Japanese industrial robot companies are increasing production to keep up with robust demand worldwide, especially in China.
Yaskawa Electric plans to raise its global monthly output of industrial robots to 5,000 units from the current 3,000, a two-thirds jump. It will set up a plant at an existing production site in Changzhou, Jiangsu Province, doubling its Chinese output to more than 1,200 a month by 2019.
The 12,000-sq.-meter plant will make articulated robots — used in automobile production, among other purposes. Production will begin as early as 2018. The company is also planning a new industrial robot plant in Slovenia, with an expected output of 300 a month.
Nabtesco will invest a total of around 7 billion yen ($63 million) at a factory in Mie Prefecture, Japan, and a Chinese site in Changzhou to increase output of reducers. The company is the global leader in precision reducers, with a market share of roughly 60%. It will boost production capacity by about 20% this year to an annual 800,000 units.
Reducers are key components of industrial robots, used to realize accurate movements and for strength control. Their demand has been growing as the industrial robot market expands. Nabtesco is considering an additional investment in 2018 as well.
Factory automation robot leader Fanuc plans to spend some 63 billion yen to set up a new plant near an existing one in Ibaraki Prefecture. The company intends to nearly double monthly output to 11,000 units eventually.