(Nikkei BP Group)
(No.1 High-Tech News Site in Japanese)
| Japanese Robot Company Opens Plant in Vietnam
August 19, 1998 (HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam) -- Rorze Robotech Inc., a
Japan-based robot assembler, opened a US$46 million production plant
in the Nomura Haiphong Industrial Zone, Vietnam.
|Rorze Robotech makes robots for the semiconductor industries. Most of
the components are manufactured in Japan.
Fumio Sakiya, president of Rorze Robotech, said the target of this plant
is 200 products per year, all of which will be exported to the United
States, Singapore and Taiwan for semiconductor manufacturing clients.
At a grand opening ceremony last week to grant the high-tech status certificate,
Sakiya told BizTech the Haiphong-based plant of Rorze Robotech had succeeded
in making two kinds of robots and had experimentally operated them.
"Based on this good start, we have a schedule to put two more kinds of
robots into assembly by next year," Sakiya said.
Industry watchers here said this Haiphong-based robotics factory is the
first-ever project in the industry in Vietnam. They expect similar business
"From here, we hope other high-tech production lines will appear soon
in this industrial park, which has space available," said Tran Xuan
Gia, Vietnamese Minister of Planning and Investment.
The reason the Japanese Rorze Group chose Vietnam to build a plant for
producing robots used in semiconductor manufacturing is not accidental.
The group had considered setting up such a facility in Japan, but aluminum
bars, the main material in the products, is extremely expensive there.
If the plant were to be set up in the United States, production costs
will be tremendous, although aluminum bars are obtainable from a Texas
company at a 30-percent lower price.
Rorze made the decision to locate Nomura IP near northern Vietnam's largest
port to establish its plant.
"It is an ideal location because materials can be sought at the lowest
prices and customer demand can be well addressed," Sakiya told BizTech.
On Oct. 2, 1996, the 100 percent Japanese-capitalized Rorze Robotech
was licensed with a total investment capital of US$46 million. Less
than two years later, a plant covering 12,000 square meters has taken
shape in Nomura IP in Haiphong City, around 120 kilometers east of Hanoi.
Hideharu Nakamura, director of Rorze Robotech Vietnam, said the company
specializes in the assembly and export of motor-controlling devices,
the machining and export of robot parts, and the assembly and export
of semiconductor manufacturing robots.
"At the moment, according to contracts, we are assembling two kinds of
robots. This year, we plan to produce the last 200 finished products,
and next year we will begin assembling two new kinds of robots," said
Nakamura. Rorze Robotech currently employs 82 workers, but the plant
size will double in the coming three years and output will be increased
two- or three-fold, Nakamura added.
The company expects to obtain a turnover of 250 million yen (US$1.7 million)
this year, with the export price of a robot being about US$12,000. Late
last month, the company's first export batch was shipped to Japan for
final testing before selling in Japan, the United States and Europe.
Nakamura also said Rorze is currently cooperating with the Vietnam Navigation
College in personnel training, and it is ready to transfer technology
With its revenue increasing 50 percent annually over the past 13 years,
president Sakiya said he hoped Rorze would win the local market with
its high-quality, low-priced and durable robots.
Tran Huy Nang, mayor of Haiphong City, applauded Rorze's choosing Nomura-Haiphong
IP as the location for its plant, and said the hoped the company would
grow to match its logo, the Himalayan Mountains.
(David Tran, Asia BizTech Correspondent)