NSK celebrates 100 years of market-leading motion technologies


NSK celebrates 100 years of market-leading motion technologies
Thursday, March 10, 2016Description :
NSK celebrates 100 years of market-leading motion technologies
In 2016, NSK (Nippon Seiko Kabushiki-gaisha) will celebrate 100 years of motion technology in the engineering market. When in 1916, Takehiko Yamaguchi founded NSK Ltd with a capital of 350,000 yen (2655 ?), the company became the first manufacturer of bearings to be established in Japan. Today, it holds the largest market share of bearings in Japan and is one of the world's leading suppliers of bearings.

NSK also succeeded in diversifying into markets such as automotive, precision machinery and components and mechatronics, which generated sales (for the year ended March 31, 2015) of 974.9 Billion yen (7.4 billion euros).

After a modest beginning a century ago, NSK has grown rapidly by serving Japanese sectors such as mining, railway, textile and shipbuilding, all of which remain relevant to date.

During the First World War, shipbuilding and other industries continued to expand, and Japan was on track to consolidate its position as one of the world's leading industrial nations. The following years saw NSK take important steps. For example, the company produced in 1932 the first tapered roller bearing in Japan for the axles of gasoline cars used on the national railways. Just five years later, NSK created its bearings manufacturing facility in Fujisawa, which is now the oldest operating facility (NSK currently has 22 manufacturing facilities in Japan).
During the Second World War, Japanese industry modified its production to meet military needs. By order of the government, NSK began producing bearings for aircraft and automobiles. As the war progressed and it was no longer possible to import bearings into Japan, NSK opened several factories and continued to expand its production capacity. The company was soon to launch the production of modern ball and roller bearings.

In 1945, NSK made another first in Japan: production of bearings of the main shaft of the Ne20, the first turbojet engine of the Japanese Navy. NSK has always taken up the challenges posed by access to new areas. Over the years, the company has supported industrial development by contributing largely to the production of jet aircraft, thermal power stations, Shinkansen high-speed train, VCRs, satellites and high-density hard disk drives for PC, to name but a few major technological advances.
NSK was listed for the first time on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, Osaka and Nagoya in 1949, a move that preceded a period of rapid economic expansion in post-war Japan. A number of emerging target markets emerged in the late 1950s, when NSK supplied bearings for essential home appliances such as vacuum cleaners, washing machines and refrigerators. Around the same time, the company developed precision ball screws for steering columns of cars and trucks.
In the following decade, after the opening of its first non-Japan sales office in Ann Arbor (Michigan, USA), NSK continued to expand abroad. The 1960s also witnessed the arrival of NSK miniature ball bearings for high-speed dental burrs that rotate at about 450,000 rpm to relieve patient pain during surgery. NSK also started production of parts for automatic gearboxes.
In the 1970s, NSK opened its first manufacturing subsidiary in the vicinity of São Paulo (Brazil), followed by others in North America, the United Kingdom and Asia.
In 1982, NSK inaugurated the Electronic Technology Center and expanded its activities into applied electronics, leading to current mechatronics technologies such as electric power steering and physical assisted robots.
In the 1990s, NSK bought UPI, the UK's largest bearing manufacturer, known as RHP. The expansion of production sites and points of sale in all European markets has resulted in a stronger commercial presence in Europe for NSK. This same decade saw NSK expand its activities in Asian markets, especially in China. In this country, the company has strengthened its organizational structure to conduct research and development, sales and technical services locally. Other emerging markets, such as India and Indonesia, have also benefited from the support of new local production facilities.
In the years 2000, NSK also expanded its production abroad and continued to stimulate the development of new products while increasing its exports from Japan. For example, in 2004, NSK launched the serial production of the world's smallest deep groove ball bearing (at the time) with an outer diameter of only 2 mm.
The introduction of the Euro as the single currency of the European Union has generated economic ambitions and renewed growth in Europe. NSK Europe, headquartered in Maidenhead (UK), is currently completing a restructuring phase whereby the company will be able to serve its customers in a more targeted and personalized way, with additional optimized services.
NSK Europe employs 3,500 people and has an annual turnover of 1 billion euros (as of March 2015). The company, which has plants in Germany, Poland and the UK, has also received numerous awards over the past decade, including world-class OEMs such as Bosch, BSH, Continental, DMG- Mori, Festool, Kessler, PSA, Toyota and Volkswagen.

With the recovery of the global economy after 2009, NSK continued to establish its global organization on a solid foundation of management, seeking to set up institutional fundamentals adapted to a company with a turnover of nearly 7, 5 billion euros. As at March 2015, the NSK Group had 31,088 employees on a consolidated basis and had a global network of 214 sites in 30 countries. The latest production site in Silao, Guanajuato, Mexico, started operations in 2013. With 65 production units worldwide, NSK currently manufactures approximately 2.2 million bearings per year, Providing the industry with high-quality motion and precision products.

NSK is now ready to take the first step in the next 100 years with a focus on quality, safety and compliance. The company focuses on operational excellence to enhance the competitive advantage of its operations and establish sound management foundations. NSK will then pursue a new stage of innovation to drive a new phase of growth that generates added value through the creation of new technologies, new products and new activities.

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