June 13, 2002
Minebea Co., Ltd.
Matsushita and Minebea agree on consignment production of Fluid dynamic bearing motors for Hard Disc Drives(HDDs)
Tokyo, Japan - Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. (Matsushita) and Minebea Co., Ltd. (Minebea) have today announced that they have agreed to begin consignment production of fluid dynamic bearing (FDB) motors for HDDs.
Under the agreement, production of FDB motors for 2.5-inch HDDs, designed by Matsushita's Motor Company division, will be consigned to Minebea. Minebea will begin mass production of the motors from the third quarter of 2002 at its Thai plant. Minebea's advanced ultra-precision machining and mass-production technologies, together with its large-scale production base in Thailand, will enable Matsushita to meet its requirements to expand its FDB motor business.
Given the increasing market demand for higher memory capacity and lower noise generation of HDDs, both companies expect rapid transition of HDD spindle motor technology from ball bearing type to fluid dynamic bearing type from now onwards. In addition, applications of HDDs, currently PC-oriented, are expected to expand into the area of digital home appliances.
By close collaboration, the two companies, each with rich accumulation of expertise in FDB motor technology, hope to achieve a synergistic effect in their efforts to respond to the rapidly growing market in a more quicker, timelier manner.
About Matsushita Electric Industrial
Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd., best known for its Panasonic, National, Technics, and Quasar brands, is a worldwide leader in the development and manufacture of electronics products for a wide range of consumer, business, and industrial needs. Based in Osaka, Japan, the company reported consolidated sales of US$51.70 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2002. In addition to stock exchanges in Tokyo (6752) and elsewhere in Japan, Matsushita's shares are listed on the Amsterdam, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, New York (NYSE: MC), Pacific, and Paris stock exchanges. The Motor Company, a division company of Matsushita, engages in a wide range of motor business, supplying products from the industrial sector to the information equipment sector. Additional information is available at http://www.panasonic.co.jp/global/top.html.
Minebea is a comprehensive manufacturer and supplier of high precision components such as ball bearings and precision small motors for use in information & telecommunications equipment including primarily PCs, household electrical appliances, aircraft, and automobiles. As of March 31, 2002, the Minebea Group encompassed 32 plants and 52 sales offices and employs a total of 43,729 persons in 14 countries. Facilities in Thailand form the largest production base of the Group, which is responsible for most of its mainstay products and produces about 60% of Group's total output. Based in Nagano, Japan, the Company reported consolidated sales of US$2.10 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2002. Minebea's shares are listed on stock exchanges in Tokyo (6479), Osaka, Nagoya and Singapore. Further information is available at http://www.minebea.co.jp/
Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.
Yasuhiro Fukagawa, International PR, Tokyo
Minebea Co., Ltd.
Corporate Communications Office
Corporate Planning Department
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