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No. 361, October 1999

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Japanese Companies in the US


METALS AND FABRICATED PRODUCTS

Copper foil manufacturer OAK-MITSUI, INC. opened a $2 million plant at its Hoosick Falls, New York production complex, enabling the joint venture between MITSUI MINING & SMELTING CO., LTD. (49 percent) and ALLIEDSIGNAL INC. (51 percent) to expand output of conductive panels for high-end printed circuit board applications. The new facility is equipped with proprietary ultrasonic welding equipment. It also has high-specification clean rooms to minimize contamination of the copper foil. Oak-Mitsui, in business since 1976, has a plant in Camden, South Carolina as well.

Next spring, NITTO KOHKI CO., LTD. will start U.S. assembly of air conduit couplings for the automotive industry. Recently formed NITTO KOHKI COU-PLING LLC has a roughly $925,900 plant and equipment budget. Its operations will be located in Hanover Park, Illinois, where the Tokyo parent has had a marketing unit for 30 years. Despite this longtime presence, Nitto Kohki's U.S. coupling sales total less than $1 million a year, giving it a negligible share of the market. With an onshore assembly capability, the manufacturer predicts that revenues will climb to $5 million in 2004.

Ten years after acquiring SWISSTRONICS, INC. of Watertown, Massachusetts, SUNCALL CORP. has decided to liquidate the maker of turned metal parts and custom screw machine products. Swisstronics had estimated revenues of $11.1 million in the year through March 1999, but competition from Southeast Asian-made products reportedly has caused net losses in recent years ranging from $185,200 to $277,800.

In back-to-back announcements, MITSUBISHI MATERIALS CORP. said that it was closing two U.S. money-losing operations: CYBEQ NANO TECHNOLOGIES, a San Jose, California maker of chemical mechanical polishing equipment (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 360, September 1999, p. 8), and NEOMET CORP. A West Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania producer of rare earth metals, the latter firm was established in 1987.

An exchange rate of ¥108=$1.00 was used in this report.

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