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No. 359, August 1999

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American Companies in Japan


The big Rockwell Automation unit of ROCKWELL INTERNATIONAL CORP., the world's largest supplier of high-performance automation products through its Allen-Bradley and Reliance Electric operations, now owns 50 percent of RELIANCE ELECTRIC JAPAN LTD. It acquired an additional 5 percent stake from partner ULVAC JAPAN, LTD. for an undisclosed price. REJ manufactures durable-speed electronic drives for AC/DC motors at a Yokohama factory. It had revenues of $59.2 million in 1998. Sales of REJ products are handled by Rockwell Automation, which has had a presence in Japan since 1980 and provides sales and support services through offices in Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya.

In a breakthrough deal, garbage disposal systems manufactured by HYDROMAID INTERNATIONAL INC. will be installed in condominiums that AGA GROUP of Kanazawa, Ishikawa prefecture is developing. The Draper, Utah company's product is powered exclusively by water. That feature appealed to the developer, which is marketing its condos as environmentally friendly. The initial order covers HydroMaid disposal systems for 1,000 units in 14 buildings scattered around Japan. The installed cost of the system is about $333,300 for 100 units, including a wastewater treatment tank.

With its recently developed automatic low-pres-sure molding machine for making net shape parts from ceramic and metal materials, PELTSMAN CORP. plans to move back into the Japanese market. First, though, it wants to line up a distributor. The Minneapolis company had been selling a manually operated molding machine in Japan, but that business ended several years ago. The new MIGL-371 molding system lists for $58,900.

MAGNUM MANUFACTURING INC., a Phelan, California maker of torches used to cut metal, named ASAHI CHEM-MACHINERY CORP. as its exclusive distributor. The Kobe company is carrying the portable truck-mounted MAG6000, which has a heavy- duty MagmaFusion torch, and the portable MAG4000, which weighs just 18 pounds. As a set, they cost $2,500. Target markets for the products are ship repair companies and demolition businesses. Magnum expects to ship 500 sets to Asahi Chem- Machinery by the end of 1999.

In what must have been an in-house record for product launches in one month, SHIN CATERPILLAR MITSUBISHI LTD. released four products. New on the market is the CAT D300E articulated dump truck for use in quarries and civil engineering projects. Weighing only 24.3 tons but able to haul as much as 30 tons of material, it features improved traction thanks to a system that keeps all six wheels rotating at the same speed. Shin Caterpillar Mitsubishi expects to sell 10 of the $500,000 machines in the first year of marketing. The company also expanded its lineup of hydraulic excavators, adding the 72-ton CAT 365BL REGA. Designed to load dump trucks in the 10-ton to 40-ton class, the machine has a 3.5-cubic-yard bucket, making it the third-largest hydraulic shovel that CATERPILLAR INC. produces. Its Japanese affiliate is optimistic that it can sell 40 units over the next 12 months at prices starting at $633,300. A self- propelled concrete crusher is available as well from Shin Caterpillar Mitsubishi. The MRG40JG crushes pieces of concrete from demolished buildings, in the process separating out rocks and other debris so that the concrete can be recycled as aggregate. Able to handle as much as 235 tons of concrete an hour, the crusher is priced around $433,300. First-year sales of this product are targeted at 15 units. Finally, the Caterpillar-MITSUBISHI HEAVY INDUSTRIES, LTD. venture hopes to sell in the next year 500 MM57SR hydraulic mini-excavators. This 5.5-ton-class product with its 0.3-cubic-yard bucket goes for about $96,700.

The Kohler Power Systems generator division of KOHLER CO. has introduced through exclusive distributor TOMINAGA & CO., LTD. its largest generator set, a 2,000-kilowatt unit that can be powered by either gasoline or natural gas. Like competing products, the Kohler generator is designed to be used either as a primary source of electricity or as a standby source of power. What sets its system apart, the company says, is that it comes on-line faster. In Japan, though, the main marketing advantage of the Kohler generator could be price since it costs only about two-thirds of what Japanese manufacturers charge for 2,000-kW generators.

An exchange rate of ¥120=$1.00 was used in this report.aaaaaa

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