Special Feature 2013 - Looking Ahead 100 Years to Evolve as a Truly Indispensable Business

1. Nidec’s Motors for People’s Lives and the Environment

Core Strength Hinging on Technological Capability

Motors, essential to “products that spin and move,” help develop IT, automobile, home appliance, industrial machinery, and so many other areas of business, while enriching people’s lives. Nidec wishes, with the use of advanced technology, to continue to provide products that help improve people’s lives and lower environmental burden.

For a Better Life and Eco-conscious Business

Since its inception in the 19th century, motors have been the core modern-day industrial development. Motors, now used not only in the world’s industries but also so many electric products in our houses, are believed to consume approximately 50% of all electric power generated around the world.
With the recent worldwide power shortage due to emerging countries’ economic development, environmental concerns, etc., how to use power more efficiently is a major issue for all of us.
In other words, not only are motors essential in enriching our lives, they significantly affect global environmental sustainability.*1
Nidec, a company determined to become the world’s No. 1 comprehensive motor manufacturer, is committed to energy saving and addressing environmental issues by supplying energy-efficient motors.

Being able to maintain economic, social, and other human activities for a long time into the future.

Growing in Tandem with IT Innovation

Nidec since its birth in July 1973 has been committed to satisfying the needs for a better life by supplying various industries with its motors, including hard disk drives (HDD) brushless DC motors for personal computers (PCs) and servers, the market for which the company has been producing products since the earliest days of personal computing in the 1980’s.
Today, PCs have become far more convenient and comfortable to use than they were a generation ago. Nidec has satisfied all PC-related needs – increasing HDD capacity, making the PC smaller, making it more efficient, etc. – by improving our motors’ rotating precision, and producing lighter and more efficient motors.
The FDB (fluid dynamic bearing) technology was something we successfully put into actual use during this process. This technology, which utilizes a type of special oil in place of the conventional metal balls for motors’ bearings (ball bearings), eliminates metal-to-metal contact and significantly improves motors’ rotating speed and precision. In addition, the technology uses less metal components, enabling us to produce lighter and more energy-efficient motors.
Such technological improvements of motor components are the core in realizing an energy-efficient, high-speed rotating HDD that is lighter, better performing, and more efficient that its predecessors.

Energy-saving Motors That Improve Automobiles’ Environmental Performance

Nidec’s dedication to automotive-motor development dates back to the mid-1990s.
Car manufacturers at that time were seeking ways to replace the conventional hydraulic power steering driving system with an electric alternative (electric power steering, or EPS) to make their vehicles more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly. Appreciated for its superior compactness and energy efficiency conducive to better fuel economy and lower CO2 emissions, Nidec’s EPS motors were first accepted by European automobile manufacturers, followed by Japanese, North American, Chinese and other car makers. The market for EPS motors which demonstrate fuel efficiency approximately 5% higher than their hydraulic counterparts is expected to continue to expand.

In addition, increasing types and numbers of motors –60-100 units coming in 40-60 types – are installed in every vehicle for better fuel efficiency, less environmental burden, and better safety. Nidec supplies more than 20 types of automotive motors, including EPS, engine cooling, seat adjustment, brake assistance motors. We intend to provide automobiles all over the world with our energy-saving motors, and contribute to reducing vehicle CO2 emissions and other environmental burdens.

Embracing New Era of Changes with Broadened Technological Horizons

Nidec has strived to create high-efficiency and high-performance motors to satisfy various social needs, particularly in areas where key considerations are given to “the environment” and “comfort.” In recent years we have seen market needs changing ever more quickly and product life cycles shrinking drastically, the fact keenly demonstrated by wave after wave of smartphones and tablets taking over feature phones and PCs at a stunning pace. In a time of such fundamental market changes, our experiences underscore the importance of flexible technological horizons readily adaptable to varying customer needs.

Among all technologies involved in our production activities, ranging from product design to manufacturing, elemental technologies are particularly important in terms of creating and nurturing technological versatility.
As explained already, we have successfully produced the FDB, an elemental technology-based, totally new type of bearing, in the area of HDD motors. The FDB, which enables low-vibration and noise high-speed revolution, is used as thin PCs’ and tablet devices’ cooling fan motors, while other usages, such as automobile seats and data center servers, are being considered.
Advancing basic technology’s superiority enables product manufacturing regardless of the products’ final usage or market type. Nidec aims to strengthen its basic technology to satisfy future needs.

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