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About Us

History of KGW

Located on the shores of a calm, deep bay of the Seto Inland Sea, the city of Kure in Hiroshima Prefecture is ideally suited as a location for fleet training, and as a result the Kure Naval District was opened in 1889.
During the same period, the Naval Academy was relocated from Tsukiji in Tokyo to Etajima in Hiroshima, and was attended by naval cadets including Saneyuki Akiyama, who was active during the First Sino-Japanese War and the Russo-Japanese War.

 

As the Kure Naval District opened and the Naval Academy was relocated to Etajima, Kure became an important city as a military port. Dockyards were constructed, and the city began to collect a broad range of the latest technologies.
Grinding wheels were used in the construction of ships for cutting, grinding, and other steel machining processes, and became products of great importance that were essential for shipbuilding.

Kure as it appeared in 1900 Provided by the Arts and Sciences Section, Kure Maritime Museum.

At a commemorative victory exhibition following the 1906 Russo-Japanese War, synthetic grinding wheels from the United States were shown. This is believed to be the first time that synthetic grinding wheels were introduced to Japan. Semi synthetic grinding wheels had been used before, however they were thought primarily suited for polishing rather than grinding.
When synthetic grinding wheels were first used, people were astonished to see the shower of sparks produced when grinding hard steel. One of those people was the fabric merchant Kanekichi Takahashi, who became the first president of our company.

 

Kanekichi Takahashi was attracted by the fact that grinding wheels were "truly convenient and wonderful tools," and in 1910 he began manufacturing the first domestic synthetic grinding wheels, made using agate from Izumo.
This was how KURE GRINDING WHEEL got its start as a grinding wheel manufacturer.

Overcoming numerous difficulties, the company succeeded in the manufacture of grinding wheels.

The Kure Naval Arsenal began the construction of many warships, including the battleship Yamato.

KGW grinding wheels were used to manufacture gun batteries and a large number of other parts.

 

In 1940, in order to meet growing demand for grinding wheels, a new plant was constructed in Kure City, Hiroshima Prefecture, utilizing the latest equipment at that time.

Three years later in 1943, the Manchuria KGW Plant was established in Northeast China (Manchuria) and the KGW Osaka Plant was established in Osaka, further expanding the production of grinding wheels.

 

Following the war, production was restarted at the Kure Plant in 1948, and it has continued advancing up to the present day in pace with the development of the steel, automobile, train, electrical appliance, machinery, semiconductor, and other industries.

History of KGW Japanese History
Raw material (agate)

Raw material (agate)

Founder Kanekichi Takahashi begins manufacturing grinding wheels in Kure City, Hiroshima Prefecture, using agate from Izumo as the raw material.

1910
The limited-share partnership Toyo Grinding Wheels was founded in Kure City, and began the full-scale manufacture and sale of domestically produced synthetic grinding wheels. 1916 Albert Einstein Announced General Relativity Theory.
Toyo Grinding Wheels was dissolved and the name changed to KURE GRINDING WHEEL. (This was the founding of KGW.) 1919 Pacific Peace Conference was held on the conclusion of World War I, the Treaty of Versailles.
Kure Plant of those days

Kure Plant of those days

A new plant was completed in Kure City, Hiroshima Prefecture, and a business foundation as a grinding wheel manufacturer was constructed through technical innovations utilizing the latest technologies.

1940
Changed to a public company, and expanded business by constructing plants in China and Osaka. 1943
Restarted production at the Kure Plant, which had escaped damage during the war. 1948 The first Olympic Games after the war had hold in London.
The Kure Plant was certified to use JIS labels. 1955
All varieties of Kure Plant vitrified bond grinding wheels were certified to use JIS labels. 1958 European Economic Community (EEC) was established.
Received the Award of the Chief of Hiroshima Bureau of Economy, Trade ad Industry as an "Excellent Factory in Implementation of Industrial Standardization." 1959
Received the Award of the Director-General of the Agency of Industrial Science and Technology as an "Excellent Factory in Implementation of Industrial Standardization." 1960 Petroleum Exporting Countries Organization (OPEC) was launched.
Constructed the Tokyo Plant in Ibaraki. 1961 Economic Cooperation and Development Organization (OECD) was launched.
Tokyo Plant

Tokyo Plant

Operations at the Tokyo Plant were started (production continued until 1995).

