Japan-US Business Report LogoJapan-U.S. Business Report

No. 343, April 1998

Issue Index

American Companies in Japan


NONELECTRIC MACHINERY

A team of 35 engineers has been assembled at VICKERS JAPAN, LTD. in Tokyo to develop by the year 2000 electronically controlled hydraulic equipment for use with construction machinery. KOMATSU LTD. and its KOMATSU ZENOAH CO. affiliate bring to the project their high-pressure hydraulic technology. Partner VICKERS, INC., a half owner of Vickers Japan, is contributing its expertise in electronic control. If all goes according to plan, Vickers, a subsidiary of Maumee, Ohio-headquartered TRIVONA CORP., will start volume production of electronically controlled hydraulic equipment in the United States in 2002, while Komatsu and Komatsu Zenoah will launch production in Japan. Last spring, the three companies formed a wide-ranging international alliance in the mobile hydraulic equipment field (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 332, May 1997, p. 15).

Through parent KOMATSU LTD., the Haulpak division of KOMATSU MINING SYSTEMS, INC. has delivered a 150-ton mechanical rear dump truck to FUJISAKA HASEKI INDUSTRY CO., LTD. of Tochigi prefecture. The 530M, engineered for the mining industry, features a a high-performance, durable drivetrain with a 1,450-horsepower, 16-cylinder diesel engine from CUMMINS ENGINE CO., an all-electronic seven-speed transmission, advanced electronics and an all-hydraulic system for improved power and control. The Vernon Hills, Illinois manufacturer and Komatsu codeveloped the 530M, which is priced between $2 million and $2.5 million per unit.

SHIN CATERPILLAR MITSUBISHI LTD. is projecting first-year sales of 80 units for the CAT PF-290B pneumatic compactor for road construction. The amount of compactive force exerted by the machine, which has large rubber tires and a high static weight, on either soil or asphalt can be varied by altering the weight of the ballast. Oscillating front wheels seek out soft spots and compact them evenly. Designed for operator comfort, the PF-290B has a rolling width of 89 inches. The $96,900 machine is powered by a four-cylinder Cat 3054T turbocharged diesel engine.

An elevator for the home that can carry three people is on the market from codevelopers OTIS ELEVATOR CO.'s subsidiary and MATSUSHITA ELECTRIC INDUSTRIAL CO., LTD. Although 10 to 12 percent smaller than previous models, the $19,400 system has room for a wheelchair. Powered by an energy-saving 0.5-kilowatt motor, the elevator can be battery-operated in case of power failures.

An exchange rate of ¥129=$1.00 was used in this report.
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