(Inset) Seal Hard Consortium: Back row left to right: Mr. Nakagawa, Practice Construction; Mr. Yuro (Jack) Yamagishi, Paltac; Mr. K. Uemura, Paltac. Front row, left to right: Mr. Hirade, Practice Costruction; Mr. S. Matsuura, Kaneko Construction; Mr. Deke Rife, L&M Construction Chemicals

Japan: The Paltac Story
C.M. (Deke) Rife

A valued partner in Japan brings L&M to the Far East

In 1995 Juro "Jack" Yamagishi, the president of Shinwa Distributing, visited the site of a new warehouse project in central Japan He observed something different in the final preparation of the concrete floor: it had been treated with a chemical hardener instead of an epoxy coating.

Mr. Yamagishi liked the concept. Chemical hardeners could become a welcome alternative to the expensive epoxy coatings that were making a negative impact on his maintenance budget. Epoxies were the standard coating on the concrete floors throughout Shinwa's large distribution business at that time. Epoxy coatings looked nice initially, but required either costly recoating every few years or expensive repairs when the coating predictably peeled or chipped. Experience told Juro Yamagishi that epoxy repairs and especially reapplications increased costs to his business in the form of down time. Little wonder, then, that he was hopeful that there might be a floor treatment product on the world market that would offer superior performance to epoxy coatings.

Mr. Yamagishi's vision was to have floors in his distribution centers that were dustproof, more durable, long lasting, resistant to tire marking and lower in cost to maintain. Mr. Yamagishi also envisioned sharing this idea with other Japanese companies that faced the same problems that he faced with regard to maintaining good work platforms. His belief was that the floor of a warehouse or distribution center was one of the most important parts the operation.

This vision and search for the best in chemical hardeners led him to L&M Construction Chemicals and SEAL HARD. Mr. Yamagishi decided to give SEAL HARD a try. He was building a new distribution center in Nagoya, Japan. He decided that the Nagoya center would be the perfect place to implement a new flooring system for his company, and a way to share this idea with other companies.

When it came time to put the product to the test, Jack brought SEAL HARD and L&M to Nagoya. He also invited several application contractors and architects to see this new product being installed.

Mr. Yamagishi liked what he saw. So did the others. In fact, Jack liked the results so much that he started a new division in his company to import and sell SEAL HARD, making the product and its benefits available to the industry he served. In 1995, Jack set up a consortium of five contractors to apply SEAL HARD in Japan and started to market the process and product. Jack's expanded vision to bring other businesses the benefits of the SEAL HARD approach has included hundreds of other companies, which in turn have treated millions of square feet of concrete floors with SEAL HARD. Today, this consortium completes nearly 5 million square feet of floors each year in nearly 500 locations.

In 2000 Shinwa was merged with a company named Paltac. The new company continues to use and support the promotion of SEAL HARD. The high quality and integrity of SEAL HARD and Paltac have made SEAL HARD the leading floor treatment for commercial and industrial floors in Japan.


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© 2003 L&M Construction Chemicals, Inc. | ConcreteNews Summer 2003.

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