According to the Nikkei Asian Review, Fanuc and Furukawa Electric will establish a joint venture by September 2015 to make components for laser cutting equipment, seeking to cultivate demand by combining complementary strengths.
The 50-50 venture will be set up at a Fanuc site in Oshino, Yamanashi Prefecture. Capitalization, production scale, and workforce size have yet to be determined, but the aim is to launch operations in April 2016. Fanuc will appoint a president.
The company will produce a key component of oscillators that emit fiber lasers, a type of laser light. Laser cutting equipment incorporating such oscillators consumes a third as much energy as machines using carbon dioxide lasers, the current mainstream, while cutting about 30% faster. Each piece of equipment contains several dozen to as many as 200 fiber components.
Furukawa developed the component based on technology cultivated in the communications field. Fanuc will lower manufacturing costs by drawing on its factory automation technology, which includes industrial robots. The two Japanese companies will each combine the components made at the joint venture with other parts to build oscillators for delivery to equipment makers.
This news will be met with interest by investment who are constantly on the lookout for change in the fiber laser cutting market.