Industrial Metrology Business Unit
As of September, 2017
We will promote a solution proposal-based business and pursue the development of cutting-edge technologies.
Senior Vice President
General Manager of Industrial Metrology Business Unit
Q: How would you summarize the fiscal year ended March 31, 2017?
The Industrial Metrology Business Unit recorded year-on-year decreases in both sales and income in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2017, as a result of the bearish domestic market and impacts of unfavorable exchange rates on operations in Europe and the United States. In addition to these external factors, we cannot deny the existence of internal detractors. Specifically, the process spanning from customers’ initial investment decisions to the installation of the 3D metrology systems and automated, non-contact large volume inspection system Laser Radar turned out to require more time than we had initially anticipated. This was a factor that led to delays in the recording of sales. However, these sales will be recorded in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2018.
Over the past several years, we have been working to develop global sales structures and increase Nikon’s global brand recognition. To this end, we established showrooms in locations such as Mexico, Indonesia, and Thailand. We anticipate that these structures will enable us to conduct sales in a timely manner when the market improves.
The Industrial Metrology Business has been positioned as a driver for Nikon’s growth over the medium term, and we made smooth progress in preparing the business to fulfill this role during the fiscal year ended March 31, 2017. Nikon provides unprecedented products that incorporate its non-contact, non-destructive inspection technologies. These products provide inspection methods that differ from previous methods in that they allow for entire batches of items to be inspected without damaging a single article. We hope that these products will see increased use in the automotive industry and other industries in which concern for quality and safety is particularly high. In fact, we have already begun initiatives aimed at realizing practical application of such products at the factories of major automobile and component manufacturers in Japan and Europe. A decent amount of time will still be required for these products to be officially adopted at the mass production phase. However, even though it may take another two or three years, we look forward to the substantial contributions these products will make to earnings going forward.
Q: What are your plans for the future?
The market has continued to display a positive growth trend throughout 2017. Nonetheless, we are operating our business with a focus on profitability based on the assumption of severe market conditions. My mission is thus to manage this business while constructing the ideal structures to enable it to increase both sales and income in a manner befitting of a growth business, even while we maintain our focus on profitability.
Our first move will be to reinforce sales structures. Previously, sales in the Industrial Metrology Business Unit had primarily been conducted through Nikon Group sales companies. However, we are now attempting to break away from our traditional focus on hardware sales to transform into a solution proposal-based business. This transformation will require us to maintain an even more in-depth understanding of customer needs in order to determine the types of solutions we can propose. For this reason, we established the Global Sales Department within the Industrial Metrology Business Unit in June 2017. Utilizing this new department, we will proactively make proposals as a means of meeting customer needs with existing products while also developing new products for the future based on currently apparent customer needs.
The Industrial Metrology Business Unit proudly offers a lineup of products with world-leading levels of performance and unique features. Although our immediate focus will be on profitability going forward, we still intend to continue investing in development to create the products that will support future business growth. We will continuously take on challenges to utilize our cutting-edge technologies in products and solutions.
Industrial microscopes／Measuring instruments／X-ray/CT inspection systems／Surveying instruments