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Emerging market countries become a breakthrough for Japanese manufacturers to make a comeback
For the Japanese machine tool industry, which was deeply affected by the Lehman incident, 2009, a year ago, was a year of extremely bleak market prospects that had never been encountered in the past. According to the statistics of the Japan Machine Tool Industry Association, the total orders of Japanese machine tool manufacturers in 2009 were 410 billion yen. Compared with the 1 trillion and 300 billion yen in 2008, it decreased by 68.4%. In addition, compared with about 1.59 trillion yen in 2007, when the total order value was the highest in history, the total order value has decreased to about 1/4 in just two years. Since 1982, Japan's machine tool production has ranked first in the world for 27 consecutive years, but in 2009, it handed over the industry's first title to China. According to the survey data of Gardner Publications, China's machine tool production in 2009 was 15 billion US dollars, an increase of 7.4% over last year. Japan's production in the same period was US$7.1 billion, a 54.4% decrease from last year, and even less than half of China's. At the same time, Japan was surpassed by Germany (about 10.4 billion yen), ranking third in the world. Under such circumstances, in early 2010, news began to report that well-known machine tool manufacturers were decisively reorganizing. At that time, in addition to Mori Seiki Co., Ltd., which began to recruit 400 employees, equivalent to about 10% of the company's total employees, to retire early, Japan's Fengwa Industry and Enshu Co., Ltd. also made layoffs. Although 2010 in the Japanese machine tool industry started with a series of negative news, at the same time, due to the growing demand in emerging market countries, orders centered on external needs began to increase gradually. Although the order amount in 2009 was not large, the order amount from February to April 2010 was more than three times that of the same period last year. At the 'Shanghai Machine Tool Exhibition' held in China in July, many Japanese manufacturers exhibited their latest models, and the Japanese machine tool industry gradually began to recover. In this context, from October 28 to November 2, 2010, the world's largest exhibition 'The 25th Japan International Machine Tool Fair (JIMTOF2010)' was held at the Ariake International Convention and Exhibition Center in Tokyo. Because it is a large-scale event in the field of machine tools that is held every two years, companies have exhibited their most distinctive machinery and equipment, and the exhibition site during the exhibition has presented a grand event. The most symbolic thing in this exhibition is the display of many low-priced models that meet the needs of emerging market countries. Japan's JTEKT exhibited the 'e-series' product group, which greatly reduces production costs by producing control systems in-house and realizing the miniaturization and weight reduction of structural parts. Japan's Takizawa Iron Works also exhibited the NC lathe 'TC-203JAt the exhibition, various manufacturers also rushed to release new technologies. Murata exhibited the NC lathe 'Mx71' equipped with a non-contact power supply and a linear motor, and Mori Seiki exhibited the technology 'ZERO CHIP' that can be sucked and recovered from the inside of the spindle during cutting, exhibited by Brother Industries The tapping center equipped with power regeneration function has attracted the attention of many visitors. Although the number of visitors was slightly reduced compared with the previous session due to the influence of weather, the business volume of JIMTOF2010 was still relatively large. It is expected that the total orders in 2010 will recover to 940 billion yen to 970 billion yen, and in 2011, it is possible to once again become the world's first in terms of production. However, in order to achieve this goal, it is necessary to actively respond to the needs of emerging market countries, and to improve the production system and support system as soon as possible. In the order value, the proportion from Japan's domestic demand is only 31.3% (the value from January to October 2010). Compared with the proportion of the Asian market (42.3% from January to October 2010), it is small. From this data, it can be seen that if the Japanese machine tool industry wants to make a comeback, it cannot continue to adhere to the one-sided growth strategy of high-end models mainly oriented to Japan, but should more seriously respond to the needs of emerging market countries. Perhaps at the '12th China International Machine Tool Exhibition' held in Beijing, China on April 11, 2011, from the exhibition areas of many Japanese manufacturers, we can see whether Japanese companies have found the right answer.