Yamada Machine Tool Co., Ltd. (Tokyo) is a specialized manufacturer of industrial marking machines that also imports and sells special tools to/from the global market. The Thai subsidiary, "YAMADA Machine Tool (Thailand) Co., Ltd." was established exactly 10 years ago. "The foundation is finally ready," says Masahide Yamada, president of Japan headquarters, in retrospect. Haruhisa, the youngest brother, was appointed to manage the Thai business and is supported by his two brothers, Masahide the eldest and Yoji, the second eldest and Executive Managing Director.
In late June, all the three brothers got together in Bangkok and talked to each other.
Masahide: The decision to enter Thailand was at the end of 2008. Japan was in a downturn due to the Lehman shock. Some people asked “Why now?” However, I thought it was the time to expand outward. Globalization has been a major trend in the world, and we have chosen not only to support customers on the "local side" of Japan, but to support customers “in both,” from Japan and overseas. We selected Thailand, where manufacturing industries such as the automobile industry are gathered.
Haruhisa: I volunteered myself to work in Thailand. Thailand is a lively and energetic market. There are many old machines from Japan that are in operation at many factories, but on the other hand, they are aggressive in adopting ingenuity and new tools, and I can feel their momentum.I felt that many of the production engineers who were stationed in Thailand from Japan had many passionate feelings. Inquiries such as, “Is there such a tool?” or, “Can't you do something like that?” are increasing, and thus the lineup of products handled has also increased accordingly.
(Example of products handled)
Masahide: I often hear from employees who have returned from an overseas assignment that "There is no freedom at the headquarters because of the rules and restrictions. I want to return to Thailand." Why do they think in such a way despite the fact that the technological level in Thailand is still far below Japan? I believe the cause is deflation, which has continued for 20 years in Japan, has diminished Japanese companies' motivation for capital investment.
Capital investment is essential to fostering outstanding production engineers. The attitude to take on challenges brings up people. But what about Japan now? Even if we explained that "productivity will increase with this tool", many will not show interest saying, “It is expensive". Even for products that are selling well in Taiwan and China, the reaction is conservative.
Yoji: For example, a bundle of thick application documents is required just to use a tool in Japan which is already used in Thailand. It is so difficult to do something new. Words such as compliance and governance have taken on its own life and get in the way of progress. It is worrisome to think where Japan, the country once with top manufacturing industries, has fallen to.
Masahide: That is why I am thinking about such a thing every day, whether we can bring back the passion for manufacturing which still remains in Thailand to Japan. Little by little, some specific movements are taking place. It will be our pleasure if we are able to play a part in that role until the end.
In this discussion, the pure passions of the three brothers for manufacturing have been felt.
If you have problems with marking machines and various tools in Thailand, Yamada Machine Tool will respond sincerely.
■Main handling items of YAMADA Machine Tool (Thailand) Co., Ltd.
Marking machine（Marking system） Tooling tools, deburring tools, special-purpose tools, and various types of tools Environmental improvement equipment for factories and others
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