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Okita Iron Works: Mexico forging plant well placed to reach North American market

Article - November 9, 2023

For more than 60 years since its foundation, Okita Iron Works has continued to supply safety-critical forged parts to a wide range of industries.

We provide high-value and unique products based on our founder’s vision ‘to make customers satisfied and share joy with them’.”

Nobuo Okita,President, Okita Iron Works Co., Ltd.

Since its foundation in 1963, Okita Iron Works has developed core strengths that set it apart from competitors in the global market, both in products and its customer-centric approach.

“The capabilities of gemba symbolize Japanese workplaces,” says company president Nobuo Okita. “Quality control, customer satisfaction, and corporate culture are key.”

And in pursuit of staying ahead of the industry, Mr. Okita acknowledges the importance of preserving expertise amid Japan’s aging population and declining interest in manufacturing careers, while investing in advanced equipment and optimizing processes.

“By doing so we can secure employees’ health and allow them to work past the official retirement age of 60,” he explains. “Diversity and SDGs (sustainable development goals) have become very trendy topics, however, this company has demonstrated those for over 20 years. As an SME we have to look for really talented individuals, not only considering new graduates. In Japan we have about 70 foreign employees from 15 different countries.”

In Mexico, using horizontal high speed hot forging machines (SAKAMURA), 2023 sees commercial production begin using two machines with a monthly forging capacity of around two million pieces.

In addition to forging, specialized in cold rolling with advanced equipment, Okita applies this technology to various components, reducing scrap, which provides cost and environmental benefits.

“We believe our Mexico plant can connect the supply chain, from raw materials to finished parts, accelerating automotive parts localization in North America,” says the president, who envisions a more global presence while ensuring a conducive work environment at home.

“With close ties in China and Mexico, international expansion continues, but not at the expense of Japanese operations, where we are still trying to expand,” he concludes.