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Business trends

Japanese mold makers break into new businesses

Electric cars offer hope as lower value component-making moves abroad

KTX's precisely machined electroformed molds can reproduce human fingerprints and maple leaf veins.

TOKYO/OSAKA -- After a spell in the doldrums, Japan's mold-making industry has rallied in recent years. Increasingly popular electric vehicles do away with the engines that are many mold-makers' bread and butter. But some manufacturers are honing their techniques to make products for battery-powered cars.

KTX, in central Japan's Aichi Prefecture, has won fans among automakers. "Customers' views on our technology have changed significantly," said Taichi Noda, the company's president and CEO. Its sales have jumped 20% over the past three years, thanks to its porous electroformed molds.

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