Japan-US Business Report Logo

No. 354, March 1999

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American Companies in Japan


PRECISION AND MEDICAL EQUIPMENT

FISHER CONTROLS INTERNATIONAL, INC. is one of the world leaders in process control equipment, but its market share in Japan has lagged. Now, its FISHER-ROSEMOUNT JAPAN CO., LTD. subsidiary has set its sights on gaining 10 percent of the domestic process control systems business within five years. One product seen as key to that goal is the localized version of the DeltaV scalable process control system. An all-in-one package of hardware, preinstalled software and peripherals that costs as little as $31,600, the DeltaV helps manufacturers create and operate inherently complex process control applications in a Windows NT environment. More than 1,000 DeltaVs have been shipped worldwide in the 18 months the system has been on the market, but few have been bought by Japanese petroleum, chemicals, food, pharmaceutical or other target producers because of the English-language interface. With a Japanese version available, Fisher-Rosemount Japan expects to sell about 100 DeltaV systems in the first year.

Eight years after it gave SUMITOMO CORP. marketing rights to its noncontact measuring and process control systems, PERCEPTRON, INC. ended the relationship. In its place, the Plymouth, Michigan company opened a marketing office in Tokyo. The new operation will target sales of its laser sensor-based equipment at automotive makers for in-process quality checks. Perceptron reportedly supplies 90 percent of the quality measurement equipment used by American and European vehicle manufacturers but has had little success getting its products into Japanese factories.

A new pair of wireless/portable telephone testers are on the market from HEWLETT-PACKARD JAPAN LTD. The HP 66309B and the HP 66309D dual- output mobile communications DC sources provide two outputs for simultaneously testing the main battery power and the battery charger circuitry while these products still are on the production line. The HP 66309B is priced at $2,700, while the HP 66309D, which has the same capabilities as the other system but includes a built-in digital voltmeter, costs $3,000. HP Japan is projecting combined first-year sales of 200 test systems.

HEWLETT-PACKARD JAPAN LTD. also is marketing the HP 622Vu Advisor, which extends the test capabilities of the HP Internet Advisor from 1.5 megabits per second up to full-rate (622 Mbps) analysis of asynchronous transfer mode equipment. The HP 622Vu Advisor starts at $34,200, but users also must invest in Internet Advisor WAN, Internet Advisor LAN- Fast Ethernet or pcAdvisor software. HP Japan has pegged annual sales of this product at 100 units.

When the merger of ARTERIAL VASCULAR ENGINEERING, INC. with MEDTRONIC, INC. is completed, coronary stents and catheters made by Santa Rosa, California-based AVE will be marketed by Medtronic's subsidiary. That change will cost AVE's exclusive distributor, JAPAN LIFELINE CO., LTD., an estimated 40 percent of its current business. Minneapolis-headquartered Medtronic is the top maker of cardiac pacemakers.

Now that PHARMACIA & UPJOHN, INC. has regained Japanese sales and marketing rights to Genotropin from SUMITOMO PHARMACEUTICALS CO., LTD. (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 353, February 1999, p. 12), the subsidiary of the Bridgewater, New Jersey pharmaceutical company has introduced the Genotropin Pen 16/40 pen-type injection system. Genotropin, a genetic recombinant natural growth hormone product, is the world's leading treatment for growth hormone deficiency.

An exchange rate of ¥117=$1.00 was used in this report.aaaaaa

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