1962
Received the Minister of International Trade and Industry Award

The Minister of International Trade and Industry Award

Received the Minister of International Trade and Industry Award for "Excellence in Factory Industrial Standardization."

1963
Changed company name to KURE GRINDING WHEEL. 1965 Succeeded the first human space swimming (Soviet Union).
Achieved superior results in technical development and business management, and received the Medium and Small Business Research Institute Award recognizing the company as an excellent company with strong future prospects. 1970
Received technologies and capital participation from the US Norton Corporation, and launched Kure-Norton Co., Ltd. as a joint venture company.
Kure-Norton was in charge of the Grinding Wheel Division until 2008.
1972
Offset grinding wheels with zirconia abrasive grains

Depressed center wheels with zirconia abrasive grains

Started production of depressed center wheels with zirconia abrasive grains, and flexible depressed center wheels.

1978

Started production and sales of safety products such as safety helmets, protective eyewears, and protective gloves. Started production and sales of non-woven abrasives.

Safety and health protective gear

Safety products

Nonwoven abrasive fiber products

Non - woven abrasives

1981 First Space Shuttle Colombia was launched.
Started production of vitrified bond CBN wheels. 1982
Diamond and CBN wheels

Diamond/CBN wheels

Started sales of Diamond/CBN wheels.

1984
Tokyo Head Office building

Tokyo Head Office

Completed construction of the Tokyo Head Office building.

1985 Plaza Agreement.
SG Wheel

SG Wheel

Started sales of "SG Wheel" using ceramic abrasive grains.

Chiba Plant

Chiba Plant

Relocated Diamond/CBN wheel production to the Chiba Plant.

1990 Unification of East and West Germany.
Started operations at the Kazahaya Plant (Higashi Hiroshima City, Hiroshima Prefecture) manufacturing coated abrasives. (production continued until 2000).
Started sales of coated abrasives.
1991 The Gulf War was outbroken.
Started production and sales of housing construction materials (plastic window sashes). 1995 The World Trade Organization (WTO) was launched.

KGW Kure Plant and Kure District acquired ISO9002 certification.

Eniwa Plant

Eniwa Plant

Established the Eniwa Plant for the manufacture of housing construction materials (plastic window sashes).

1998
Opened the Grinding Technology Center. 1999
KGW Kure Plant and the Chiba Plant manufacturing Diamond/CBN wheels acquired ISO9001:2000 certification. 2002 Cash distribution of European single currency euro commenced.
Established Taiwan Kure Grinding Wheel Co., Ltd. as a subsidiary serving the IT industry in Taiwan.
KGW Kure Plant acquired ISO14001 certification.
2003
Chiba Plant manufacturing Diamond/CBN wheels acquired ISO14001 certification. 2005
Montage

Montage

Launched the "Montage" original brand of plastic window sashes.

2006
Absorbed and merged with the Kure-Norton Co., Ltd. grinding wheel manufacturing business, which became the KGW Grinding Wheel Division.
Taiwan KGW acquired ISO14001 certification.
2008 Lehman Brothers, a leading investment bank in the United States, was broken out (Lehman Shock).
Kazahaya Distribution Center

Kazahaya Distribution Center

The Kazahaya Distribution Center, a standing inventory logistics hub for grinding wheels and safety and health protective gear, was opened on the site of the former Kazahaya Plant.

2009 World epidemic of H1N1 influenza.
Absorbed and merged with four sales subsidiaries: Higashi - Nihon Kure Grinding Wheel Co.,Ltd., Chubu Kure Grinding Wheel Co.,Ltd., Seibu Kure Grinding Wheel Co.,Ltd., Nishi - Nihon Kure Grinding Wheel Co.,Ltd.
Established KURE GRINDING WHEEL (THAILAND) Co., Ltd. in Thailand.
2012
Established KURE GRINDING WHEEL (KOREA) Co., Ltd. in Korea. 2013
Established Kure Grinding Wheel (shanghai) Co., Ltd. in China. 2014
Established KURE GRINDING WHEEL (AMERICA), INC. in the US. 2015