Friday, August 23, 2019

Japanese firm opens robot parts factory in Subic

PAMPANGA. Nidec-Shimpo Senior Vice President Hitoshi Inoue (left) explains how a high-precision speed reducer works to Sen. Richard Gordon and SBMA chairman Wilma Eisma during the opening of the Nidec-Shimpo manufacturing plant at the Subic Bay Freeport on Wednesday. (Ric Sapnu)

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT -- Nidec-Shimpo Corporation (Japan), a leading innovator of precision-gearing solutions for robotics and industrial automation which aimed to mass produce in its Subic factory a new line of robot components developed in Japan, on Wednesday formally launched its operations here.

According to first senior vice president Hotoshi Inoue that the wholly-owned company of Japan’s Nidec Corp. and sister-company of Nidec Subic Philippine Corp. will initially build speed reducers for high-precision motion control applications at the rate of 10,000 to 25,000 units per month.

Inoue said the plant’s target production is expected to increase to 100,000 units per month at the end of this year, and to 120,000 units per month by March 2020.

He said that the gearless component parts to be produced in Subic are an entirely new product line that has not been manufactured elsewhere in the world. He described them as “super silent, and with zero backlash and smooth rotation.”

The Subic-made products will be exported to Spain, the United States and Germany, Inoue.

The launch of Nidec-Shimpo operations here was attended by Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Koji Haneda, Senator Richard Gordon, Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) chairman and administrator Wilma Eisma, and Assistant Secretary Rafaelita Aldaba of the Department of Trade and Industry.

Haneda said Nidec’s expansion “demonstrates the continuing Japanese investor confidence in the Philippines’ business potential (and) shows the rigorous effort of Nidec to take advantage of opportunities and take on challenges to break new ground.”

He also cited the company for its skills development activities that make its workers “industry-ready and technology-capable.”

Meanwhile, Gordon said Nidec’s new project “shows the trust and confidence of companies like Nidec in the capacity of the Filipino workers, and in our government’s consistency in our rules and regulations.”

“We should have more companies like Nidec in Subic,” he said.

Eisma said that Nidec-Shimpo’s operation here “will further promote Subic’s stature in high-end manufacturing, improve the proficiency of local workers in technology, and, of course, bolster the local economy by increasing exports.”

Eisma also praised Nidec-Shimpo for sending local workers to Japan for training.

According to Inoue, the firm had sent a total of 100 Filipino workers to Japan as the first batch of trainees to learn the technology involved in producing precision motors and speed reducers. Of these, 70 had finished the course, and Nidec had again sent another 46 trainees for the second batch.

Inoue added that Nidec intends to hire more personnel at the Subic plant on top of the 100 workers it will employ in the first year of operation.

He pointed out that the Subic factory’s monthly product capacity of P120,000 units is greater than the combined capacity of Nidec’s plants in Kyoto, which was at 30,000 units in 2018, and in Ueda, which is expected to reach 50,000 units in 2019. (Ric Sapnu)


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