Kubota to expand excavator production amidst high North American demand

Kubota excavator.

Kubota Corporation has announced a JPY¥17 billion (CAD$163 million) investment in expanding the production capabilities of its Hirakata Plant—its main mini excavator manufacturing facility in Japan. This expansion is expected to increase annual production capabilities from 48,000 to 78,000 units.

The company will be constructing a new 12,150 square-metre building to handle painting, assembly and other manufacturing processes.

These new production capabilities will ensure Kubota can not only address the high demand in Europe and North America but also the future demand it foresees in Asia and other emerging markets.

Kubota cites that the COVID-19 pandemic has driven an increase in residential construction and generated high demand due to an increase in construction backed by infrastructure investments and urban development.

Furthermore, according to the company, it anticipates this growth in demand to continue primarily in Europe and North America.

This new facility will take over part of the painting and assembly processes, which the company believes will greatly improve production capabilities by creating space to expand existing assembly lines and bring in more machining and welding equipment.

The new painting process that will be implemented adopts an environmentally friendly powder painting that minimizes paint loss and significantly reduces volatile organic compounds (VOC) in addition to the electrodeposition painting, which is superior in rust prevention.

Also, Kubota will reuse the heat generated by these coating processes and employ solar power generation equipment, installed on the roof of the new building, to reduce the environmental impact of its manufacturing processes.

It is projected that the new facility’s assembly operations will commence in October of 2024 and its painting line operations in October of 2025.

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