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Business trends

Japan companies tap demand to automate factories in China

Mitsubishi Electric, Kawasaki Heavy see opportunity as labor costs rise

Kawasaki Heavy's robot factory in Japan's Hyogo Prefecture. Production of these robots has been moved to China.

TOKYO -- Mitsubishi Electric and Kawasaki Heavy Industries are among Japanese machinery manufacturers moving to produce more robots and factory automation products in China amid a push there to improve factory efficiency.

Mitsubishi Electric plans to invest an estimated 2 billion yen ($17.6 million) to boost the output capacity of motors and numerical control devices for machine tools at a plant in Jiangsu Province. It intends to construct a new building about the same size as the existing one, aiming to bring the new facility onstream this year.

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