Citizen Machinery to double output of automatic lathes in China

11, Nov. 2019

(Image courtesy of Citizen Machinery Co.)
(Image courtesy of Citizen Machinery Co.)

TOKYO, NNA – Japan’s Citizen Machinery will double the production capacity of computerized lathes in China by 2023 in keeping with Beijing’s push for factory automation and labor reduction in the manufacturing sector.

The firm plans to spend 3 billion yen ($27.5 million) to build a new plant. The project will include new production lines and the transfer of equipment from an existing plant in the eastern Chinese city of Zibo, spokesman Hideyuki Mizunuma told NNA Monday.

The machine tool maker based in Kitasaku, Nagano Prefecture, decided to gear up production in China as the government aims to upgrade its manufacturing sector, Mizunuma said.

China is gearing up for the manufacturing sector’s development plan, “Made in China 2025” campaign, President Xi Jinping’s blueprint for growing the country’s technology industry.

In the meantime, factory workers’ monthly wage in Shanghai had surged 2.7-fold between 2008 and 2018, the highest increase among those in major cities across Asia, according to annual survey released in May by MUFG Bank Ltd., one of three major commercial banks in Japan.

In February 2021, the Japanese firm’s local unit Citizen (China) Precision Machinery Co. will move the current plant to 67,000 square meters of land, a parcel three times the current plot’s size for the completion of the new factory, according to a Nov. 7 company news release.

The local unit, which employed 362 workers as of last month, intends to raise monthly lathe output capacity to 350 units in phased manner by 2023, the spokesman said.

Automated lathes can cut and process metals to make nuts and bolts among other industrial equipment parts.

Utilization of the current factory, which began producing in 2008, stands between just 60 percent and 70 percent because of stagnating demand since early this year, a result of the U.S.-China trade dispute, Mizunuma said.