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 36 manufacturing plants and 40 sales offices in 18 countries
and employ over 50,000 people.
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
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.
In addition to manufacturing bearings and small motors, Minebea is a leading supplier of other
electronic devices and components, including LED backlights for consumer products, lighting devices for LCDs, MOD drive
subassemblies and measuring equipment.
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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