InterPV magazine met with Hiroshi Nakano, President of Nisshinbo Mechatronics at Expo Solar 2011. As the head of one of the most respected Japanese solar equipment companies, Nakano has been busy with many visitors at Nisshinbo Mechatronics’ booth.
Reported by Stella Lee (email@example.com)
Nisshinbo Mechatronics is a leading producer of PV manufacturing equipment. What exactly is your main product?
Nisshinbo is providing all the facilities needed for module manufacturing. We supply a wide range of products, from photovoltaic module laminator, assembler, EL inspection system to photovoltaic cell testers for acceptance and shipment inspections.
How long have you been in this market and why did you get into Solar?
We started the development of manufacturing facilities for photovoltaic modules in 2002 to become an environmental company. Actually Nisshinbo got through the toughest time in late 1990s. We were trying to develop detailed plans to cope with such crisis. As a result, Nisshinbo decided to introduce PV module manufacturing equipment to the market.
What advantage does Nisshinbo offer over other PV manufacturing equipment providers? What will make you different in which technologies win the deal?
We have greatly surpassed our competitors in market share in Japan. Nisshinbo is a name trusted through the country and over the world. We think that PV modules have a life span of over 25 years. Many companies make empty promise of that issue, but we’re putting them in practice. We build up a better business relationship with our customers in the global market.
Do you have customers lined up to purchase the product, and if so, who want or already are your partner?
We’re expanded our business by providing the special purpose machine and precision parts processing service best suited to our customers in Japan, Korea, China, U.S.A. and Europe while maximizing our accumulated expertise. It could be said most of the PV module manufacturers based in Asia are our customers.
In the future, do you anticipate the PV side being the largest percentage of Nisshinbo Group?
The sales of PV module equipment business account for about 10% of Nisshinbo Group’s annual revenues from March 2009 to March 2010. It will continue to make up the majority of sales. The new green energy policies at home and abroad led to an increase in module equipment manufacturing investments.
Are you satisfied with the Japanese government’s policies for encouraging use of solar energy like FiT?
We’re not affected directly from the FiT, but we know the government thinks they should put emphasis on renewable energy sources, such as solar power.
Where will the Asian PV industry be in five years?
Nearly 80% of solar PV modules were produced in Asia in 2010 and that the share will rise this year. Asia-Pacific region holds the biggest sustainable growth opportunity for solar energy through 2015.
What do you think is Nisshinbo Mechatronics’ own corporate culture?
We insist Nisshinbo is the eco-company, so we shall contribute broadly toward enhancing the comfortable lifestyles and cultures of people around the world. We aim to achieve harmony with society and conduct business activities based on the belief that companies are public entity.
You’re saying Nisshinbo Mechatronics is the eco-company, so I’m wondering if you have an idea about launching another renewable business?
We make use of Nisshinbo Group’s know-how in its efforts for evolution into the eco-company targeted in the corporate philosophy and provides photovoltaic facilities and other products and services to support emergence of the sustainable, recycling-oriented society. At present, various types of environmental technology are being advocated to curtail global warming caused by massive consumption of fossil fuels (the traditional energy resources) and the shrinkage of forested area accompanying population increase worldwide and the fast-paced economic growth of emerging countries.
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