A Vision of the (Electric) Future.
It seemed a futuristic fantasy by U.S. standards, since I'd guess that only 10-12% of the injection presses sold here this year are electric driven. But the future has already arrived in Japan. Spokesmen for Toshiba, Sumitomo, and JSW told me that 40% of the Japanese market in sizes under 300 tons was all-electric last year and might hit 60-70% this year. A more sober estimate from Tsukasa Yoda, president of Nissei, pegs current Japanese sales of electric machines at 20-30% of the overall market, a share he predicts could hit 50% in two or three years.
In Japan, electric servos also drive 80-85% of the robots sold today, according to a Kawaguchi source. He says the comparable figure in the U.S. is 10-15%, though he believes it could go to 40-50% in a few years. And in blow molding, a Tahara spokesman says electric machines account for 30-40% of Japanese sales, compared with almost nothing in this country. (We'll look into the potential for all-electric blow molding in next month's cover story.)
Electric machines in Japan are 20-40% more expensive than hydraulic presses, just as they are here. But a clue to their raging success there is that the average cost of electricity is 18[cent]/kwh, versus around 6.5[cent] here. Besides being quiet, clean, and highly precise, electric machines save 30-50% or even more of energy cost.
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|Title Annotation:||International Plastics Fair|
|Comment:||A Vision of the (Electric) Future.(International Plastics Fair)|
|Article Type:||Brief Article|
|Date:||Nov 1, 1999|
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