In Kočevje, Slovenia, Yaskawa opened a new robot factory. At the beginning of April, Next Robotics is opening an already live option with background information about Yaskawa’s new European location.
The town of Kočevje in Slovenia consists of 9000 inhabitants with a large railway station. The seaport in Koper is also in favor of Slovenia. The components from Japan to the land in the Mediterranean Sea are allowed after the passage of the Suez Canal. The long sea route via Gibraltar to the North Sea ports also saves freighters. Slovenia also confirms an EU Schengen and Euro country connections to the European long-distance road network, ensured via the Austrian network.
Slovenia and Japan hold a long tradition of economic cooperation. This cooperation will also be expanded with the future factory. One of the several reasons is, Yaskawa is the comparatively larger employer with an entire drive technology plant considered to be relocated from Scotland to Slovenia because of Brexit. The next thing is also the settlement of robot technology that is a step toward sustainable high-tech industry in a small country.
The location in Slovenia also got advantages for Yaskawa, it’s a major investor in the Japanese group where a fast building permit was able to be counted with less competition than any larger European countries with a need for recruiting specialists from the region as University is available in Ljubljana.
Bruno Schnekenburger, CEO & President of Yaskawa Europe added: “With this investment, we want to further expand our proximity to customers in Europe and accompany them even more closely on their way into Industry 4.0, not least through first-class local customer service”.
The initial stage has been defined as the primary goal to produce robots from the current Motoman GP (General Purpose) series with a payload of seven to 225 kilograms. The GP (General Purpose) series consists of compact and powerful handling of robots for particularly fast joining, packaging, and general handling applications. On a gross total area of more than 12,000 square meters, 10,000 are used for production. 10,000 Motoman robots per year are offered for the new factory building capacities with a manufacturing unit. Additionally, up to 150 new jobs were created with ten percent in the development department.
As per Manfred Stern, Regional Head of Yaskawa Europe, “The current investments in Slovenia, as recently also in Germany, France, and Sweden, are a strategic component of the Yaskawa Group’s European initiative, which is also anchored in our global corporate goals ‘Vision 2025’, Yaskawa Group was founded in 1915 where it is aiming to shift the technological know-how and production expertise from Europe to Asia”.