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Japanese firm launches new line of robotic parts in Subic Freeport

Randy Datu

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Japanese firm launches new line of robotic parts in Subic Freeport
The Subic-made products of Nidec-Shimpo Corporation will be exported to Spain, the United States, and Germany

ZAMBALES, Philippines – Japan’s Nidec-Shimpo Corporation, a leading innovator of precision-gearing solutions for robotics and industrial automation, formally launched its operations at its Subic Freeport factory in this province on Wednesday, January 23.

The company aims to mass produce a new line of robot components developed in Japan. 

Nidec-Shimpo First Senior Vice President Hitoshi Inoue said the wholly-owned company of Japan’s Nidec Corporation and sister-company of Nidec Subic Philippine Corporation will initially build speed reducers for high-precision motion control applications at a monthly volume of 10,000 to 25,000 units.

The plant’s target monthly production is expected to increase to 100,000 units at the end of this year, and to 120,000 units by March 2020, he added.

Inoue stressed that the gearless component parts to be produced in Subic are an entirely new product line not 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.

The launch was attended by Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Koji Haneda, Senator Richard Gordon, Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Chairman and Administrator Wilma T. Eisma, and Trade Assistant Secretary Rafaelita Aldaba.

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 aimed at making workers “industry-ready and technology-capable.” 

Senator 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 added.

SBMA Chairman Eisma noted 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.” He praised Nidec-Shimpo for sending local workers to Japan for training.

According to Inoue, the firm had already sent a total of 100 Filipino workers to Japan in the first batch of trainees. The group sought to learn the technology involved in producing precision motors and speed reducers. Seventy had completed the course. Another 46 trainees were sent as the second batch. 

Inoue said that Nidec intended 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 was greater than the combined capacity of Nidec’s plants in Kyoto, which was producing 30,000 units in 2018, and in Ueda, which is expected to reach 50,000 units in 2019. –

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