Kiryu Meiji grows in parts for electric vehicles
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Kiryu Meiji grows in parts for electric vehicles

Kiryu Meiji(Gunma Prefecture) is expanding its sales through the manufacturing of components for electric vehicles (EVs). In September of this year, the company plans to launch a new facility dedicated to research, development, and manufacturing of precision machining.

With a total of 170 units of numerical control (NC) automatic lathe equipment, the company's core expertise lies in precision machining. They manufacture components for automobiles, industrial machinery, medical devices, and semiconductor equipment.

One of their notable focuses in recent years has been on components for car air conditioning systems in electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHVs). Electric vehicles, which cannot utilize engine heat, require a different approach for car air conditioning systems, relying on heat pump technology. Leveraging their original expertise in household heat pump air conditioning components, the company developed and achieved mass production by adapting their technology to address this need. Presently, their components are being supplied to electric vehicle manufacturers both domestically and internationally. As a result, the revenue from these electric vehicle components has grown to represent 14% of the total revenue. While the overall revenue was ¥1.29 billion in the fiscal year 2017, it has grown to ¥1.64 billion in the fiscal year 2023, marking a significant increase of 17.9% compared to the previous year. Previously reliant on trading companies for sales, the company has shifted to direct transactions with major manufacturers, accounting for over half of their dealings.

Factors contributing to this growth include the company's possession of a large number of machines and operators, as well as President Masao Kawanago's policy of "solving customer challenges." Under this approach, they have actively undertaken high-precision and complex machining prototype projects, accumulating the latest technologies and insights. Their factory is equipped with temperature and air-conditioning controls, creating an optimal airtight environment for cutting-edge machining. Additionally, they are capable of ultra-precision machining with tolerances as tight as 6 micrometers, and have established a system from part manufacturing to inspection.

Currently, they are constructing a new research and development facility named "Kiryu Meiji R&D" adjacent to their main plant, with plans for it to be operational by September. The establishment of this new site has been supported by government reconstruction subsidies. The new facility will introduce 50 NC automatic lathes connected via LAN cables to monitor machining data. They are also building a mechanism that combines AI-integrated in-line inspection machines to allow machining devices to automatically correct themselves based on real-time conditions. By advancing the forefront of cutting-edge machining development, they aim to cater to the demand for precision components while also feeding back accumulated expertise to other production sites.

The sales team is enthusiastic about their approach: "We will provide the latest machining technology with state-of-the-art machinery. We aim to expand not only in the realm of electric vehicle components but also in fields where precision machining technology can be applied."