A great kickoff in Japan: BEMAC introduces The Switch at Sea Japan exhibition

At this year’s Sea Japan 2024 exhibition in early April, our new majority shareholder BEMAC introduced The Switch to the greater Japanese shipping industry.

Sea Japan is one of the key maritime exhibitions worldwide. This high-level international conference and exhibition takes place every other year and showcases the very latest marine advancements in fuel efficiency, environmental protection, the use of IoT, the development of autonomous ship operations and more.

With more than 30,000 attendees, this year’s Sea Japan was the perfect opportunity for BEMAC and The Switch to provide the Japanese shipping industry with details about The Switch products and the new partnership.

Evening reception for dignitaries

The evening before the exhibition opened, BEMAC hosted a reception at the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo to introduce The Switch to its distinguishedguests. About 300 attended the reception, including shipyard representatives, shipowners, system integrators and marine industrial manufacturers, as well as representatives from banks and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism.

The presidents of both companies spoke to the gathering. BEMAC President Masato Oda said he sees a bright future for the maritime industry and discussed how the acquisition of The Switch is a big step forward in the company’s zero-emissions strategy.

“Be an explorer! This is our philosophy at BEMAC,” he said. “BEMAC will face the challenge head-on toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2025. This is a common challenge for the entire global maritime industry. Building on the Maintenance system for Soundness Sailing Ability (MaSSA) concept, we aim to address this issue using electricity, digitalization and artificial intelligence. The idea behind MaSSA is to realize a ship that never stops.”

“BEMAC has always used imagination, fostering a spirit of adventure and a willingness to take on challenges as we move forward,” he continues. “This has been essential in our past and will continue to be key to our journey in the future.”

Miika Reinikka, President and CEO of The Switch,discussed the exploding popularity of inline direct-drive permanent magnet (PM) shaft generators for today’s ships. The Switch is the market leader in this technology, with more than 50% of the global market share.

“I was impressed to see the great position and respect BEMAC has within the Japanese shipping industry. It was also really nice to experience the broad interest in our marine drive products by various Japanese potential customers,” Miika says.

Key figures in the Japanese shipping industry said they found this new partnership greatly encouraging for the future.

Well-attended 3-day exhibition

During Sea Japan’s 3-day exhibition that followed, crowds visited The Switch’s product display in the BEMAC booth. This was the first opportunity for this market to see The Switch products firsthand and have the chance to ask questions.

The exhibit generated great interest. Drives from The Switch were a big draw. Both Japanese and foreign visitors carefully examined the showcased inverters and permanent magnet machines. BEMAC representatives and Teemu Heikkilä and Jussi Puranen from The Switch answered questions. Some Japanese attendees preferred to hear explanations directly from Teemu and Jussi in English.

Nakauchi Daisuke, Corporate Officer, BEMAC, Executive General Manager of Power Electronics Segment, gave a presentation to a packed conference room, explaining how BEMAC now handles power electronics, with The Switch’s products and business center stage. Presentation attendees plied BEMAC personnel with questions and listened attentively to explanations lasting as long as 20 minutes.

Promising future

BEMAC is one of the biggest marine electrical equipment suppliers in Japan, holding a market share of over 50% in the Japanese shipbuilding industry. The company has long focused on applying the latest technology to the marine industry. Its purchase of The Switch in February accelerates its progress in a zero-emissions strategy.

BEMAC will promote The Switch’s products to the Japanese market. With its global after-sales maintenance network, the company provides fast customer service and supports The Switch customers anywhere in the world, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

The success of both the reception and exhibition is the result of the partners’ excellent collaboration and an indication of what the future holds for this partnership.