Nidec is investing for sevenfold boost in robot parts production, according to a report in the Nikkei Asian Review. Nidec will add equipment to increase production of speed reducers, a key part used in industrial robots. Speed reducers control robotic limbs and give them power. Nidec-Shimpo has been in the industry since 2015, preceded by companies like Harmonic Drive Systems and Nabtesco.
Other makers of speed reducers are feeling the windfall from rising demand for industrial robots. Sumitomo Heavy Industries improved sales of the component for robots by about 20% in the two years through fiscal 2016.
Reportedly Nidec is to invest 4 billion yen ($36.2 million) in equipment for subsidiary Nidec-Shimpo’s factory to increase the production of speed reducers, a core component in robots. Demand for this component is expected to reach 2.72 million units in 2025, roughly double the amount estimated for 2017.
The Nidec subsidiary previously produced 5,000 units monthly. But a flood of inquiries from robot makers drove the manufacturer to raise monthly capacity to 10,000 units in May, with further plans to reach 20,000 units next March and 35,000 as of April 2018. Nidec-Shimpo currently holds a market share of just 5% but aims to reach 30% with the production increase.