Corporate Executives from Japan Come to Vicksburg

By Sue Moore

“Empowering Your Vision”–through leadership, passion, capability and technology–is the watchword of Junya Suzuki, the president, chief executive officer and chairman of the board of Nissha Printing Co., Ltd., in Japan, the parent company of Eimo in Vicksburg.

“In business and society, your nationality doesn’t matter. We share the same philosophy, that’s why we live and work together so successfully,” said Suzuki, who brought a contingent of the company’s sales staff with him for the Vicksburg open house.

“We are continually pushing ahead with product development activities. The goal is to apply our printing technologies to new areas and give Nissha a fresh image that represents a departure from the past,” the company says in its annual report.

Nissha was started as a printing company in Kyoto, Japan, by Suzuki’s grandfather in 1929. It specialized in high-end printing products at that time and still does. Junya’s father, Shozo Suzuki, took over in 1959 and began to grow the company globally. It entered the new field of printing on curved surfaces; Shozo Suzuki became the first person in Japan to produce a wood-grain transfer foil.

That’s where the purchase of Eimo in Vicksburg came into play for Junya Suzuki. The company figured out how to print on plastic products and came up with a film that could be transferred into mold making for any kind of art graphics that a customer wants. Eimo had been a customer of Nissha when the Vicksburg firm was making mobile phone cases. That sparked Nissha’s interest in owning the company.

When that business went to China, Eimo had to reinvent itself. It has been able to utilize Nissha’s technology that facilitates simultaneous molding and printing to decorate three-dimensional plastic surfaces. The new Eimo East plant was needed because new business has been scheduled that couldn’t be met with the current facilities. The company needed to expand and quickly, according to Gary Hallam, Eimo’s president.

Besides the plants in Michigan, it has production in Mexico, China, and Malaysia, all doing plastic molding to produce decorative molding parts, with the parent company providing the film. “Our next step is to upgrade our technology to achieve open innovation which would shorten our lead time in getting product to market. The goal is to restructure the company’s portfolio to concentrate on the automotive, home appliances, and medical fields,” Suzuki said.

“We can’t count on one single customer,” says Wataru Watanabe, vice president and senior director of corporate strategy planning. “We will stick to our core competencies of film and printing, and branch out from there.”

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