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No. 364, January 2000

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American Companies in Japan


LIBERTY PRECISION INDUSTRIES, a supplier of flexible machining systems that has moved into other market segments, has expanded its three-year-old marketing relationship with HIRANO TECSEED CO., LTD. in the area of coating machinery, one of the Nara prefecture manufacturer's areas of expertise. Rochester, New York-based Liberty makes customized coating dies, stations and systems for film, medical, optics, pharmaceutical and other thin-film applications. The continuous-surface coating machine added to Hirano Tecseed's product lineup is used to make tape and special paper for electronics applications. It is priced between $1.2 million and $1.4 million.

With flip-chip packaging expected to become more widespread in the semiconductor industry, big spray systems manufacturer NORDSON CORP. has decided to set up separate from its Japanese marketing subsidiary a company to target sales of automated fluid dispensing systems made by its ASYMTEK, INC. unit to this emerging market. The first product ASYMTEK-NORDSON K.K. will introduce is the Millennium Series M-2000. This $339,800 platform dispenses flux, solder paste, underfill encapsulant, thermal compounds and lid sealant during the flip-chip package assembly process. Carlsbad, California-based Asymtek believes that Asymtek-Nordson will be able to sell 50 M-2000 systems in the first year of availability. The new company's marketing effort will be backed by a customer applications laboratory, also in Tokyo.

FOX INSTRUMENT AND AIR BEARING, INC., a Livermore, California specialist in precision electromechanics using air-bearing technology, named CKB CORP. as the exclusive distributor of its air bearings, air bearing spindles and other products. These components are designed to demanding submicron requirements, making them suitable for wafer steppers, inspection machines, microscopes and other types of precision equipment. Tokyo-based CKB is projecting annual sales at $970,900.

A line of extremely energy-efficient room air conditioners for offices and stores is being introduced by TOSHIBA CARRIER CORP. (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 356, May 1999, p. 20). Using 64 percent less electricity than the company's current products, the new models comply with energy-efficiency standards for air conditioners that will take effect in 2007. They also employ a new hydrofluorocarbon substitute. Toshiba Carrier plans to offer five wall-mounted or ceiling-mounted units in the $3,000 to $3,500 price range and a like number of outside units priced between $3,900 and $5,100.

An exchange rate of ¥103=$1.00 was used in this report. aaaaa

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