Nidec Corporation’s Board of Directors approved a resolution to acquire the shares of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Machine Tool Co., Ltd. , a company that designs, manufactures, and sells machine tools, cutting tools, and related products. The acquisition of the machine tool business complements Nidec’s existing businesses and strategy. Nidec has been actively engaged in the manufacture, sales and services associated with reduction gearboxes and pressing machines through its subsidiary, Nidec-Shimpo Corporation. After completion of the acquisition, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Machine Tool will become Nidec-Shimpo’s third main business.
Furthermore, Nidec expects to use Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Machine Tool’s technology for its future insourcing plan. Nidec is expecting increased demand for E-Axle, the electric vehicle traction unit (earlier post) on which Nidec is most focused at present.
Nidec’s E-Axles are characterized by being compact and light-weight as a result of their fully integrated designs that combine motors, inverters and gears. As the company intends to expand the sales of this product, it believes that it is imperative to strengthen its manufacturing capabilities for gears, a core component of the traction unit.
In May 2020, Geely announced that its new Geometry C EV would be driven by Nidec’s 150 kW E-Axle model Ni150Ex. The Ni150Ex is based on the company’s first mass-produced E-Axle traction motor system that entered production in April, 2019. By leveraging know-how, built up by the small precision motors in the IT field, related to magnetic circuit design and by using permanent magnets and a proprietary oil-cooling-based design, Nidec developed a compact motor that, combined with the next generation of its inverter, contributes significantly to the excellent vehicle performance, low power-consumption and low noise and vibration of the car.
By achieving a maximum power output of 150 kW and a maximum system torque output of 3,100 N·m while only weighing 91 kg Nidec’s Ni150Ex E-Axle also contributes to reducing the weight of the Geometry C.
In addition to the Ni150Ex that is the latest version of the 150 kW model that entered production in April 2019, Nidec has also developed four other models: Ni200Ex (200 kW), Ni100Ex (100 kW), Ni70Ex (70 kW) and Ni50Ex (50 kW). Furthermore, cars that use a front + rear dual motor configuration can be supplied with up to 400 kW by combining two Nidec E-Axles. With this lineup, Nidec believes it is capable of supplying traction motor systems that can power an estimated 98% of all electric passenger vehicles. Nidec has set a target of achieving 35% global market share in the EV traction motor market by 2030.
The acquisition will help Nidec acquire personnel who are well-versed in the development of gears, in line with the Nidec Group’s strategy for electric vehicle traction unit.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Machine Tool started its business in 1936 for the manufacturing of lathes in Hiroshima, Japan. Since then, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Machine Tool has been a group company of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and has grown its business, while supporting Japanese manufacturing for many years. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Machine Tool has products related to automotive transmissions and reducers businesses, such as a gear cutting machine and a gear grinding machine with high accuracy and efficiency. The company has top market share in Japan with this product. The company also has laser and semiconductor manufacturing equipment with unique cutting-edge technologies.
After this acquisition is completed, Nidec has a view to expand the machine tool business further with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Machine Tool, and believes that, with necessary investment, the business will be able to play a major global role in the group.