establishing international conglomerates in recent years in an attempt to further stabilize their position and guarantee growth. In Japan, however, the steel industry remains preoccupied with its domestic organization, and has yet to show any truly dynamic efforts to globalize. Nippon Steel, with its advanced technology, will surely be at the forefront of Japanese efforts to outstrip the rest of the market.


October 10, 2012 (Revised)
May 11, 2011
About the author
Eriko Kinashi is a reporter for Japanest NIPPON
http://www.nssmc.com/en/index.html
( Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation )