Japanese Mounter Vendors Pull Off V-Shaped Recovery

Mounter manufacturers have achieved V-shaped recovery in business performance.

Restrictions on business activities posed by the COVID-19 pandemic have been alleviated. This prompted manufacturers, particularly in China, to resume investments in plants and equipment.

Robot Solutions Boost Result

From bottoming out in Q2 of FY2020, profit of FUJI Corporation increased 30 percent annually in Q2 of FY2021 ending Sept. The steady increase in demand for robot solutions, including mounters as mainstay products, was key to this result.  It also reflected the increase in demand for manufacturing and semiconductor-related equipment for electronics components mainly in China, and the recovery of automotive equipment and industrial equipment manufacturing in the United States and countries in Europe. Sales rose to 67.891 billion yen (US$588 million), increasing 3.8 percent year-on-year; and operating profit leaped 22.9 percent year-on-year to 16.551 billion yen (US$143 million).

Mounter manufacturers achieved V-shaped business recovery. The Chinese market, which maintains steady growth, contributes to their performance (NEPCON Asia 2021 in Shenzhen in October).

FUJI has been promoting FUJI Smart Factory, which is based on Nexim integrated production system using internet of things (IoT) and machine-to-machine (M2M), on the global markets. It realizes flexible and efficient production, such as automatic production changeover. The company has released the NXTR next-generation mounter, which the company positions as a new platform of FUJI Smart Factory. With the introduction of NXTR, the company targets full automation of the surface mount technology (SMT) line. These strategies have led to improvements of its business performance. 

Following the favorable performance of the robot solution business, FUJI has revised upward its outlook for the entire fiscal year. It expects higher net profit to 22.6 billion yen (US$196 million) from 20 billion yen (US$173 million). 

Robotics Business Turns into Black

Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. posted an increase in profit in the quarter ending in Dec. 2020. Net profit turned to black from loss a year ago as the sluggish market conditions since Mar. 2020 has showed improvement. The company achieved higher income and profit in Q3 FY2021 ending Dec., with record profit for three quarters. In its robotics business, the company saw increase in mounter sales. It is driven by higher sales in Japan, the United States and countries in Europe, on top of strong sales in Asia, including China, Taiwan and Korea.

Favorable sales also continued at Yamaha Robotics Holdings Co., Ltd. (YRH). The company turned into black since the consolidated cumulative second quarter.

YRH was inaugurated in July 2019. On its third year, the company has deployed a full-fledged business, establishing bases in Japan and abroad. It bolsters a development system for new products through synergy of technologies. In addition to favorable sales, results of the structural reform have materialized, leading the company to turn into profitability.

Surface Mounters Lead Growth

JUKI Corporation posted a 7 percent decrease in revenue and net loss of 4.9 billion yen (US$42 million) in Q3 FY2020. However, the company turned into profitability in Q2 of FY2021. In Q3, it again posted sales of 73.122 billion yen (US$634 million), increasing 56.3 percent annually, achieving V-shaped recovery.

Sales of industrial equipment and systems business, with surface mounting at core, increased 88.5 percent year-on-year. The company relied on the strong demand from 5G communications and robots, economic recoveries, and expansion of emerging countries. However, it was still affected by the delay in physical distribution. The company also continued its cost structural reform. Sales of its group businesses, including original equipment manufacturing mainly in Japan, have also increased.

JUKI launched RX-8, a high-speed mounter with 100,000cph on July 21 in the global market. This is in addition to the RX-7 and RX-7R high-speed compact modular mounters with 75,000cph. The company has been accelerating the global deployment of JUKI Smart Solution.