22 Jul 2024


Nidec buys Mitsubishi machine tool business and expertise

The MVR-Cx machining centre is the first new product from the Nidec Machine Tool Corporation

The Japanese motors and drives manufacturer Nidec has acquired the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Machine Tool company, which designs and manufactures machine tools, cutting tools and related products. As well as selling machine tools to external customers, Nidec plans to use the gear-cutting capabilities and expertise of the acquired business to boost its E-Axle activities, which produce combined motor, inverter and gearbox systems for use in electric vehicles.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Machine Tool, which started out by making lathes in 1936, employs around 1,400 people and has operations in Japan, China, India and the US (Michigan-based Federal Broach & Machine). It had sales worth 40.3bn yen ($353.5m) in the year to March 2020, which fell to ¥23.1bn yen ($203m) in the year to March 2021.

Nidec says that the acquired business – now renamed Nidec Machine Tool Corporation – has “top market share” in Japan. Its portfolio includes gear cutting and grinding machines, double-column machining centres, laser and semiconductor manufacturing equipment, and other large machine tools. Nidec plans to expand the business and says that, with the necessary investment, it will play “a major global role in our group”. It will become Nidec-Shimpo’s third main business.

Nidec has also announced its first new machine tool from the acquired business – a double-column machining centre for single-item and high-mix, low-volume production. The MVR-Cx centre – the latest in a line first launched by Mitsubishi in 2003 – can operate at spindle speeds of up to 6,000 rpm. A newly developed operation support function is claimed to reduce “significantly” the time from receiving orders to shipping products. Previously time-consuming activities such as program creation, debugging and centring workpieces before machining them, have been simplified.

Nidec expects the new business to be generating sales worth ¥100bn ($877m) by the year ending March 2026.

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