THK Strengthens Module Offerings for Industrial Robots

In its recent announcement, Japanese linear motion guide manufacturer THK Co., Ltd. has launched a new management structure for this fiscal year. Part of the new structure is its transformation into a manufacturing service provider. Primarily, it will strengthen its module product offerings for industrial robots and expand global production system, to this end.

The company’s new management structure took effect on Jan. 1, 2024, with Akihiro Teramachi as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer and Takashi Teramachi as President and Chief Operating Officer.

Akihiro Teramachi, Chairman and CEO
Takashi Teramachi, President and COO

“The world is now at a major turning point, and more challenging times are ahead, such as how people should deal with AI (artificial intelligence). (Amid this trend), we will expand our business by mobilizing our young manpower to cope with the new era,” commented Chairman Teramachi on the new management structure.

“Since our founding, we have aimed to become a creatively development-oriented company, developing new products and making them permeate society. In addition to tireless efforts in product manufacturing, we value innovation co-created with our customers. We will take good care of our internal human resources and customers, and we will communicate our business activities well to our shareholders. Also, we will promote our transformation into a manufacturing service provider,” shared President Teramachi.

Expanding Applications of LM Guide

Generally, applications for linear motion (LM guide) are expanding in both existing and new fields. Among them include applications for semiconductor manufacturing equipment, which are becoming more precise as well as medical equipment, industrial robots, renewable energy, service industry, automobiles, medical equipment, and aircraft. For these markets, we are strengthening new products and enhancing already developed products. Specifically, they are CWG type wheel guide, the AHR type miniature LM guide for bonders in the semiconductor back-end process, the LM guide with ultra-low waving ball retainer, the AWG type utility slide, and the RT type high-speed roller ring.

In the area of industrial robots, the company is strengthening its response to the need for customized specifications tailored to customers’ manufacturing sites. Along this line, the company is further advancing its electric actuator technology, which is available in a variety of series such as “compact,” “clean,” and “press”. Additionally, it is promoting modularization for industrial robots. As part of this effort, the company has begun accepting orders for the Rotary Module “RMR” and the Cylindrical Coordinate Module “MLS,” which are suitable for robot joint mechanisms.

Expansion into Indian Market

THK has expanded its global production system to a total of 37 bases. Of which, 23 are for industrial equipment and 14 for transportation equipment. Also, the company has expanded into India. Specifically, it has completed the construction of a new plant at THK India Pvt. Ltd., which became operational in Nov. 2021.

THK India
THK India Pvt. Ltd.

Growth Expectations in the Mid to Long-Term

Amid the uncertainty in the global economic outlook, demand has not recovered in the industrial equipment field. Meanwhile, in the transportation equipment business, sales and earnings are headed for recovery as automobile production and sales pick up.

“We expect the market to expand in the medium to long term. Also, we expect a strong recovery in the second half of FY2024. We will continue to control costs in the short term and promote strategies for the medium to long term while capturing demand in the recovery phase,” said Chairman Teramachi.

THK has set targets of 500 billion yen in consolidated net sales; of which 365 billion yen will come from industrial equipment business and 135 billion yen in the transportation equipment business. It targets 100 billion yen in operating income for FY2026. Additionally, it plans 150 billion yen in capital investment in industrial equipment and 20 billion yen in transportation equipment for the period from FY2022 to FY2026.

-20 March 2024-

This is an English translation of a Japanese article originally published in Dempa Shimbun Daily.