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Hitachi Metals boosting production capacity for Neodymium-Iron-Boron Magnets and Ferrite Magnets to meet automotive demand

Hitachi Metals will invest approximately ¥18 billion (US$172 million) in innovative production lines for Neodymium-Iron-Boron magnets and ferrite magnets at its Kumagaya Works in Japan with the aim of satisfying surging demand for automotive-related motors as well as various electric motors for hybrid and electric vehicles. The lines are scheduled to commence operation in FY2018.

Increasing regulatory pressure is driving increasing demand for downsized, lightweight motors with higher performance in the automotive, industrial infrastructure and electronics markets, as well as in other fields. Hitachi Metal’s Magnetic Materials Company provides NEOMAX, a Neodymium-Iron-Boron magnet among the most powerful in the world, and ferrite magnet NMF to a wide range of markets. Hitachi Metals forecasts that environmental performance requirements will become stricter over the years to come, and that the demand for Neodymium-Iron-Boron magnets and ferrite magnets will grow further.

To increase production capacity, Hitachi Metals will establish a new building at the Kumagaya Works to introduce innovative production lines for Neodymium-Iron-Boron magnets and ferrite magnets. The newly introduced innovative production lines will achieve high production efficiency by adopting new production technologies and the Internet of Things. The company concurrently will accelerate technological development by relocating the Magnetic Materials Research Laboratory, which is currently located in the Yamazaki District of Mishima-gun, Osaka Prefecture, to Kumagaya with the aim of capturing customer needs through combined efforts with the plant.

With these measures, the Kumagaya Works is positioned as the mother plant for the Neodymium-Iron-Boron magnet business and the ferrite magnet business. In addition, the information system components business of the Magnetic Materials Company will also be integrated into the Kumagaya Works.

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