Special Feature 2021 - Integrated Report 2021

Technology Strategy

Evolving the R&D system toward consolidated  net sales of 10 trillion yen by FY2030 Toshihiko Koseki First Senior Vice President

Our company is paying attention to market trends associated with the Five Big Waves* of technological innovation: “automotive electrification,” “expansion of robot applications,” “home appliances driven by brushless DC motors,” “manpower-saving in agriculture and logistics,” and “next-generation technology stemming from 5G communications.” These themes are connected to global issues, such as the reduction of CO2 emissions and responses to the aging of the working population. I believe that the development of product groups that provide solutions to these issues will lead to the fulfillment of Nidec’s mission of “contributing to the Earth by producing the highest quality motors in the world.” We will proceed with research and development while recognizing the importance of the fusion of technology between research and development organizations, leading to the provision of solutions to global issues.

* Please refer to page 19 of "Integrated Report 2021" or "Value Creation Process".

R&D System

We are engaged in research on elemental technologies for motors in general at the development department set up in each business unit as well as at the Nidec Research and Development Center, Japan and the Nidec Research and Development Center, Taiwan, both of which are company-wide common organizations. Our aim is to promote the further advancement of research on elemental technologies, including electronic circuit technology, thermal technology, noise and vibration technology, and control technology. At the Nidec Center for Industrial Science, we are also engaged in research and development with a focus on the evolution of production engineering, which is not bound by existing manufacturing methods, including the realization of smart factories using robots and IoT, the development of new materials and systems, innovation in inspection technology, and data analysis and simulation.
 For open innovation, we established the Nidec Center for Industrial Science in 2015 with the aim of strengthening the foundation of manufacturing and creating technologies that contribute to the world via our academia-institute-corporation networks. In addition, the Nidec Research and Development Center, Taiwan, which was opened in September 2012 and is located in STIR (Southern Taiwan Innovation & Research Park) in the southern district of Taiwan, collaborates with the highly skilled ITRI (Industries Technology Research Institute), MIRDC (Metal Industries Research & Development Centre), major universities, and Taiwanese companies on basic research subjects, such as motor structures and motor control.

Nidec Research and Development Center (Kawasaki)
Nidec Research and Development Center (Kawasaki)
Nidec Center for Industrial Science (Kyoto)
Nidec Center for Industrial Science (Kyoto)

Each business department mainly conducts the following research and development.

Small Precision Motor & Solutions Business

This department is involved in basic and applied research on small precision motors in general, such as small precision DC motors and fan motors, in research and development on new products, and in technical support research for each R&D facility. It also conducts research and development aimed at the mass production of new models of HDD motors and the improvement of product quality.

Automotive Motor & Electric Control Business

The Nidec Shiga Technical Center (Shiga) and the Nidec (Dalian) Limited Technical Center (China) play a central role in research and development aimed at the mass production of new products and models related to various automotive motors, including the EV traction motor system E-Axle, which contribute to the realization of a carbon-free society, as well as the improvement of product quality. The establishment of the Nidec (Dalian) Limited Technical Center in China, where we operate the EV-related business, enables us to provide prompt support to customers and hire local engineers, and this serves as a cornerstone to support our EV-related business.

Nidec (Dalian) Limited Technical Center (China)
Nidec (Dalian) Limited Technical Center (China)

Appliance, Commercial & Industrial Motor Business

This department conducts research and development on motors for home appliances, such as motors for washing machines, dryers, and dishwashers, compressors for refrigerators, and motors for compressors. For residential and commercial motors, it is engaged in research and development on motors for air conditioning equipment, refrigerators, and cooking equipment, geared motors, and motion control motors. For industrial motors, it is involved in the development of motors for water and sewage pumps, irrigation pumps, gas mining pumps, and various other pumps, as well as industrial vehicle driving motors and comprehensive solutions that integrate various power generation and storage systems.

R&D Expenses

R&D expenses for the entire Nidec Group in FY2020 were 67.3 billion yen, accounting for about 4% of consolidated net sales. We plan to continue investing in R&D in the future.

Role of Research and Development in Vision 2025

To achieve the consolidated sales target of 4 trillion yen in Vision 2025, it is important to enhance the product competitiveness of E-Axle, whose market is expanding rapidly. Of particular importance is the development of next-generation models of E-Axle. We recognize that it is difficult to significantly reduce the cost of E-Axle unless its design is fundamentally changed from the existing models. We are currently working on the development of next-generation models while setting a specific cost reduction target for each of the three main components of E-Axle: a motor, a gear, and an inverter.
  In particular, what is most important is that we plan to manufacture main parts, materials and equipment in-house necessary to create E-Axle, which will have two advantages: ① cost reduction and ② stable supply. Regarding cost reduction, we aim to reduce costs by eliminating extra functions included in externally purchased parts and materials and focusing on necessary functions in-house manufacturing. For stable supply, our strategy is to eliminate bottlenecks in the supply caused by sourcing parts, materials, and equipment from outside, through in-house manufacturing. In a market that is expected to expand rapidly, like the EV market, the in-house manufacturing of parts, materials, and equipment will create an overwhelming competitive advantage over the competitors that are likely to emerge with a major expansion of the market.
 Another important point in the development of next-generation models of E-Axle is the standardization of the platform. Currently, the development of E-Axle is individually optimized for each model according to the customer’s requests. However, by accelerating a common design for all models, we can improve resource efficiency, including the human resources required for their development, and as a result, reduce product costs and enhance competitiveness. With the establishment of the “Platform Development Center” in 2021, we have started a project to support the standardization of E-Axle from an organizational aspect.
 Research and development will serve as a cornerstone for Nidec to continue to grow to achieve consolidated net sales of 10 trillion yen. We will conduct research and development on a daily basis without forgetting Nidec’s mission of linking social needs with company growth.

Nidec Group Search