Domestic industries developing both in terms of production and sales
There are many manufacturers handling perforated metals both inside and outside Japan, but because the perforated metal industry is still small, it has no industrial association like for example a "Japan Perforated Metal Industrial Association."
Thus, there is no means to precisely grasp the trend of perforated metals because of their limited scale. However, as I discussed previously, perforated metals are contributing to our daily lives and industries by being incorporated into various products.
Therefore, I am going to discuss the domestic trend of perforated metals in terms of their production and sales and how they are used in the world.
To know the production and sales trends of various industrial products, the Year Book of Current Production Statistics issued by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry is helpful. Regrettably, however, even this authentic statistic publication does not show the numerical trend of perforated metals.
This is because perforated metals are used in final products in wide-ranging fields, such as home electric appliances and construction materials, and therefore it is difficult to calculate their numerical trend as categorized products.
As a clue for grasping their trend, let's look at the item "light metal plate products" (light metal plates are products before being punched). The materials of perforated metals widely range from iron steel and nonferrous metal to resin. Demand for light metals such as aluminum is likely to be similar to the demand for perforated metals.
For example, 5-year trend from 2012 to 2016 shows steady increases in light metal production from 355,000 tons to 362,000 tons to 376,000 tons to 389,000 tons to 396,000 tons. It also shows similar increases in light metal sales from 325,000 tons to 326,000 tons to 342,000 tons to 357,000 tons to 373,000 tons.
Certainly, not all light metals are used as perforated metals, so they should not be directly linked, but demand for light metals is supported to some extent by demand for perforated metals.
Perforated metals popular also overseas
Next to the domestic trend of perforated metals, let's see their trend overseas. Like their widespread applications in Japan, they are used in various fields also overseas.
For example, in countries where people enjoy dancing to loud music in outdoor parties, large speakers with perforated metal covers are very popular.
Perforated metals are also used for wired or wireless mini-size speakers connected to smart phones. In the IT industry, they are used in many applications such as computer server rack.
In the construction field, which is the main pillar for perforated metals, they are used for ceiling panels, air conditioners and wall panels at international airports, which are air gateways. They are also used for the ceilings and walls of convention centers and large-scale exhibition halls where trade shows are held.
They are indispensable to the construction of the ceilings and walls of commercial facilities such as urban shopping malls and train stations.
They are in strongly-rooted demand in infrastructure applications such as soundproof walls for highways and railways. They are indispensable to the development of infrastructures such as urban functions and the means of transportation not only in advanced countries but also in countries on an economic development stage.
The steady growth of domestic light metal plate production highlights the important roles of perforated metals.