Mori Seiki Eyes North American Manufacturing

New plant for machine tool builder would avoid currency disparities

Mori Seiki reports it is studying the possibility of manufacturing machine tools in North America, plans which could be in progress as soon as 2011. The company said the idea is based on its evaluation of the possibility of a continuing decrease in the rate of currency exchange between Japan and the U.S. Adding production capability in North America might offset any disparity in the exchange rate between the two currencies.

“If the value of the U.S. dollar declines, it will become fiscally advantageous to manufacture machine tools in North America, eliminating the cost of importing from Japan,” explained Dr. Masahiko Mori, the president of the machine tool builder.

Mori Seiki operates four factories in Japan, and another in Switzerland. The company acquired DIXI Machines in Le Locle, Switzerland, in 2007. The group estimates that adding a new factory in North America would raise its total monthly output capacity by approximately 100 units to slightly more than 900. It said this level of increase would prepare it for the global expansion of machine tool sales it anticipates.

Mori Seiki USA Inc., the group’s current North American organization, has a headquarters in Chicago and 13 regional offices and technology centers, including Canada, Mexico, and Brazil. It has engineering operations at the Digital Technology Laboratories in Davis, CA, where it has been designing software and machinery since 2000.

As well as R&D and product development, Mori Seiki stated it continues to focus on installation and proper maintenance. “The integration of North American production into operations represents a continued effort to increase Mori Seiki machine tool value and total customer satisfaction,” stated Thomas R. Dillon, president of Mori Seiki USA.

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