Monday, May 28, 2012

MBS Visit

I had thought that after the fairly grueling trip I had in Korea, that I would find Osaka (Japan) to be "coasting" that is, more like America, more English spoken, more bars...  Turns out that it was NOT true.  Read on...

MBS of Osaka, Japan was the third and final supplier I visited.  I left Seoul's Incheon Airport for a short flight to Osaka (non-stop, on a very nice Asiana plane).  When I arrived, I was picked up by Mr. Kazuyoshi Maekawa, the president of MBS.  He dropped me off at a hotel near the "South" train station.  Turns out that they do NOT all speak English, especially at the hotel...  Sunday I had off, so I had a meetup with one of my wife's oldest friends: Kafumi Oshita, hey Kafumi, you're famous!

Readers!  I have a challenge!  I will send $5.00 of Robert's cash to the one who guesses her age the closest.  You have a week.  Winner will have to give me a mailing address if you want your money (I have references that I can send you of people I send cash to, for your reference that I am discrete).  I will not divulge her age, though, it is not cool...  Kafumi was very helpful to me in a couple of respects (like helping me find stuff and eat well without paying a fortune...).  My wife is very lucky to have such a friend.  They studied English together in London.


Monday, Mr. Maekawa picked me up and took me to his facility.  I was told by the Koreans that MBS was very small, and indeed it was.  That does not mean that mean that he does not make quality stuff, quite the contrary.  Most of MBS's bearings are for the automotive sector, but I learned that he makes OEM bearings as well.  Including the unusual bearing below:

Look very closely at that bearing.  Note that the bore is NOT in the center, and is slotted as well.  Also note that the two rows of rollers are NOT lined up (as in almost all automotive, especially wheel, bearings).  This is a special OEM piece for a reducer in a Sumitomo machine.  They call these kinds of bearings "eccentric bearings", you can see why.  MBS landed this contract (to manufacture these strange looking bearings) from Sumitomo by beating out mighty Koyo (Japan's 3rd largest bearing maker, and part of the Toyota keiretsu, Koyo is probably the second or third most respected bearing maker in Peru).

This picture is from his warehouse, the boxes list two part numbers of GREAT INTEREST to Ameru, as we now can buy them from MBS, they are new pieces made at our request...  Yes!  He will do that...  But, he can also sell other quantities on to his larger customers as well.

Ahh, it looks like the picture is not good enough to see the 02474/20 (left, for Toyota Coaster bus, same size as the rent-a-car shuttle buses you see at US airports, the Coaster is pictured in my article on vehicles in Peru that are not seen here).  On the right is the RCT283SA, the clutch bearing for Daewoo Tico (also seen at my article on vehicles in Peru).  I think that MBS bearings are going to work out very well for us...

MBS was founded in 1933 by Kazuyoshi Maekawa's grandfather.  I believe they were the first in Japan to make tapered roller bearings (discussed in my article on bearings we sell in Peru).  The picture below is of Kazuyoshi Maekawa and his father (85) who keeps coming to the office...

I also went on a plant tour at MBS as well, no pictures, sorry!    Indeed MBS is much smaller than the billion dollar (in annual sales) companies in Korea, but MBS makes a very good selection of bearings that complements our Korean pieces, and MBS also makes some hot-selling pieces that we had to give up when we decided not to buy from Koyo anymore...  Now we get 'em in MBS...

I hereby thank Kazuyoshi Maekawa (and his dad) for his great friendship and patience!  Not to mention the REALLY NICE steak place he took me to!

1 comment:

  1. Another good article, thanks.

    Ok, I'll take a stab....I say 71 years young. And if I win, I want you to give the 5 bucks to a beggar/homeless person please.

    Be safe.


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