KunkelWorks visits Japanese Factories
KunkelWorks is a small business serving homeowners in Hawaii by importing authentic Aluminum outdoor products like Carports, Patio Covers, Gates and Fenc-directly from Japan. “These maintenance free aluminum products have no competition when it comes to quality, longevity, function and looks,” says Maggie Kunkel the owner of KunkelWorks. “In Hawaii, sun, heat, rain, wind and salt-water attack outdoor structures, anodized coated aluminum is the best solution. Other than wiping off the dirt, there is no maintenance to do, never needs painting.”
The Japanese company whose products KunkelWorks is distributing, is called Sankyo Tateyama Inc. and with over 5600 employees the biggest Aluminum Company in Japan. Raised in Germany, Maggie knows how to appreciate the tenacious attention to detail and speed of her Japanese counter parts. We are supported with whatever we need. “Everything is accounted for, described and safely packaged” says Maggie “They pay attention to detail and are super responsive.
Visit to Japanese Manufacturing Plants in May 2017
KunkelWorks and fellow distributors from Australia and New Zealand were recently invited to tour two of the Japanese factories. First stop was a manufacturing plant, where the extruded aluminum profiles are assembled into their final shapes as Fences, Gates, Patio Covers and Carports. They saw the machines that bend the long curves for the carports with amazing accuracy. Different products took shape in different corners, animated by machines and human hands.
In the afternoon, they were expected at one of the factories that does the extruding, anodizing and coating. The sheer size of the factory was overwhelming. Equipped with headphones they heard the explanations of the factory guide Mr. Tajima, and watched how the process happens.
EXTRUSION: Under intense heat and pressure, big billets of aluminum are pushed and pulled through “cookie-cutter-like” shapes, resulting in various profiles, six meters (19.7’) in length. These profiles are completed with highly accurate dimensions and superior surface conditions.
ANODIZING and COATING: Japanese technological standards make it possible to create any numbers of colors during the anodization process. Not coating, but chemical reaction makes the colors! Acrylic resin coating is further applied to the surface via electrodeposition to increase durability. Nowhere else in the world has this technology been perfected to produce such superior quality products. Every part is meticulously tested and inspected for shape, surface, color and assembly.
“Now we know why our products from Japan have been so successful standing up to our salty air and high winds in Hawaii. Our weather is getting more extreme, making good engineering and quality production a must” says Maggie Kunkel.
The Japanese products have a lot of fans here in Hawaii because of their durability and simple elegance. “I have been studying these materials for over a decade now” says Maggie, “there has not been a single product failure, which I cannot say about the Chinese knock-offs that have recently flooded our Island.”
Hawaii is not the only target. The knock-offs have been showing up in Australia and Europe as well. Sankyo Tateyama Company has purchased and tested the Chinese replicas and found major flaws in metal composition and fabrication. If you are interested in the details, give KunkelWorks a call.
Maggie Kunkel started her business in Hawaii in 1994. “I love my job,” says Maggie, “I get to work with people, help them make their homes more beautiful and functional.” Her design background is helpful with judgment calls. KunkelWorks is not a contractor and does not install the units, but Maggie stays involved until the job is done and the customer is happy. Every client gets her personal attention.
“We visit individual homes and provide free estimates. Every job is unique. Then we order a big container direct from Japan 4-5 times per year,” says Maggie, “
You can explore the different products and styles on the KunkelWorks website. The site is full of detailed images of the products installed in Hawaii. Check out www.kunkelworks.com.
Contact KunkelWorks today at
808-955-8211 for a Free Estimate for
your home or business.