Something you need to know about Komatsu

Something you need to know about Komatsu

Komatsu is one of the biggest heavy machinery manufacturer in the world. Komatsu is known for it’s good quality equipments and economic price. But do you want to know more about Komatsu? Check this article to know more about it.

Whats the history of Komatsu?

What does Komatsu make?

Who make engine for Komatsu?

Which models are popular of Komatsu?



Whats the history of Komatsu?

Komatsu had its origins in 1894 when the Takeuchi Mining Company was founded. A major expansion occurred in 1917, during World War I, when the Komatsu ironworks was established to manufacture mining equipment and machine tools to expand the mining operations. The name Komatsu came into existence in 1921 when the ironworks separated from the mining company to become Komatsu Ltd. Tashiro Shiraishi, an engineer, was the founder and first president, serving until 1925. In the 1920s and 1930s the firm grew as a major manufacturer of machine tools and pumps, including development of a metal press in 1924 and the firm's first farm tractor in 1931. Production of steel materials began in 1935.

By 1929 the number of employees had risen to 742, from its original 1921 workforce of 121 employees, but during the depth of the Great Depression in 1933 it dropped to 505 workers. The firm soon increased production and by 1936 increased its staff to 601. Mitsugi Nakemura served as president during the depression and war years, from 1934 to 1946.

During World War II the firm expanded by supplying the navy with antiaircraft artillery shells and bulldozers. Komatsu's first major product after the war was a redesigned bulldozer, which came off the assembly line in 1947. One year later diesel engines were produced. From 1947 to 1964 President Yoshinari Kawai provided key leadership in rebuilding the company and making it a global multinational corporation.

The Korean War gave the Japanese economy a boost with orders from the United States to supply its troops in Korea. At that time the firm had plants in Awazu, Osaka, Kaweasaki, Himi, and Komatsu, Japan. Forklift trucks, dump trucks, and armored cars were added to the line in 1953, with shell mold castings introduced the following year. By 1959 defense production included armored personnel carriers and self-propelled cannons.

International activities increased in 1955 when both construction equipment and presses were shipped outside the country. In 1958 operations began in India with an agreement between the firm and the Indian government to manufacture tractors. Three years later, another license agreement was signed with a U.S. manufacturer, Cummins Engine Company, to make and sell diesel engines.

By the early 1960s the firm had grown to the point where a new headquarters was needed, and the Komatsu Building was constructed in Tokyo. In 1964 the firm received the Deming Prize for quality, named after William Edwards Deming, the American quality guru whose writings on quality control between 1950 and 1952 became the bible of Japanese manufacturing.

Ryoichi Kawai became president in 1964. The 1960s saw an economic buildup for Japan as a result of the Vietnam War, and Komatsu's expansion continued at a rapid pace. In the latter part of the decade a new engine plant began production in Japan, a radio-controlled bulldozer was introduced, and a technical research center was established. In 1967 the company established its first overseas subsidiary, N.V. Komatsu Europe S.A., which was based in Belgium. President Kawai articulated the company's goal was to "surpass Caterpillar." Each year, Kawai presented his managers with a clear set of priorities modeled after Caterpillar's performance. The yearly priorities were then worked into detailed plans of action, known as Plan, Do, Check, Act (PDCA). Kawai's growth strategy was clearly successful. Over the next 20 years, Komatsu grew from a small local manufacturer to a serious competitor in the global construction market. As a result, Komatsu's management style became widely studied and emulated.

In 1970 the firm began its first direct investment in the United States, with the establishment of Komatsu America Corporation. Other foreign operations soon followed, in Singapore, Australia, Mexico, Brazil, and China. Komatsu began producing bulldozers in Brazil in 1975, marking the company's first production of construction equipment outside of Japan.

In 1981 Komatsu was awarded the Japan Quality Control Prize, to honor the company's outstanding production quality. The following year Shoji Nogawa became president. The 1980s brought expansion of global operations. In 1985, after a number of incentives from the state of Tennessee, Komatsu purchased a 55-acre empty plant in Chattanooga, a purchase that reflected a decision by the firm to challenge its principal rival, Caterpillar, in its home market. This move gained Komatsu its first U.S. manufacturing facility. Canadian operations expanded as well, as two plants were built in Quebec and Ontario. European operations included an interest in the West German construction firm of Hamomag AG, a licensing agreement with FAI S.p.A. of Italy, and a plant in the United Kingdom.

The year 1987 marked expansion in other areas, such as the establishment of two financial subsidiaries in Europe, the marketing of plastics injection molding machinery, and the development of a telephone with a data terminal. At the same time, the construction market was changing, and Komatsu's sales began to slump. From 1985 to 1987, construction equipment sales dropped each year. As a result, the company president, Shoji Nogawa, was dismissed by Chairman Ryoichi Kawai, and changes were instituted. In 1988 an international business division was set up in the Tokyo headquarters. The division had three regional groups that were the main focus of the firm's international business operations: the Americas, Europe, and Japan. The goals of the division included development of joint ventures around the world and overseas purchase of parts.

In 1988 the company established a new subsidiary, Komatsu Trading International, to increase imports to Japan, in response to the Japanese government's commitment to reduce its trade surplus by importing more foreign products. As a result, logging machinery from Canada, backhoe loaders from Italy, and high-powered motor boats from Norway were brought into Japan for sale in the domestic market under importer agreements between Komatsu and companies in the respective countries.


What does Komatsu make?



Mini excavators

Rigid dump trucks

Wheel loaders

Articulated dump trucks

Diesel engines


Who make engine for Komatsu?

Cummins, Yanmar and Komatsu itself.


Which models are popular of Komatsu?

Dozers: D39PX-21 D61PX-23 D51PX-22 D37PX-21 D41E-6 WA380-5L D61PX-12 D65EX-12 D31PX-21A D41P-6

Excavators: PC360LC-10 PC200LC-8 PC120-6 PC750LC-6 PC200LC-7L PC400LC-7 PC300LC-7 PC300LC-7E0 PC228USLC-3 PC490LC-10

Mini Excavators: PC50MR-2 PC75UU-2 PC35MR-2 PC60-7 PC75UU-1 PC78US-6 PC35MR-3 PC78MR-6 PC88MR-8 PC75R-2

Rigid Dump Trucks: HD605-8 HD680-2 HD785 HD785-2 HD785-3 HD785-5 HD785-5 LC HD785-7 HD1200 HD1500-5

Wheel Loaders: WA250-6 WA480-6 WA380-3MC WA500-3L WA500-3LK HM350-1 WA470-6 WA320-5L WA320-5 WA250-5

Articulated Dump Trucks: HM400-1 HM400-2 HM300 HM300-5 HM300-1 HM350 HM400-3 HM300-2 HM400 HM400-2R

Diesel Engines: S4D95L S6D95L S6D105 S6D110 S6D114 S6D125 S6D140 S6D170



Komatsu is a very good brand when you need to choose a heavy duty machine. Komatsu has long history and rich experience in heavy equipment manufacturing. And it’s aftermarket parts is quite economic. You can choose WDPART to buy aftermarket parts for your Komatsu machine.


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