Hiroshi Ohkubo, President
I would like to wish everyone a happy new year, and express my hope that your new year holiday was a joyous one.
Last March, our company celebrated its 100th anniversary and started the new Medium-term Management Plan, “DRIVE NTN100,” in April. We are currently engaged in a number of initiatives to accelerate the transformation of our business structures.
1. Strengthen Core Technologies and Products
In automotive and industrial machinery businesses, we will work to improve profitability of core products, as well as developing high performance products responding to market needs and thereby expand business. In the aftermarket business, our focus is to strengthen sales organization and coordination with distributors to establish a system of prompt delivery, as well as to transform a “Manufacturing Company” into a “Company that Delivers Value to Customers through Products and Services”, namely an advanced maintenance service utilizing sensing technology.
2. Develop businesses in New Areas
In terms of the automotive business, we developed an improved version of “eHUB,” a hub bearing with motor generator function that improves fuel efficiency in hybrid cars, that achieves a 30% decrease in size. Another product “sHUB,” a hub bearing with steering assist function, is highly rated by customers and is currently being prototyped for practical use. Our mission is to expand business by advancing fusion of control system and modularization that utilize our unique core technology.
In the industrial machinery business, we are driving development of robot-related products that contribute to labor savings, such as the start of volume production of the wrist joint module “i-WRIST” last year. Another ongoing project is the advancement of bearing life prediction technology through the use of AI in the CMS (condition monitoring system) for wind turbine bearings in Japan.
The natural energy business has highly evaluated including an excellent award in “2018 Nikkei Global Environmental Technology Award” for the “Grid Connectable NTN Micro Hydro Turbine,” which was released last year. Our “NTN Hybrid Street Light,” which can be used as an emergency power source during power failure, has been renamed the “NTN Green Power Station,” and we are creating new demand such as disaster and crime prevention uses.
3. Strengthen Management Bases that Support Our Businesses
We are also engaged in building robust management bases so that we can emerge the victor in new competitive environments. “Procurement Headquarters” was established last year, and we will make gains towards stable procurement and cost reduction by promoting global procurement. Additionally, the manufacturing departments will proceed with the transition to smart factories that utilize IoT, AI, and robots as typified by the new Wakayama Works to be completed this year, and engage in a paradigm shift regarding Monozukuri. Back-office departments are also transforming towards the goal of unmanned routine operations through RPA deployment. In addition, we are working to overhaul the IT core systems in Japan for the purpose of early realization of efficient inventory holding and reduced lead time globally.
The name of era will change in Japan this year so that it is literally the start of a new era. Our company is also renewing itself, further accelerating our transformation towards the goal of further growth.
In closing, I would like to wish the very best health to you all and your family into the New Year.
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