Top-level, high-quality rail clamps as crane safety devices.

Aishin Ironworks Co., Ltd.

Company website

12-50 Shimizu-cho, Niihama, Ehime, 792-0861

TEL (0897) 33-707 FAX (0897) 32-2320

Certified products and technology
Rail clamps for crane travel devices
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Aishin Ironworks was founded in 1940. It started out as a maintenance contractor for Sumitomo Chemical valves, and has since then built up expertise on finishing, boiler-welding and machining operations. Today, around 70% of the company's sales come from manufacturing mechanical devices, with the remaining 30% from plant maintenance. In addition to start-to-finish production of crane travel devices and associated hoists, rail clamps and hydraulic equipment for presses, Aishin Ironworks is also involved in work like overhauling valves. It has four companies as its main clients — Sumitomo Metal Mining Co., Ltd., Sumitomo Chemical, Sumitomo Heavy Industries, Ltd. and Daio Paper Corporation — and according Director Kataza: "Our company has one of the longest histories among the companies in Niihama."

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Aishin Ironworks' strength lies in the fact that all 30 employees combine their collective expertise to achieve a complete manufacturing process in house, from machining operations through to boiler-welding, finishing and assembly. Further, the company responds quickly to the requirements of customers who cannot afford to have any downtime, and it maintains a flexible manufacturing system that can cater to the toughest of rush jobs. Director Kataza is basically of the stance that "There is nothing we say no to." This is also a reason why Aishin Ironworks has been able to broaden its scope of expertise ever since its was founded. Aishin Ironworks has focused its efforts on labor-saving methods and boosting productivity, and in March 2016 installed a welding robot in the Matsunoki Factory next to the head office. This allowed them to develop a system capable of manufacturing even more products. In May 2018, construction of a new building was completed at the Matsunoki Factory for assembling mechanical devices, giving the company much more space in the factory that had until then become quite cramped.

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These days, there is increased focus on rail clamps associated to crane travel devices. Rail clamps function similarly to the parking brake in cars, and keep the crane safe by clamping the rail firmly. Aishin Ironworks products are used in applications such as continuous unloaders (CUL). Larger cranes need larger gripping forces, however increasing the gripping force makes the stroke of the gripping chuck shorter. In contrast, a shorter stroke means there is less range of movement, making fine adjustments more difficult. Director Kataza explains that a difference of just a few millimeters can result in no gripping force against the rail. Aishin Ironworks used an optimal layout for parts and employed other methods to increasing the gripping force of the clamps to meet these tough requirements. A large number of cranes were swept away in the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011. Rail clamps were not essential components, however there has been an increase in demand following the events of 2011. Aishin Ironworks caters to any rail type, shape or system available in Japan, and its start-to-finish production system is also a key advantage for overhauls and maintenance.

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There are also a number of projects that are creating demand for new orders. Inquiries have increased for delivery equipment in the iron and steel sector, as well as automotive and electrical fields. The challenge remains with production capacity. The company is placing a key focus on measures such as installing new machining systems and rearranging building layouts that better suit workflow in the factory "We have benefited from our roots here in Niihama, and I want to develop the company so that we can expand industry in Niihama" explains Director Kataza.

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