The Japanese pride themselves on the quality of their products and are convinced that they produce higher quality castings than the United States or Europe. While they concede that they lag behind Europe and the United States in solidification simulation and computer applications and in aerospace casting technology, they are clearly far ahead in the application of robots.

The Japanese investment casting industry appears to be stable and, like the industry in the United States, has maintained its stability by finding new markets as old ones fade. Today the Japanese are experiencing major growth in titanium golf club heads, and they are aggressively seeking automotive applications. Cost pressures dominate management concerns.

From a technology standpoint, the Japanese approach is that of continuous improvement. They are constantly seeking to lower costs (even by just a little) while maintaining the quality of their products. They prefer this approach to the application of new advanced engineering concepts but continue to be aware of what the rest of the industry is doing in the area of advanced technology.

Published: March 1997; WTEC Hyper-Librarian