Yaskawa announces ambitious expansion plan

New robot manufacturing plant and a new European robotics development center in Slovenia

Frankfurt, Germany, November 21, 2016 – at a press conference, Yaskawa announced that it will intensify its presence in Europe, with the aim of becoming one of the two leading manufacturers of industrial robots in strategic target markets in the medium term. This investment plan follows a successful first wave of expansion initiated in 2014, which included the acquisition of The Switch. This makes Yaskawa one of the few global companies able to supply components and solutions for almost all industries from a single source. 

Yaskawa is expanding its European activities through investments in the existing robot business as well as electric drive technology. The company most recently extended its business model through strategic acquisitions in the fields of industrial control technology and ‘Green Energy’. The company plans to expand its production capacities and open a new robot manufacturing plant and a new European robotics development center in Slovenia in addition to its existing production facilities in Japan and China. Two hundred additional jobs will be created.

The first Yaskawa Motoman robots from all-European production are expected to roll off the production line in 2018. The factory should satisfy about 80% of the European demand for robots. Total investments are estimated to be in the order of 25 million euros.

As one of the biggest global players in the industrial robot sector with more than 350,000 installed units sold and a leading international supplier of drive and automation technology, Yaskawa is pursuing an ambitious expansion strategy in Europe. In doing so the company is intentionally bucking the international trend towards relocating technological know-how and production competence from Europe to Asia.

Today, Yaskawa employs about 350 development and application engineers in Europe. The new production and development capacities will permit even faster customized robotic solutions in Europe. This will also strengthen the cooperation with OEMs in these markets. In addition, Yaskawa will be keeping up even more closely with the European market and technological trends. With the acquisition of The Switch, a focus is being placed on energy solutions in the field of wind power and the electrification of ship drives.

“Europe is a leader in many technologies, and we want to consistently demonstrate to our customers that we are happy to be here and engage in the joint development of even more efficient solutions,” says Manfred Stern, President and CEO of Yaskawa Europe, Corporate Vice President of Yaskawa Electric.

At the event, J-P Mäkinen presented The Switch’s recent acquisition of the marine drives products in Norway from Wärtsilä as another good example of Yaskawa-based investment into Europe. “It’s great to see Yaskawa’s increasingly active role in Europe, which generated a lot of interest from the European media. It was also a wonderful opportunity for The Switch to be included as part of the Yaskawa family with a vital role and to have the chance to present our story to the press,” says J-P.


Picture Caption: At a press conference in the presence of Slovenian guests, the Yaskawa management gave details of the planned strategic investments in Europe.