Alps Electric to construct new plant in Japan

Apr 18, 2017   Tier Suppliers

In September, Alps Electric will commence construction of a new plant building at the site of its Kitahara Plant, in Osaki, Miyagi Prefecture, for the purpose of maintaining and expanding infrastructure for production of electronic components and to bolster mother plant functions in Japan.

The new building is scheduled for completion in October 2018 with operations to begin that same month.
Alps Electric has been developing, manufacturing and selling electronic components throughout its history, ever since its founding in 1948. With the expanding functionality and global spread of smartphones in recent years, there is a growing need for electronic components to support greater sophistication and higher demand. In the automotive market, too, the role of electronic components is expected to expand dramatically due to the emergence of successive new technologies like electric vehicles and autonomous driving, as well as fusion with such domains as the Internet of Things (IoT) and augmented and virtual reality, which are projected to offer much more in the years ahead.
Against this backdrop, Alps Electric is looking to establish a new mother plant for Japan, aiming for a highly functional, state-of-the-art plant ready to serve for the next 50 years. This will involve the construction of a new plant building on the 48,000m2 site acquired in June 2016 adjacent to the company's Kitahara Plant to secure additional production space and bring about productivity improvements.

Production management systems (IoT) will be deployed in the new plant building to achieve greater visualisation of processes, quality and productivity, while an indoor terminal for goods loading and unloading will be set up to enhance security for parts, materials and products. Energy savings will be achieved through high-efficiency energy utilisation based on switching of fuels and use of natural energy sources. Areas of greenery on the site will be expanded and global warming countermeasures will be incorporated into the day-to-day running of the plant. The aim is to realise a plant delivering exceptional economical and functional performance, even in environmental terms.

The new plant building will occupy 14,500m2 of a 48,000m2 site and have a total floor area of 37,000m2. This will bring total floor space combined with the existing Kitahara Plant to 52,800m2, making it Alps Electric's biggest production center in Japan. The total number of employees at the new plant, combined with the workforce at the existing plant and including some production functions relocated from Furukawa Plant (also located in Osaki) due to aging of that facility, is projected to come to around 2,000. For the near term, the plant will produce electronic components for smartphones, other mobile devices and automotive equipment. Looking to the future, the company will also consider other future uses for the plant, including manufacturing of products for energy, healthcare and industry markets, where demand is expected to grow, as well as products within the Internet of Things (IoT) domain.

The project will have minimal impact on consolidated financial performance for the fiscal years ended March 31, 2017, and ending March 31, 2018.

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