Wärtsilä celebrated the 50th anniversary of its seals and bearings production facility in Toyama, Japan with a three day event held in September, including an evening reception at the ANA Crowne Plaza Hotel, in Toyama city. The event was not only a significant milestone for the company, but also a celebration of continuous reliability in the marine sector.
The original seals and bearings business began in 1965 as a joint venture between Cheutsu Metal Works in Japan and Waukesha Bearings in the USA, and became affiliated with Wärtsilä in 2002. As part of the Wärtsilä Seals & Bearings group, the Toyama facility is currently responsible for the production of the Wärtsilä Airguard, Wärtsilä Bio Seal ring and a wide range of bearings for the marine market. Toyama facility is one of the most modern in the World, with its own in-house rubber production capability.
Since the acquisition of seals and bearings business in Japan in 2002, Wärtsilä has brought together, through acquisition, the strength of four seals and bearings companies in the marine sector, which make up the Wärtsilä Seals and Bearings global business today. These are based in the UK, Sweden, Spain,China and Japan.
Committed to quality, innovation and exceeding customer expectations
There were over 100 guests attending the anniversary event in Toyama city. These included leading ship owners and shipyard clients from Japan, Korea and Taiwan and a number of suppliers and local academics. Colleagues and employees of Wärtsilä Japan and Wärtsilä Seals & Bearings also attended.
Osamu Takematsu, Managing Director Wärtsilä Japan said, “The history of Wärtsilä’s Toyama factory goes back to 1965. More than anything I’m pleased, and I would like to express my appreciation to our customers for the good relationships we have, and that we can celebrate our 50th milestone together. On this occasion, we wish to promise once again that we are always willing to respond to customers’ requests in terms of delivery date, quality, cost and services”.
Representing the guests, Junichi Iwano, General Manager of the Technical Group at NYK Line, made a speech and said, “I believe that the reliability of stern tube seals and bearings, supported by technical capabilities, is important for shipping companies and lines. I saw young people working hard at the factory, and I was convinced that we can really rely on the factory for products for our ships continuously for the next 50 years.”
A speech was also given by guest Kunihiko Higaki, Managing Director of Imabari Shipbuilding Co., Ltd.. He said, “Wärtsilä Japan has constantly provided us with rudder stock seals, stern tube seals and bearings units for as long as 42 years, since 1972. All rudder stock seals used for our ships are Wärtsilä products. Wärtsilä also provides us with stern tube seals and bearings units for more than 1,000 ships.”
A specially made anniversary film, showcasing the history of the factory and its manufacturing excellence, was shown for the first time at the reception. Employees from the factory participated by appearing in the film demonstrating their dedication and skills together with their commitment to quality, innovation and exceeding customer expectations.
In the Toyama factory, significant investment has been made in new ‘state of the art’ manufacturing technology which provides a wider scope of production capacity, engineering capability and machining, automated for precision, speed and excellence. There is also a new field service training facility ensuring Wärtsilä service engineers are trained to the highest levels.
The next 50 years
A key part of the event was the ‘Wärtsilä Japan Toyama Factory 50th Anniversary Seminar’. This included a reflection on the history of the facility, and also a look ahead to the next 50 years, the focus being on the ‘Toyama Factory Production Innovation’. Customers and participants of the seminar were given a privileged view of Wärtsilä’s new product development plans and the next generation of Wärtsilä seals and bearings products, including the Wärtsilä Airguard seal upgrade introduction.
Over 60 guests took part in a production facility tour, and had the opportunity to view the new, multi-tasking manufacturing centre introduced earlier this year, as well as the new training facility. Investment in a new generation of young engineers working in the factory was clear to see, cementing Wärtsilä’s commitment to provide innovative and reliable products into the next 50 years.
The video can be seen at wartsila.com/jpn.
For more information on Wärtsilä Seals and Bearings please visit wartsila.com/sealsandbearings.
For further information, please contact:
Mrs Alex Peacock
Tel: +44 (0)23 9240 0121
Wärtsilä Services in brief
Wärtsilä Services creates lifecycle services for its customers, enhancing their business – whenever, wherever. We provide industry’s broadest range of services for both shipping and power generation. Our solutions range from spare parts and basic support to ensuring maximised lifetime, increased efficiency and guaranteed performance of customer’s equipment or installation – in a safe, reliable, and environmentally sustainable way.
Wärtsilä in brief
Wärtsilä is a global leader in complete lifecycle power solutions for the marine and energy markets. By emphasising technological innovation and total efficiency, Wärtsilä maximizes the environmental and economic performance of the vessels and power plants of its customers. In 2014, Wärtsilä's net sales totalled EUR 4.8 billion with approximately 17,700 employees. The company has operations in more than 200 locations in nearly 70 countries around the world. Wärtsilä is listed on the NASDAQ OMX Helsinki, Finland.