Komatsu is turning 100! On May 13th we celebrate a century of vision, drive and innovation, focused on helping you, your business and our planet thrive together. 

 With 100 years of partnership, you can continue to rely on Komatsu quality, insights and service. Through technology and manufacturing innovation, we partner with you to create sustainable solutions. Watch our brand story to learn about Komatsu and what we do to support your equipment and solutions in the construction, mining, forest, utility, stamping and cutting industries. #komatsu100





History of Komatsu:

  • Stage 1. Company foundation and establishment of its position in Japan from 1921

    1924 Started as a press manufacturer.

    Press machines have the longest history among Komatsu’s major product items. These machines were developed by using the technologies accumulated by Komatsu Iron Works, the predecessor of today’s Komatsu Ltd., through the operation of the Yusenji copper mine, namely the basic technology for manufacturing hydraulic equipment and steel casting technology. As one of the few integrated manufacturers of press machines at that time, Komatsu proactively developed and produced a range of press machines, including the hydraulic casting press, crank press and friction press machines.

     1931 Produced Japan’s first tractor.

    In response to a request from the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Komatsu took on the challenge of developing a farm tractor in Japan. While competitors gave up this challenge at the prototyping stage, Komatsu continued its effort with a strong commitment to developing a unique product that others could not imitate, and finally completed Japan’s first tractor. Subsequently in 1932, Komatsu released the “G25 tractor” equipped with its own newly developed engine as an improved version of the product.

    1943 G40, the original of Japanese bulldozers

    Ordered by the Japanese navy, Komatsu began the development of bulldozers in December 1942, which were to be used for the construction of air force bases. By mounting the hydraulic earthwork equipment on the G40 tractor, they completed the G40 bulldozer (Komatsu Model 1 land leveling machine), which became the first bulldozer made in Japan. The Company subsequently made a range of prototypes to manufacture bulldozers and built its foundation as a manufacturer of construction equipment.

    1947 D50 bulldozer as a new flagship product.

    After the World War Ⅱ, operations were resumed on a full scale by starting with the production of farm tractors, and the first model of the D50 bulldozer was completed to make it a new flagship product. Expecting that demand for bulldozers would expand for the reconstruction of the country, Komatsu made multiple improvements to the D50. In 1949, the integrated production from engines to bodies of bulldozers at the Awazu Plant was resumed, and gradually the production capacity was increased.

  • Stage 2. Expansion of product ranges through technology tie-ups from 1961

    1965 Began the production of wheel loaders.

    Demand for 4WD wheel loaders with a shorter cycle time was expected to increase. In response, Komatsu formed a technological partnership with International Harvester, which was the world’s No. 1 company in the field at that time, and expanded the model range.

    1968 Introduced hydraulic excavators.

    In its effort to diversify its product range, Komatsu had been producing mechanical excavators at its Osaka Plant since 1964. However, soon after the start of the production, demand for mechanical excavators was replaced with demand for hydraulic excavators. In response, it expanded the scope of its technological partnership with Bucyrus-Erie to start manufacturing hydraulic excavators. Starting with the 15H, it released a series of hydraulic excavators with improved specifications for use in Japan by incorporating its own technologies, and enhanced its development and production capabilities.

  • Stage 3. Striving for full-line manufacturer status from 1981

    1988 Advanced microcomputer controls

    Komatsu launched “Avance” series hydraulic excavators, top-grade models with microcomputer controls. The “Avance” series featured a microcomputer-controlled engine and hydraulic valve operations, achieving a high level of both power output and fuel economy. The series also featured improved operability. As a result, sales topped 10,000 units before one year of market introduction.

    1995 The world’s largest class dump truck

    Komatsu Dresser Company (currently, Komatsu America Corp.) developed the 930E dump truck with 300-ton payload capacity, the world’s largest class. Mining companies with large mines needed dump trucks with a large payload capacity to improve productivity and reduce hauling costs. Komatsu Dresser improved the performance of large dump trucks by working with leading companies of vehicle bodies, components, etc.

    1999 Super-large wheel loaders at work in mines

    Komatsu developed the WA1200 super-large wheel loader, achieving high productivity, fuel economy, and comfortable operation, which are demanded by mining and quarrying customers around the world. It featured a large-capacity bucket, as well as the most powerful excavation and traction of its class. Its newly developed clutch system, in particular, improved operability, dynamically increasing work volume

  • Stage 4 . Striving for DANTOTSU from 2001

    2001. KOMTRAX as standard feature: Anticipating the coming age of IoT.

    The Komatsu Machine Tracking System (KOMTRAX) allows for the remote checking of the location and operating conditions of Komatsu’s construction machines around the world via GPS and communication devices which are installed on the machines. The system is also useful for theft prevention and credit management. Starting with the PC200-7 in 2001, the system came with all models as standard. The data obtained from KOMTRAX is effectively used for the enhancement of customer service and for production planning.

    2004 Demining machines: Contributing to peace by using bulldozer technologies.

    For the removal of antipersonnel landmines buried across conflict areas in the world, Komatsu developed the D85MS-15 demining machine based on the D85 bulldozer. Equipped with protective armor, the demining machine crushes landmines buried up to 30 cm underground by using a special tool attached to the front part of the machine. Compared with manual removal, this machine has removed the mines 25 to 50 times faster. The first unit was shipped to Afghanistan, followed by other units to Cambodia and Angola, contributing to peace.

