Since the acquisition of Sandvik Powder Solutions by the Japanese engineering company Metal Technology Co Ltd (MTC) in April 2020, MTC Powder Solutions AB (MTC PS), Surahammer, Sweden, has reported consistent, positive changes. An interview with the new Board of Directors Chairman, Tetsuhito Hirayama, recently published by MTC PS, provides an insight into the new owners and their ambitions for the company.
Hirayama is a member of the founding family of MTC, though he worked a variety of positions in the company to build experience and hands-on insights in all aspects of the company’s inner workings. He began working with heat treatment equipment before moving into sales, development and general affairs. In 2005, Hirayama became the Managing Director for the General Affairs Division at MTC’s Tokyo headquarters, where he was responsible for maintaining company operations and planning new initiatives, such as corporate acquisitions and business alliances.
The decision to acquire what has since become MTC Powder Solutions was Hirayama’s sureness that Near Net Shape Hot Isostatic Pressing (NNS HIP) would allow MTC to expand into new markets; the acquisition of MTC Powder Solutions is said to be the first step in the creation and growth of a NNS HIP business in Europe.
As to why Hirayama moved to Sweden, he stated that it was crucial to provide an environment in which the employees of MTC Powder Solutions were able to feel and see an actual change. He believes MTC needs to have a deep understanding and synergy with MTC PS in order to effectively benefit from combining the two companies’ strengths.
Hirayama acknowledged that the cultural exchange can be a difficult process, between two countries with different systems, MTC’s hopes to offer the chance of shared knowledge, expecting stable coordination between the teams will lead to improved quality, customer satisfaction and in-person workings and morale.
“MTC owns and runs over 19 HIP units on different sites and, therefore, knows a vast amount about running a HIP unit and maintaining the efficiency, something that could increase efficiency further at MTC PS,” explained Hirayama.
In recent years, MTC PS has successfully designed tailored Powder Metallurgy NNS HIP parts, solving many challenges encountered in rigorous industries such as oil & gas and nuclear energy. As a result, there has been an increased demand for mass produced PM NNS HIP components, which MTC PS believes itself to be well positioned to meet with MTC as its owner.
Hirayama also stated that the company’s focus is currently on the utilisation of what is currently available and installing quick investments to improve current practices. Recently, MTC PS has reported an investment in a laser cutter, HIP upgrade and the hire of more employees.
With MTC’s addition of technologies such as Additive Manufacturing, brazing, and the bonding of dissimilar materials, there is the prospective for continuing future growth of MTC Powder Solutions. To achieve this, it requires a long-term perspective, understanding of the customers’ needs, and close collaboration and integration.