Minebea was founded in 1951 as Japan’s first manufacturer to specialize in miniature ball bearings. At present, the Minebea Group encompasses 42 subsidiaries and affiliates, which operate 28 manufacturing plants and 43 sales offices in 13 countries and employ over 50,000 people.
In addition to manufacturing bearings and small motors, Minebea is a leading supplier of other electronic devices and components, including keyboards, speakers, lighting devices for LCDs, MOD drive subassemblies and measuring equipment.
Minebea’s main product line is ball bearings. Minebea is the world’s leading manufacturer of miniature and small sized ball bearings, up to 22mm in external diameter, and has a global market share in excess of 60%. Minebea’s bearing line also includes a broad selection of rod-end, spherical and other bearings for the aerospace market.
Rotary components comprise the second pillar of Minebea’s operations and date back more than three decades. Principal products in this category include Fans and Blowers, Brush DC, and stepping motors. Most of the parts used in Minebea’s small motors – from machined parts, such as ball bearings, shafts and gears, to pressed parts, such as frames and rotors, plastic injection molded parts, die cast parts and magnets – are produced in-house, giving Minebea an unmatched advantage in terms of quality, supply capabilities, lead time and manufacturing costs.
Minebea’s principal competitive advantages are its ultra precision machining and mass production technologies. Customers today demand ball bearings manufactured with 0.001 micron precision. The ultra precision machining and mass production technologies Minebea has amassed over the past 50 years enables it to achieve levels of precision unmatched by its competitors. Minebea also uses these technologies in the production of its other mainstay components.
Another key competitive advantage for Minebea is its vertically integrated manufacturing system, which encompasses design and research; production and maintenance of dies; production of parts for in house use and assembly and testing. This system gives Minebea sharp edge in terms of quality, supply capabilities, lead time and manufacturing costs. All of Minebea’s mass production facilities worldwide operate under the same vertically integrated manufacturing system. Productive, organic links between facilities – especially those in Thailand, China and Singapore – which account for approximately 80% of the Minebea Group’s production output – ensure the effective integration of Minebea’s vertically integrated manufacturing system and mass production technologies.
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