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Business trends

Tight supply of key component rattles Japan's machinery sector

Lack of linear guides holds up machine tool production for many industries

Linear guide systems are essential components in large industrial robots like this.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Despite orders for machine tools in Japan hitting a 10-year high in 2017, machine tool makers are far from sanguine as the effects of a linear guide shortage begin to be felt.

The guides allow machine tools to perform precise positioning operations, and are found in medical equipment, industrial robots, and manufacturing systems for semiconductors and liquid crystal displays, among other devices.

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