24 Jul 2024


Yaskawa buys Siemens’ share of their automation JV

One of the original aims of the joint venture was to boost Siemens' penetration of the Japanese market

Yaskawa is buying Siemens’ share of their 50:50 joint venture, Yaskawa Siemens Automation & Drives (YSAD), giving it full control of the business. YSAD will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Yaskawa on 1 November, and will be renamed Yaskawa Automation Drives (YAD).

The joint venture, which has about 280 employees, was established in October 1999 between Yaskawa and Siemens’ automation and drives division. The aim was to boost both companies’ market shares by complementing each other with industrial drives products and technologies. Siemens, in particular, wanted to improve its penetration of the Japanese market.

Dr Klaus Wucherer, president of Siemens’ automation and drives group at the time, said that “the co-operation with a strong Japanese partner like Yaskawa means a decisive market breakthrough for us in Japan.”

Less than a year after establishing the original JV, the partners expanded it to include low-voltage control and distribution. “Thanks to the excellent co-operation with Yaskawa, our joint venture is making very good progress,” Wucherer reported. “We have been able to expand our joint activities after less than one year.”

But Yaskawa now says that, in recent years, the environment in the industrial drive system market has been changing, with industrial sector undergoing a revolution due to Industry 4.0. In October 2017, Yaskawa unveiled its i3-Mechatronics concept aimed at achieving an industrial revolution in automation, which forms part of its long-term business plan, Vision 2025.

The i3-Mechatronics concept applies not only to mechatronics products such as servodrives, AC drives, and industrial robots – where Yaskawa is competitive globally – but also to industrial drive systems, a specialty area for YSAD. Yaskawa has therefore “decided to make SAD our subsidiary as a step aimed at embodying the concepts of i3-Mechatronics”.

YSAD will maintain its strategic partnership with Siemens’ Japanese operation, SKK, offering systems and solutions as it has until now. SKK will offer its products and services, while YAD will continue to offer solutions from system applications and combinations with Yaskawa products.