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CUTTING EDGE: Kyocera sharpens sales focus after merger

Production Supervisor Thad Johnson holds a MECH Indexable Milling Cutter with serrated cutting edge inserts.  The cutter has indexable cutting inserts that can be removed and flipped over to utilize multiple cutting edges. Production Supervisor Thad Johnson holds a MECH Indexable Milling Cutter with serrated cutting edge inserts. The cutter has indexable cutting inserts that can be removed and flipped over to utilize multiple cutting edges.

MOUNTAIN HOME — A little noticed factory unseen from Asheville Highway is setting new sales goals for its industrial cutting tools as it goes forward after a consolidation that put its headquarters in Hendersonville.


Kyocera USA on July 1 completed the consolidation of its North American cutting tool business units into a new wholly-owned subsidiary company. 

Now headquartered in Hendersonville, Kyocera Precision Tools Inc. also operates production facilities in Costa Mesa, Calif., and Wapakoneta, Ohio. It makes specialized cutting tools for the aerospace, medical, automotive, general machining, power generation, printed circuit board and steel markets.

Kyocera cutting tools are bought by suppliers who make products that go into a wide variety of products including automobiles and machine shops. The Mountain Home plant makes "indexable" knife edges that are used in boring,  milling tools and other industrial cutting work. The edges are changed out when they become dull, like razorblades in a razor. Nationally, manufacturers spend about $500 million a year on the cutting tools and parts. KPTI wants to capture a fifth of that market within four years.
"Our vision is to achieve $100 million in sales in FY '18," KPTI President Koichi Nosaka told Henderson County officials, Partnership for Economic Development board members, community leaders and factory employees who gathered for a ribbon-cutting event today.
"However, I am not going to talk about how to achieve this goal today. I'd like to talk about why we have to achieve this goal. The answer is very simple. Through our highly efficient and precision cutting tools we are committed to our customers' productivity improvement in North and Central America while simultaneously creating material and intellectual growth for our employees. This means that we work hard to achieve this goal because we want our effort to provide happiness for employees, their families, our customers, our community and the people in this society.
"However, we cannot achieve this goal without you. All of you are very important for our team. Everybody's participation is required. I promise you I will be the hardest worker for this particular mission and trust that you will join our effort. Let's work smart, work hard and achieve the goal for making yourself, your colleagues, your family, your customers the people in this society happy."
"I am confident you will reap those sales goals that you have set and maybe even soon," Mayor Pro Tem Ron Stephens said. "I'm sure there are several reasons why, after your consolidation, that you elected to stay here but I think the No. 1 reason that Mary and I chose to stay here for the rest of our time is the people that live here — the solid people that live here — and I'm sure that your employees represent those very well."
Charlie Messer, the Henderson County Board of Commissioners chair, thanked the company for investing in Hendersonville.

The Hendersonville-based subsidiary of the Kyocera Corp. is now responsible for the North American manufacturing and marketing of Kyocera industrial cutting tool products, including indexable, micro-tool and printed circuit board (PCB) cutting tools. Kyocera's full line of indexable cutting tool products, previously supplied by the Cutting Tool Division of Kyocera Industrial Ceramics Corporation, has also been merged into the new company, creating a one-stop shopping experience for cutting tool customers in North America.