Motion Control, Robot Gain Solid Results for Yaskawa Electric

Yaskawa Electric Corporation reported robust business results in the first half of FY2021 (March to August). It achieved 28 percent year-on-year growth in operating revenue and two-fold increase in profit.

The manufacturing industry has resumed normal activities as it recovers from the impacts of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Generally, manufacturers are making active investments, and Yaskawa Electric captures the robust demand worldwide.

Digital Transformation

Yaskawa Electric has been working to transform its business model through i3-Mechatronics solution concept using digital data. This was outlined in the company’s Vision 2025 long-term management plan. It also endeavors to improve efficiency, expand profitability, and attain a sustainable society. To achieve these, it implements digital management by embracing the digital transformation goal of the Yaskawa Group.

Financial Performance

In the first half of FY2021, the company posted sales of Yen 239.9 billion (US$2.11 billion), increasing 28.4 percent year-on-year; operating profit of Yen 26.9 billion (US$237 million), growing 2.02-fold year-on-year; pretax profit of Yen 27.8 billion (US$245 million), increasing 2.12-fold year-on-year; and quarterly cumulative profit of Yen21.2 billion (US$187 million), expanding 2.23-fold year-on-year.

In terms of sales revenue by business, motion control accounted for Yen116.5 billion (US$1.03 billion), increasing 35.7 percent year-on-year; robots accounted for \86.4 billion (US$760 million), increasing 32.1 percent year-on-year; system engineering accounted for Yen27.1 billion (US$239 million), expanding 11.1 percent year-on year; and others accounted for Yen9.9 billion (US$87.2 million), decreasing 11.5 percent year-on-year.

Hiroshi Ogasawara, Representative Director, President, Yaskawa Electric Corporation, says, “Overall, manufacturers made active investments in plants and equipment to advance and automate production. Automobile, semiconductor and electronic components markets have expanded globally. In China, investments in infrastructure, including fifth-generation (5G) communications and new energy, have continued, and our motion control and robot businesses were exact in its prediction, thus were able to seized demand at high levels.”

“Low production rate due to supply shortages of components has affected our company. Nonetheless, we could appropriately predict and seize robust demand mainly for motion controls and robots. Our group’s business results reflect these accomplishments,” affirms Ogasawara on the strength of its motion and control business.

Hiroshi Ogasawara, Representative Director, President, Yaskawa Electric Corporation

Motion Control Business

The company’s motion control business includes AC servo motor and controller, and inverters. The AC servo motor and controller business saw high levels of demand for semiconductors and electronic components in the global markets, including Japan, the United States and Korea. Meanwhile, in China, 5G-related demand, including products for smartphones and base stations, increased. Manufacturers also made active investments in the new-energy-related field, such as lithium ion rechargeable batteries and photovoltaic power generation panels. Generally, these factors affected the robust sales of the AC servo motor and controller business.

The inverter business saw increase in sales revenue as the demand for infrastructure, like cranes, and for textiles increased in China. In addition, it earned from active capital investments accompanying the global recovery of market conditions.

Active investments related to automation of production across all automotive segments also brought positive effect. Electric vehicles (EVs) and battery-related demand for robots also increased. Sales of robots for semiconductor manufacturing equipment also increased steadily.

Business Strategies

In the first half of FY2021, the company embarked on various business strategies. These include the operation of Yaskawa Technology Center, which undergoes integrated development from basic technologies to production trial, including production technology. It also releases new products, such as the YRM-X controller and Σ-X Series AC servo drives. The company also made business alliance with the National Federation of Agricultural Cooperative Associations (ZEN-NOH) of the Japan Agricultural Cooperatives (JA) Group. Also, it sealed a comprehensive partnership with Kyushu University. The company plans to accelerate these strategies in the second half of FY2021.

Yaskawa Technology Center goes into full operation.

Ogasawara says, “Global expansion of the automotive, semiconductor and electronic components markets and investments in China into new infrastructure, such as 5G and new energy, have been creating a high level of demand. These capital investments will continue in the second half of FY2021.  Although uncertainty about the prospects of the economy, such as supply shortages of components, including semiconductors, will remain, better-than-expected orders will continue. In China, we are constructing a plant in Changzhou responding to the increase in demand for robots.”

The ∑-X Series AC servo drives

The company has revised upward the figures it published in July for its consolidated results in FY2021 (ending Feb. 2022). It now expects sales revenue of Yen485 billion (US$4.27 billion), an increase of 24.5 percent year-on-year; operating profit of Yen58 billion (US$511 million), an increase of 113.4 percent year-on-year; pretax profit of Yen59.5 billion (US$524 million), a 119.0 percent year-on year increase; and net income of Yen42.5 billion (U$374 million), a 124.5 percent year-on-year increase.