Standards Certification Suspended at Kobelco Aluminium Extrusions Plant

Kobelco’s aluminium operations faced another setback this week after Japanese Industrial Standards (JIS) temporarily suspended certification for its aluminum extrusion plant in Chofu. The company revealed the news in a statement released on Tuesday.

The statement indicated that the suspension means that the plant is barred from selling aluminium in the form of alloy bars, wires, seamless tubes and extruded shapes that bear the JIS stamp. Though some customers may choose not to buy products without the quality assurance stamp, they may still agree to take delivery of non-stamped items in the interim.

The suspension at Kobelco’s aluminium extrusion plant is the second action JIS has taken against the company so far. Kobelco’s plant at Hatano suffered the revocation of certification for its seamless copper pipe products, which are used in applications including air conditioning, refrigerators, and for insulated copper tubing.

The scandal first erupted in mid-October after an internal review found misclassified data for about 19,300 short tons of aluminium parts, plus another 19,400 units of aluminium castings and forgings. According to the review, the problem affected materials shipped to over 500 clients.

According to a company spokesperson, the certification will remain suspended unless and until the plant makes improvements in its quality control process that would prevent a repeat of the data falsification problems the firm has experienced.

“We aim to implement such measures as soon as possible,” the company spokesperson assured the media.

Kobe Steel Group, also known as Kobelco, was founded in 1905 and is a member of the Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFJ) keiretsu. The firm has been producing aluminium for automotive and aircraft applications for eighty years. Its parent company is a constituent of the Nikkei 225 stock index.



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