The Japanese word Monodzukuri combines two words that mean "the process of making things," but in Japanese culture it has associations that go far beyond that to encompass the enthusiastic strive for excellence and the pride in making quality products that benefit mankind.
The award was established by a committee that includes representatives of the Osaka prefectural government that sought to recognize small- and medium-sized manufacturers that exemplify Osaka Monodzukuri by using advanced technology to produce high-quality products at a low cost and deliver them promptly. Of the 102 nominations received since the award was established in 2008, 12 winners of the Osaka award have been selected for inclusion amongst the 300 companies recognized by the Small and Medium Enterprise Agency of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry as dynamic Monodzukuri companies, and commended by the minister. The receipt of the Osaka award is the first step toward formal recognition that Nihon Superior is a company that epitomizes the Monodzukuri spirit.
The Best Company Award that Nihon Superior received is one of four presented by the Osaka committee, the others being the Technology Award, Special Award and Excellent Company Award. Nihon Superior received the Best Company Award for its direct action in dealing with an environmental issue ― the need to eliminate lead from the solders used by the electronics industry, in particular:
- Developing a lead-free solder and securing patents in 24 countries and regions.
- Succeeding in having the solder evaluated in a test program undertaken by NASA and the US Department of Defense.
After the announcement of the award, Nihon Superior’s president, Tetsuro Nishimura, said that Monodzukuri is a way of life in his company and that it is a great honor to have the commitment to this spirit of creativity recognized.
Mr. Nishimura noted that the timing of the announcement of the award was particularly appropriate since it was made only a few days after the official opening of Nihon Superior’s new $6 million Research & Development Center in Toyanaka. With the objective of developing new, innovative products, this investment provides a practical demonstration of the company’s commitment to manufacturing excellence. Mr. Nishimura pledged himself to becoming one of the leading manufacturers in Osaka through practical expression to the Monodzukuri spirit.
The organizer of this program is the Executive Committee of the Osaka Small and Medium Sized Manufacturers Award Project. Membership of the committee comprises representatives of the Osaka prefectural government, the Osaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Osaka Prefectural Federation of Commerce and Industry Societies, Osaka Prefectural Federation of Small Business Associations, Osaka Foundation for Trade and Industry. Corporate sponsorship came from the Kansai Bureau of Economy, Trade and Industry, the Kinki Branch of the Organization for Small and Medium Enterprises and Regional Innovation Japan, Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun Ltd and Nikkei Inc.
Nihon Superior was founded in 1966 when it began marketing unique flux products imported from the US. The company made its mark on society by gathering the most advanced soldering and brazing technologies and products from around the world, and supplying them to companies in the metal-joining industry. A turning point for the company came when it started developing its own soldering materials and with the success of its unique SN100C lead-free solder alloy Nihon Superior has become a major player in the global market. To support the growing demand for its products Nihon Superior has established manufacturing and sales centers in Japan, China and other Asian countries and formed business partnerships with companies in other markets.