PC pumps are well established as a key tool in many Japanese sectors, from the food and electrical industries to environmental fields such as water and sewerage. Heishin, one of Japan’s valued Chuken Kigyo, produces the pumps that make these sectors tick.
In our global economy, most of the biggest and well-known industries and businesses are supported by much smaller ones, which are mainly hidden from the public eye. Whilst these small and medium-sized enterprises are less recognized, without them – and the technologies, products and services they deliver – their larger partners would not be able to operate and do what they do best.
In Japan, these small yet vital cogs in the wheels of the economy are referred to as Chuken Kigyo, and they play an enormously important role in the country’s manufacturing sector. One company that symbolizes this dynamic is Heishin – a manufacturer of progressive cavity (PC) pumps.
Whist long associated with use by the crude oil industry, PC pumps are in fact well established as a key tool in many other sectors too, from the food and electrical industries to environmental fields such as water and sewerage.
“Our main competitors are in America, Germany and India, and they sell their pumps to these oil companies,” explains Sumio Ono, President of Heishin. “In our business, success comes from our ability to adapt to each country’s demands and regulations. As there are so few oil companies in Japan, we’ve had to find new applications and sectors where our pumps can be utilized. This requires a great deal of creativity, innovation and observation.”
Though selling PC pumps to the Japanese market was initially a challenge for this reason, Mr. Ono affirms that it is Heishin’s creative capability that has allowed the company to prosper. And with the global PC pump market expected to grow by 6.3% year-onyear to reach a value of $4 billion by 2023, Heishin finds itself on a firm footing moving forward.
“The spike in PC pump demand will be a great opportunity for us to continue our business and extend our business frontier,” says Mr. Ono. “While Heishin has specialized in PC pumps since the outset, there were also several large companies who developed and commercialized the product in Japan before us. However, they rather focused on their in-house uses and had little resources to allocate in marketing or further developing its usage.
“We, on the other hand, have concentrated our efforts on product development to meet customers’ needs and taken advantage of the flexibility and engineering expertise gained from our daily activities and close relationship with our customers.”
It is this history of trailblazing that continues to stand Heishin in good stead to this day. Founded in 1968 by Mr. Ono’s father, it was during this time that anti-pollution laws were beginning to appear both in Japan and internationally. Under these new regulations, shipbuilders and shipping companies had needs to remove oil sludge or dispose of sewage in a proper way in order to comply with the newly introduced regulations. Mr. Ono Senior quickly seized the opportunity.
Today, Heishin offers a diversified product line-up capable of meeting a variety of industrial needs, with pumps utilized in the food, cosmetic, automotive, chemical and electrical machinery sectors.
“Our objective is to continuously adapt our pumps to meet the needs of customers across all sectors. We are constantly analyzing different industries and always researching new opportunities,” says Mr. Ono.
“Likewise, we have been particularly focusing our efforts on the development of a dispenser for the last decade. The standard structure of the Heishin Dispenser is the same as Heishin PC Pumps, and features a progressive cavity pump that uses rotary positive displacement. They can perform high accuracy dispensing by working on the principles of progressing cavity pumps.”
With this new innovation, Heishin’s dispensers can now improve the timeframe required during the application of adhesives and grease to electronic parts, again providing a vital function to its partners in the electronics manufacturing industry. As an example, Heishin recently sold 200 of these dispensers to one of the world’s most famous electronics brands.
Another of Heishin’s new innovations is a solution for the telecoms manufacturing industry – the nanopump/dispenser which will allow for less loss of liquid precious materials during the production process, resulting in a decrease in the weight of the phone and a reduction in costs.
“Our main competitive advantage is our know-how and engineering support,” Mr. Ono adds. “On top of selling our products, Heishin provides consultation services as well. I seek to improve the capabilities of our pumps every day. My aim is to ensure that Heishin never sells a ‘commodity,’ but rather, a ‘high-value-added value product.’”