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Katayama focusing on fields of the future

Article - September 12, 2023

As it pursues growth in a changing automotive industry, the screw and rivet maker is also targeting other key sectors such as energy.

A Japanese company with a 109-year history, Katayama is a go-to manufacturer of fastening parts such as screws and rivets, supplying domestic and international customers from several industries.

“Our technical capabilities are at the heart of everything we do,” says President Shuji Katayama. “We maintain a first-class level of quality. What’s more, this is allied with excellent responsiveness towards customer requests.”

In recent decades, Katayama has traditionally focused on producing fastening parts for hard-disk manufacturers. Over the past few years, though, the firm has increasingly sought to penetrate the automobile market.

“World production of traditional hard disks is decreasing,” Mr. Katayama says. “We see a reduction in sales for hard-disk applications. The automotive industry was something we looked to start supplying, and we began doing so seven or eight years ago. We mostly supply screws and rivets for engine-related parts.”

As the shift towards electric vehicles brings about a revolution in engine design, demand for fastening parts in this area of automobile manufacturing has begun to fall. However, Katayama is responding by developing new products for other vehicle components, with an emphasis on using lightweight materials. 

“Making vehicles lightweight has become of paramount importance to many automotive makers, and it is rapidly becoming a key trend in the industry as batteries take over,” Mr. Katayama says.

Katayama is also working to branch out into new fields. “We’re targeting the medical sector, as well as the energy-related industry,” the company president explains. “When it comes to energy, we’re talking about equipment that’s becoming vital as the world pushes towards carbon neutrality.”

“We are trying to challenge ourselves because we live in an environment that is evolving pretty much every day. New opportunities are constantly presenting themselves and we don’t need to just rely on conventional products and means. Needless to say, we are trying to perform our best efforts in R&D activities and our company is trying out new solutions for our customers beyond the conventional product lineup we have. The thought is that we can potentially expand into these markets and use these new cutting-edge materials to diversify our product portfolio, thus capturing a wider range of industries.”