December 28, 2021
According to the monthly machine tool order statistics released by Japan Machine Tool Builders’ Association (JMTBA), the amounts of orders received in the January to November period of 2021 increased 74.7% from the same month last year to 1402 billion yen. SEISANZAI Japan will look back at the events that took place in the FA industry in 2021. In 2020, machine tool orders also fell due to the impact of the COVID-19 infection, but recovery progressed in 2021, especially orders from overseas.
Machine tools orders rise steadily
In 2021, the amount of machine tool orders announced by the JMTBA rose steadily.
In 2020, due to the effects of COVID-19 spreading, the amount of machine tool orders in Japan was sluggish. However, in March 2021, for the first time in two years, the amount of orders reaching 127.8 billion yen. Orders remained at a high level of over 120 billion yen from April onward, and in June, it exceeded 130 billion yen for the first time in two years and three months since March 2019, reaching 132.1 billion yen. Orders grew further, reaching 144.5 billion yen in September, the first time in three years that it exceeded 140 billion yen.
As a result of the strong orders, the JMTBA revised upward its order forecast for 2021, which was initially set at 1.2 trillion yen, to 1.45 trillion yen in September. On the other hand, against the backdrop of strong orders, there are growing concerns about shortages of semiconductors and other components.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Machine Tool to be acquired by Nidec Group
Nidec announced that it has acquired Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Machine Tool in February 2021. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Machine Tool changed its name to Nidec Machine Tool on August 2, and started its business under the new business structure.
The chairman of Nidec Machine Tool is Tatsuya Nishimoto, president of NIDEC-SHIMPO. Nidec Machine Tool will develop its business in cooperation with NIDEC-SHIMPO. NIDEC-SHIMPO manufactures and sells reduction gears, and Nidec Machine Tool has strengths in machine tools for gear machining. The Nidec Group will also strengthen its development of reduction gears for electric vehicles by incorporating into the group the technology related to gear manufacturing equipment that Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Machine Tool has possessed.
Nidec has also acquired OKK to strengthen its machine tool business.
FA companies make China factory expand one after another
In 2021, major FA companies announced plant expansions and enhancements in China one after another. DMG MORI will build a new plant of 20,000 square meters, which will be the same size as the existing plant, on its production grounds at Tianjin opened in. The new plant is scheduled to start operations in 2025.
In addition, DMG MORI is planning to build a new factory for 5-axis machining center near Shanghai, China, aiming to start operations in 2023.
Yamazaki Mazak is also planning to increase the production capacity of its Liaoning factory in Dalian by 2022 by investing in stages while monitoring market conditions. FUJI has decided to increase its production capacity by 80% by 2023. Sodick has begun construction of a new plant adjacent to its Xiamen plant, and THK has announced the construction of a new building at its two existing plants in China.
China is the world’s largest machine tool market. China has quickly recovered from the economic downturn caused by COVID-19 spreading and was leading the world’s capital investment demand.
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