    2008 Launched the world’s first* hybrid hydraulic excavators.

    The world’s first* hybrid hydraulic excavator, “PC200-8,” was launched and equipped with the in-house developed Komatsu Hybrid System, achieving dynamic fuel economy. In 2010, full-scale mass production of the HB series started and in 2011 an award (for technology) from the Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers was received.
    *Among the major seven products available on the market (surveyed by Komatsu)

    2008 Succeeded in the world’s first commercial deployment* of the Autonomous Haulage System (AHS)

    Komatsu led the world by deploying the AHS at a copper mine in Chile. By equipping dump trucks with a high-precision GPS, an obstacle detection sensor, and a variety of controllers for the central management of their operation in the main control room, Komatsu achieved 24-hour unmanned operation of the dump trucks. The AHS contributes to substantially increasing on-site productivity and safety and solving the issue of the labor shortage.
    *Surveyed by Komatsu.

    2013 ICT-intensive bulldozers: Creating innovation at construction sites.

    Komatsu achieved the world’s first commercial deployment* of the “D61PXi/EXi” intelligent machine control (iMC) bulldozer, which features automatic blade controls from excavation to the final levelling of land. It was developed by fusing Komatsu’s control technology with Topcon’s GNSS survey technology. The bulldozer frees its operators from complex blade manipulation, thereby reducing their work burden, enabling even inexperienced operators to work just like skilled operators, and contributing to solving the issue of operator shortage at construction sites.
    *Surveyed by Komatsu

    2014 Achieved intelligent Machine Control with ICT hydraulic excavators.

    Development of the PC200i/PC210LCi, the world’s first* hydraulic excavator equipped with the Machine Control system, boosted the automation of construction work. By collating the information about the location of the bucket blade obtained through the GNSS antenna and the base station with the design data, the system controls the operation of the work equipment. Starting in 2015, a mounted stereo camera on the machine enabled onboard surveying, which has led to the idea of “SMARTCONSTRUCTION.”
    *Surveyed by Komatsu

    2015“SMARTCONSTRUCTION”:Creating a workplace of the future.

    “SMARTCONSTRUCTION” is a solution service to create safe, highly productive, smart and clean construction sites of the future by connecting all kinds of data available at construction sites through the use of ICT. By fusing the 3D terrain data obtained by using drones with ICT construction equipment, Komatsu has increased the efficiency of the process from surveying to inspection and has also “visualized” the process, thereby contributing to the solution of problems at construction sites.

    2020 Launched PC30E-5 electric mini excavator in Japan

    Komatsu launched the PC30E-5 electric mini excavator in Japan, an industry-pacesetting model, to promote the widespread use of construction equipment friendly to humans and the natural environment. Based on Komatsu’s accumulated technological expertise of hybrid construction equipment and electric forklift trucks, this electric model offers excavation performance on par with the internal combustion model of the same power output. While achieving zero exhaust gas and an outstanding noise reduction, it also promises extended use in indoor and night-time work.

    2020 Launched“SMARTCONSTRUCTION Digital Transformation”

    Komatsu launched four new IoT devices and eight new applications within its existing SMARTCONSTRUCTION offerings. These will accelerate digital transformation efforts, including SMARTCONSTRUCTION Retrofit kit ICT capabilities, such as 3D machine guidance and payload measurement, to conventional construction equipment. It also began the formal introduction of SMARTCONSTRUCTION in the United States and Europe (Germany, United Kingdom, France, and Denmark). While the previous version of SMARTCONSTRUCTION digitized only part of the construction process (“vertical digitization”), these new IoT devices and applications will allow for the digitization of the entire process (“horizontal digitization”). This will enable worksite operations to be optimized by synchronizing the actual worksite with its digital twin, thereby achieving dynamic improvement in the safety, productivity, and environmental performance of the entire construction.

Artur Majchrzyk, Mechanik Komatsu Poland

the oldest employee in Komatsu Poland

 I started working with Komatsu machines in 2002 as an employee of Marubeni. Then, from January 2006, the Komatsu Poland company was displayed as the official Komatsu, and I was its employee. I was present during the first series 3 loaders for Lafarge in Radkowice, or the 6 series excavators for Nordkalk. A lot has changed since then, as has my job (at the beginning, I traveled all over Poland) and its comfort. When I compare, for example, the equipment of cars or tools with which we worked at the beginning and now, this is a colossal difference. In the past, every screw had to be turned by hand. Now, electric shock tools make our work a lot easier. The technical information has changed a lot. New machines are adapted to the stringent exhaust emission standards, which makes the machine more and more tight, access to many elements is difficult for us mechanics. Applies to all hardware manufacturers. A modern machine must be fuel efficient, fast and environmentally friendly. From the comfort of the side, thanks to solutions, solutions, hardware, hardware, it has increased, which includes us a lot of resources. In my job, it is extremely satisfying when customers tell us how satisfied they are with our equipment. For example, in the Lhoist operator, the machine has recently experienced the efficiency of Komatsu dumpers at the level of 97%, 3% until the time of only maintenance, which is advanced about the fact that the complexity of the machine can be ultimately trouble-free. I am glad that I can work with such equipment, for such a brand and with such a team of people.

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