Kobe Steel Ltd, headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, has issued a statement on what it calls ‘improper conduct’ in the company following the rewriting of inspection data relating to steel powder supplied to one of its customers. The report follows the announcement in early October, 2017, of investigations in response to the discovery of similar issues in the company’s Aluminum & Copper Business.
According to Kobe Steel, evidence of “improper rewriting of inspection data of a product outside the compact density agreed with the customer” was identified for “one type of steel powder to one customer”. The powder in question was produced at Kobe’s Takasago Works, Takaishi, Japan.
Although an investigation being conducted by an external law firm is still not complete, Kobe Steel stated, “As the steel powder outside the specifications is on the high-quality side, the effect on product performance is believed to be low.”
The problem is said to have been discovered through “self-inspections and emergency quality audits of the compliance status of contracts executed for products that Kobe Steel shipped over the past one year.”
In addition to the matters identified above, the company stated that it has uncovered issues in the production of sputtering target materials at Kobelco Research Institute, Inc.’s Takasago Works site. In this instance, tests agreed with customers were not carried out and inspection data was rewritten with regard to products which fell outside agreed component values.
The investigation by an external law firm is ongoing, as well as a continuing internal investigation on the facts of the stated improper conduct.