The AP business began in 1959 by leveraging the knowledge of aluminum material that had been gained in fastener manufacturing. Since then, the company has continued to meet the needs of customers through different eras, and to develop and provide products that offer new value that had previously not been identified by markets. Although the Japanese construction industry is on the decrease, as symbolized by new housing starts, the company has continued to expand business based on its foundational aims and is growing steadily.
Architectural products business begins
Yoshida Shoji Co., Ltd., the company that would eventually become YKK AP, was established in 1957 to undertake the sales and exports of fasteners manufactured by Yoshida Kogyo K.K. (now YKK). In 1959, the company began aluminum casting and extrusion operations, marking the beginning of YKK Group's involvement with architectural products. In 1966, the company launched sales of the residential aluminum product "High Sash." This helped to popularize aluminum sashes, which, thanks to the ease of processing and mass production, could meet the large-volume residential demand of the high economic growth period. The company continued to expand its range of products, from insulating glass to sashes and curtain walls for commercial buildings and exterior products.
The founding of YKK AP
In 1990, YKK Architectural Products (abbreviated to YKK AP) was founded out of its parent company, Yoshida Shoji Co., Ltd., as the core company of the YKK Group's architectural products business. Tadahiro Yoshida (currently a corporate advisor) was named its first president, and the company shifted from a mass-production/mass-market product-out approach to a market-in system, which sought to respond to diversifying customer needs. In 2003, YKK's architectural products manufacturing divisions were integrated in order to unite the architectural products business within the YKK Group into a single body. Business expansion continued overseas andthe structure of the company called YKK AP was built.
From sash manufacturer to window manufacturer
The company set out to transform itself from a sash manufacturer to a window manufacturer. It turned away from its business supplying knockdown style sashes and began to provide finished window products. The window business brand APW series was launched, driven by a desire to improve windows in Japan. In 2007, YKK AP America Inc. took the lead in sales of residential vinyl windows, and in 2009 the APW 330 residential vinyl window was launched. The company worked to popularize vinyl windows throughout Japan. In 2008, YKK AP FACADE Pte. Ltd. was established in Singapore, marking the group's definitive move into the facade business.
A company committed to products and manufacturing
In 2011, YKK AP's second president, Hidemitsu Hori, demonstrated our adherence to monozukuri under the policy of "a company committed to products and manufacturing." We further promoted the window business through our dedicated "MADO (window) Plant" and awareness-raising activities about vinyl windows, expanded our exterior and remodeling product lineup, and strengthened the engineering capabilities of the commercial products business to expand our market share. In FY 2020, we reorganized our overseas affiliated companies, and in FY 2021, we have integrated the functions of the YKK Machinery & Engineering Group to build a system that can handle the rapidly changing needs of society, striving for further sustainable growth.