50 years of KOSO

11th May 2015

Challenging the limits

The year is 1965. An instrument engineer established a small control valve factory in Toda city of Saitama Prefecture with four other engineers. Today this small factory which celebrates it’s 50th anniversary this year has achieved significant growth, as the number five manufacturer of control valves in the world.


“He is very open, very serious man, works very hard”

Denis Westcott – Managing Director, KOSO Kent Introl Limited


This man stands in the centre of one of the most prominent control valve manufacturers in the world – President Takashi Ikegaya.

We are a production company so we do not imitate others. We continuously maintain the idea of improvement.


KOSO 50 years of history – possibilities for the future

Over the past 50 years, we have overcome numerous adversities faced on the world stage with the creativity of improvement, and have gained the trust as well as the experience needed to be competitive globally.


During this 50 year history, there have been a number of stories which tell us how KOSO expanded the future possibilities.



When KOSO was established, most control valves in the Japanese market were imported from the US. There was no room for a Japanese company to enter the market.


Process automation was extremely advanced in the USA. I wanted to become an engineer with a foundation of developing process automation when I first started out – President Takashi Ikegaya, KOSO


KOSO rode the wave of economic growth to take on the global market utilising high quality. President Ikegaya had aimed at global expansion since the establishment of KOSO. In 1978 KOSO International was established in the US, leading to the present expansion over the world including South Korea, China, England, Singapore and India. KOSO established production factories, licensed technology to local companies, and established joint venture companies. In addition, they achieved secure growth with projects such as expanding business with MNA.



Behind the growth during the period of seemingly smooth sailing, there were a number of adversities and difficulties.


We went to the USA, we could only communicate using gestures. It was a little reckless of us to try to succeed in the USA without an interpreter – President Takashi Ikegaya, KOSO.



Japan was behind the times so a considerable amount of effort was necessary to fill the gap. We were able to establish a joint venture company in 1989. However, we had already been licensing technology since 1974 which gave us a variety of business experience. You could not imagine what China was like back then. China was at a level where it was necessary to inspect the quality of each bolt and nut individually before using.  – President Takashi Ikegaya, KOSO


With the joint venture partner in China, the joint venture company and KOSO in Japan, there were three different companies on the same premises. All three companies were in the same industry.  The relationship between these companies was extremely poor. It was a very difficult time with arguments happening on a daily basis.

Sadahiko Bamba – Director at the time

The biggest problem in India was the multi-layered, multi-dimensional society in with to receive approvals for one thing, you much go through many departments. This naturally took up time creating difficulties. – President Takashi Ikegaya, KOSO



KOSO has faced a number of significant issues.  We have overcome these issues with creative product development based on improvements, detailed analysis of the foreign markets and a sense of duty to never cease growth strategies.


We succeeded in developing important parts among control valves known as positioners and brought the 700 Series to the USA. These extremely well made products became of immediate use in the USA with the number three manufacturer in the world VALTECH requesting OEM supply. The led to an extremely large amount of exports over a 10-year period. This was one of the significant launching points in our corporate expansion. – President Takashi Ikegaya, KOSO


With this expansion, the valve of products provided by KOSO increased in the American market, as well as in the world market.


We carried on forward maintaining a near 100% certainty that thing the products used in the USA to China would lead to demand in their large market. – President Takashi Ikegaya, KOSO

The sense of duty in which it was necessary to expand held precedence so we tried to do everything we could do in our power.


Yoichi Kuriyagawa – Director at the time

We applied the China-plus-one strategy in India. Over 50% of the population in India is 25 or younger. Using the abundant young work force and intellectual class effectivity enabled significant developments. I had a good first-hand experience going to see the industrial infrastructure in India for myself.- President Takashi Ikegaya, KOSO


He is very visionary. He can see the benefit in companies and giving them freedom. He’s done that with other businesses that he has acquired in the past. So it was positive for Brighouse, and I think we are very lucky and honoured to have been bought by KOSO.

Denis Westcott – Managing Director, KOSO Kent Introl Limited


The future

In 2015, President Ikegaya became chairman of KOSO, and his son and Vice President of the company Yuichi became the new President. Looking back at the past 50 years, what creations will be born in the next 50 years?


Drive parts known as actuators are extremely important in control valves. We are fortunate to be the number two manufacturer of these parts in the world. In addition, we are closing in on the top spot with a share of 11.5%. As an engineer, I feel number two spot puts us in a good position to take the top spot. We must attain new heights to take the top spot. – President Takashi Ikegaya, KOSO


We are currently having extremely great success with our investments. However, the mutual advancement of our network which is connected with local branches still has room to grow. KOSO will not stop this currently developing movement which has pressed forward globalisation. This movement will lead to a connected network around the world, and a firm system which is linked together with local branches providing services to customers using this system will be the future goal for KOSO.

Yuchi Ikegaya – Executive Vice President


Ingenuity and efforts

KOSO has kept taking on challenges with the belief in the power of adding small improvements and overcame difficulties. As a result KOSO has become a big business no-one ever imagined in the beginning. We are currently gaining on the top company in the world and are within reach of that number one spot. The passionate efforts of each individual employee, challenging the limits is increasing more than before becoming an irreplaceable asset for KOSO.


The past 50 years were only an opening act to becoming number one in the world. A new KOSO will set out so we can sit at the top spot for the next 50 years.

Contact the experts today
Tel: +44 (0)1484 710311 | Email: info@kentintrol.com
Contact the experts today
Tel: +44 (0)1484 710311
Email: info@kentintrol.com