Press Information

MHI to Enter Laser Beam Machine Business, Aiming to Grow the Business as New Pillar in Machine Tools
-- New Operations Will Also Propose Solutions Applying Cutting-edge In-house Technologies -


Tokyo, July 28, 2014 - Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) is expanding its business operations into the field of laser beam processing machines. Plans call for the company to develop and market highly advanced laser beam machining systems applying world-class laser control and laser beam machining technologies accumulated in-house over the past three decades, the aim being to grow this area into a new pillar of the company's business operations in machine tools. Product development will get under way within the current calendar year. Furthermore, by proposing solutions using its proprietary laser beam machines - for example, for precision machining of materials that are difficult to machine by standard cutting or electrical discharge machining - MHI will also aim to explore needs in a broad range of market.

In preparation for expanding into the laser beam processing machine business, MHI's Machine Tool Division recently put in place a structure that will enable flexible linkage of all in-house laser-related technologies and information concerning the machining levels and functions sought in laser beam machines by the production and processing floors. Specifically, a technology development collection point has been established within a solutions technology center where machine tool-related technologies and machining needs are now being collected. One-stop development and realization of proprietary laser beam machines has become possible by linking the Technology & Innovation Headquarters and research laboratories based on the production technology innovation needs of all business domains and company works.

Laser beam machining offers a number of advantages over conventional cutting. Because no cutting tools are used, no items are subject to wear or deterioration. As there is no machining reaction force, even workpieces of modest rigidity can be machined with outstanding precision. Additionally, machining time can be shortened substantially using optical innovations, and materials that are difficult to machine by electric discharge machines, etc. can be machined swiftly and smoothly.

MHI's laser control and laser beam machining technologies benefit from the company's proprietary optical design technologies for lenses, prisms, etc. as well as from laser beam machining technologies cultivated through cutting-edge in-house operations in such areas as aircraft and aerospace, gas turbines and nuclear power. Now, development of even more high-precision laser beam machine products will be possible through the further integration of the precision positioning technologies of the Machine Tool Division.

Through the years MHI has continually developed laser beam machining technologies responsive to in-company production technology innovation needs. As an example, MHI was the first company in Japan to achieve a hybrid welding method drawing coaxially on the respective strengths of two technologies: its arc welding used in atmospheric discharging and laser welding. For external markets, however, until now the company has supplied only laser oscillators and optical and other core parts and components.

Going forward, in addition to developing products meeting cutting-edge market needs vis-à-vis laser beam machines, MHI will also pursue latent needs through proposal of solutions for specific machining floors. In this way the company will connect its development of even higher value-added technologies to the expansion and enhancement of its product lineup.