We manufacture a number of machined products, including ball bearings, and electronics, including small motors and LED backlights. In addition, the Company's strengths in many different product fields are expanding the scope of its activities into composite components that combine the Company's technologies and products.
The five points of our strengths are described below.
1. Global Network
Production by Region (FY3/2016)
Since it established operations in Singapore in 1972, it has been among the first to seek export bases overseas market. Today, it has established R&D, production, and sales bases in Japan, Thailand, China, Singapore, the United States, Europe, Cambodia, and other parts of the world, and has become a global company with many employees.
In the fiscal year ended March 31, 2015, production in Asia, excluding Japan, accounted for more than 80% of total production. Overseas production activities centered on Asia have contributed to our growth.
2. Unique Mass Production Method
The average monthly production volume of ball bearings for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2015 was approximately 238 million units, a record high. This means that approximately 90 ball bearings are produced per second on the assumption that the ball bearings are produced 24 hours a year on a simple calculation basis.
Most of our core products, such as ball bearings and small motors, are produced in an integrated manner at mass-production facilities in Asia, such as Thailand, China and Singapore. However, the results of production technology development at our mother plants in Japan are introduced at each mass-production factory as needed to enable mass-production of high-precision, high-quality products at all of our factories.
3. Vertically Integrated Production System
Normally, when making a product, we buy various parts from a component manufacturer to make the product. In addition, aluminum die casts, which dissolve aluminum to form a product, presses, which apply metal molds to the plate to change the shape of the product, and plastics are dissolved to form a product, surface treatments, magnets are made, shaved, and polished.
We require high-precision, high-quality, and high-volume production in order to focus on components for ICT equipment and consumer electronics, which are becoming increasingly sophisticated and expanding markets. For this reason, the vertically integrated production system is a system in which components purchased from various locations are developed and assembled using our technologies. This is one of our most competitive strengths, vertically integrated strengths, and one of its distinctive strengths is that it creates a high level of competitiveness in terms of quality, supply capacity, and manufacturing costs.
4. Ultraprecision machining technologies
Ball bearings are ultra-precision mechanical parts that require precision in units of 0.001 microns. The precision of the ball bearings is determined by the roundness of the grooves of the outer and inner rings, the sphericity of the ball, and the accuracy of the components. The more precise the ball bearings are, the quieter the sound of the ball bearings turning and the lighter the force, and the longer the life of the product is due to less friction. Against this backdrop, we continue to hold a 60% share of the global miniature and small-sized ball bearings market.
We have accumulated such know-how for more than 60 years and has applied its own manufacturing equipment, maintenance technologies, and production lines to produce all components internally. By constantly pursuing high precision, we are creating a source of our competitiveness that is unparalleled by other companies.
Mass production bases in Thailand, China, Cambodia, Singapore, and other countries, which account for more than 80% of the we Group's total production, are organically linked to our mother plants in Japan and development bases in other countries. We have established a system that enables stable, high-precision, high-quality products to be sold to global markets at all of our plants.
5. Research and development activities that support high quality and the future
Research and development activities are conducted around the world, and the results of these activities are enabling mass production of high-precision, high-quality products. In addition, we continue to grow and compete by conducting basic research and developing technologies for the future.
As part of these efforts, in 2014 we established a new Tokyo Research and Development Center within the Tokyo Head Office building under the direct control of the President, in order to strengthen our development in the field of complex products (EMS: Electro Mechanics Solutions®).
R&D centers in Japan are engaged in the development of production technologies and new product development. The establishment of R&D centers in Tokyo, where many universities, research institutes, and research institutes of other companies are gathered, will enable us to further deepen collaboration with excellent institutions in each field. In addition, we aim to accelerate the development of high-value-added mechatronics businesses based on our specialty in ultra-precision machining technologies and small motors and sensors by product development diverse businesses as centers connecting overseas market R&D bases with domestic bases and increasing synergies.