KITAKYUSHU, JAPAN—Yaskawa Electric Corp., the parent company of Motoman Inc. (West Carrollton, OH), is building a new 100,000-square-foot facility to expand production capabilities for the company's robot line. The $40 million plant will manufacture medium- to large-size robots for spot welding, material handling and painting. The facility is expected to go into production in November.

In 2004, Yaskawa installed its 120,000th robot, 6 months ahead of when it originally expected to achieve this milestone. Company officials say the recent growth in sales has been the result of strong demand in the automotive, flat panel display, semiconductor, and food and beverage industries. In 2004, the company's Motoman line accounted for an estimated 25 percent of industrial robot sales worldwide, up 20 percent from 2003.

The new plant—Yaskawa's second robot production facility—will increase the company's total production capacity to 2,000 robots per month. The company predicts the new plant will help it meet future demand and reduce existing lead times.

"Motoman Inc. has nearly 25,000 robots installed in North and South America, had another record-breaking year in 2004 and expects similar results in 2005," says Motoman Inc. president Craig Jennings. "The new robot production facility in Japan will allow us to continue to reduce delivery lead time to allow our customers to realize return on their investment …even faster than before."

For more information on Motoman Inc., visit www.motoman.com.