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IM Company Opens Hong Kong Office

October 09, 2001

Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. (Headquarters: Iwata City, Shizuoka Pref.) announces that its in-house company, IM Company (President: Tsuneji Togami; Location: Hamamatsu City, Shizuoka Pref.), has established a new business office in Hong Kong for the purpose of strengthening its marketing activities for surface mounters in China's southern region. Following offices in Singapore and Shanghai, this is IM Company's third overseas office. Operations are scheduled to officially begin at the new office as of October 12, 2001.

The southern region of China, which includes Hong Kong, is an area to which numerous Japanese electronics manufacturers have set up operations one after another in an attempt to produce cost competitive electronic components in the light of worldwide decline in demand for electronic products. As a result, the demand in this region for surface mounters has remained strong and presently some 30% of IM Company's exports go to this region.
In the Chinese market, the company of WONG KONG KING (WKK) serves as our surface mounter sales agent and after-service provider. The main business of the newly established IM Company office in Hong Kong will be to provide technical assistance to WKK with the aim of actively developing the Chinese market and expanding market share by contributing to greater customer satisfaction.

The aims of the opening of the new IM Company office in Hong Kong are: Developing southern China market, Supporting after-service for users, and; Strengthening technical assistance to WKK.

IM Company manufactures and markets both domestically and overseas a line of surface mounters and other types of industrial robots. In recent years, the demand for products such as computers, cellular phones and multimedia related products requiring large numbers of electronic parts is on the rise, but at the same time the diversity of models is also increasing. This means that the surface mounter market of the future is expected to be dominated by mounters that can handle smaller lot, higher product diversity production schedules.
IM Company has been a pioneer in the field of visual recognition systems for part positioning (full-vision type) and has maintained its lead in the domestic market as a supplier of mid-size multipurpose mounters. Recently we have developed and introduced our module type YV and YV-X series high-speed models, and in March of this year we developed and began sales of our YV-Xg series that further increases tact speed for chip mounting. Our products have won a high reputation on the market for speed, accuracy and reliability.

* IM is the abbreviation for Intelligent Machinery.

Summary of the New Office


IM Hong Kong Office


414 Kwun Tong Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong


Sales and service activities of surface mounters

(About domestic and overseas business bases)
Prior to this new Hong Kong office, IM Company has established the following offices in Japan and overseas for the purpose of promoting sales and service of our surface mounters and other industrial robots. These offices are part of our ongoing efforts to provide improved functions and better user service.

IM Company Head Quarters

(Hamamatsu, Shizuoka)


Hong Kong Office


Established Oct. 1, 2001

Shanghai Office

(Pos Plaza Office Tower)

Established Jun. 1, 2001


(Cecil Street, Singapore)

Established Feb. 1, 1997

Kansai Sales Office

(Kobe City, Japan)

Established Apr. 1, 1988

Hokuriku Sales Office

(Ishikawa Pref., Japan)

Established Sept. 1, 1999

About IM Company

Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. began research and development of industrial robots in 1974 with the aim of increasing the production line efficiency and parts processing accuracy in its own factories. In 1976 we succeeded in the development of our own XY cartesian robot for engine part assembly, and this was soon followed by the introduction of our first horizontal multi-jointed (SCARA type) robot "CAME" for use on our motorcycle assembly lines. Based on these successes, we announced our entry in the industrial robot industry in February of 1981.
In October 1983, we completed development of our first robot for external sales, the horizontal multi-jointed robot "YK7000," and in February of '84 we established our IM Operations division to begin for full-fledged robot business and sales efforts were begun in Japan and abroad. Since then we have continued to develop and market model after model of the horizontal multi-joint robots, XY cartesian robots and single-axis cartesian robots that contribute to factory automation.
In January of 1987 we expanded our product line into the field of surface mounters for mounting electronic components on printed circuit boards with the successful development of our "YM4600S" surface mounter.
In November of 1991, our "IM Technical Center" was completed in Hamamatsu City. Then, in April of '93 we absorbed through a merger Yamaha Shatai Co., Ltd., the factory that had been manufacturing our industrial robots, thus making us a comprehensive manufacturer and marketer with an organization that now included full span of industrial robot business from manufacturing and market to technology.
Overseas, we signed a tie-up agreement with Holland's Philips E.M.T. in October 1987 for the development, manufacture and sales of surface mounters that gave us a foothold in the European and US markets. Meanwhile, we also established an office in Singapore to pursue increased sales and after-service in Asia through dealers.

Although many companies have continued to be reluctant to invest in facilities since the bursting of Japan's economic bubble, there is still a high level of interest in the problems of the workplace environment, the lack of workers in the manufacturing sector due to need to reduce work hours, the trend toward fewer employees in order to rationalize business and the desire to reduce labor, there remains a strong demand for industrial robots.
In the last few years, there has been a big increase in the number of products such as computers, cellular phones and multimedia related products requiring large numbers of electronic parts, and at the same time durable goods like automobiles are also using an increasing number of electronic components. As a result, there has been a rapid growth in demand for the surface mounters that mount electronic parts on printed circuit boards. While the industry as a whole has been affected by the so-called semiconductor recession and the general economic downturn since the first half of 2000, on the other hand we have seen a trend toward greater concentration of electronic parts on circuit boards and more use of odd-shaped parts. This has resulted in a shift in surface mounter demand away from the high-speed, mass production models specialized in mounting smaller chips that used to be the standard. Instead, manufacturers are choosing mid-class models with greater versatility for handling a wider variety of precision parts and irregular shaped parts and mounting them with a high degree of accuracy. Yamaha has long been the domestic market leader in this mid-class machine sector, and as of May of 2001 we have introduced our YV-Xg series "module type high-speed mounters" that achieve work speed comparable to the high-speed models while still being mid-class size machines. In this way we are continuing to lead the industry with our aggressive development of new products that answer the needs of the market.

* "CAME" is the abbreviation for Computer Aided Manufacturing Equipment

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