The company’s main product, reducers, are used in 30% of construction machinery in the world.

Sogabe Ironworks Co., Ltd.

Company website

1-4-25 Ashima, Niihama, Ehime 792-0896

TEL (0897) 67-1700 FAX (0897) 67-1702

Certified products and technology
Planetary reduction gear and design and manufacture of various parts
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Sogabe Ironworks founded in 1935. During the war the company made munitions, and after the war the company worked on press-related products. In the late 1960s the company had been doing business as a lathe manufacturer, but in response to events such as the sales representative trading company going bankrupt, the company began the manufacture of gears for the construction machinery industry from 1969, which is also the current core business. The company's technical capabilities have been highly rated by major construction machinery manufacturers, and the company's products are adopted in about 30% of construction machinery in the world at present.

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The company is mainly engaged in reducers for hydraulic excavator. A reducer is a device that decreases the motive power rotational speed with gears, increasing the torque, and is a combination of a plurality of gears. They are used in the swing parts and running parts of hydraulic excavator, and it is possible to obtain a large reduction ratio with a small number of stages, with the feature that a large torque can be transmitted. The company has built a system to perform everything from gear design up to manufacture and assembly. Facilities are aligned to specialize in construction equipment, and the company's strength is that it can handle mass orders.

The company’s managing director Masahiro Sogabe says "Naturally we have technical capabilities to make simple things, but we are pursuing technical capabilities of how to make them with as low a cost as possible". To do so, the company orders materials based on the order situation, plans production to avoid excess inventory, ensures proper layout of the production line etc., "setup before actually producing is important ", and the combination of these efforts leads to cost reductions.

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The "improvement proposal recital" that began in 2011, is an important event that can share awareness of costs reductions among all employees. The recital is held twice a year, and many of the improvement proposals have been reflected in the factory so far. Managing director Sogabe says "The losing team are seriously upset, and it is important that we have established the consciousness that things must be improved", realizing the conscious change of employees.

As a new business, the company began maintenance for wind power generation speed increasing gears from 2008. Also joint research with the Yuge National College of Maritime Technology on tidal power generation is advancing. The company has been promoting its business specialized in construction machinery up to now, but has also begun to develop new markets by leveraging its gear technology.

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On the other hand, as a foothold of global development, the company established a subsidiary in Suzhou City, China in 2010 and began production of reducers for the Chinese market. Although “In future we want to consider whether there is a chance in places such as Southeast Asia, India or the United States", basically it depends on the advance of construction machinery manufacturers. Therefore, also "It is important that you build relationships and ability so that people call you.".

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