Hitachi To Boost Mini-Ex Capacity To Meet U.S. Demand

Posted on November 15, 2005

Hitachi Construction Machinery Co. said it plans to raise its production capacity for its mini-excavators by 40% by the end of fiscal 2006 according to the Nikkei Business Daily. Hitachi said the increase is due to growing demand, particularly in the U.S., with the recently passed highway bill being a major driver . Hitachi said it has also received an order for 600 additional machines from business partner John Deere Ltd. in anticipation of reconstruction efforts in the wake of the series of hurricanes in the U.S.

Hitachi said it will spend about 400 million yen to expand a Shiga Prefecture plant operated by Hitachi Construction Machinery Tierra Co., its subsidiary that produces mini-excavators. As part of the project, such finishing touches as final inspections and fixing uneven paint jobs will be conducted on the same site as the assembly line, eliminating what has been a production bottleneck. The company said the assembly line layout will also be revised to boost efficiency. Overall, the firm plans to spend around 1.2 billion yen on the project.

By expanding the factory and altering its layout, Hitachi Construction Machinery expects to raise production capacity without adding staff. It is targeting output of 50 units based on an eight-hour workday, up from the current 36.