Corp. is considering building a U.S. manufacturing facility for
its GreenFrame Series structural aluminum frames and other
products used in the factory automation, furniture, and
architectural and construction sectors, a company executive
Japan-based machinery and components makers this past week
introduced the GreenFrame Series to the North American market
at the Automation Technology Expo in Chicago. SUS sources
aluminum for the product from Thailand, but would look to get
product locally if a U.S. location were built, SUS president
Yasuo Ishida said in an interview with AMM.
"As the business
grows, we hope that we can work together with U.S. extrusion
factories to supply aluminum," Ishida said via a translator,
although he noted that the company hadnt contacted U.S.
extruders yet. "We are still researching."
Its also too
early to say where a U.S. facility might be located, a company
spokeswoman told AMM Sept. 12.
The GreenFrame Series
is already widely used in auto assembly plants in Japan and
elsewhere in Asia, Ishida said. In North America, the product
is at work at some Toyota Motor Corp. facilities, Nissan Motor
Co. Ltd. and Mazda Motor Corp. plants in Mexico, and automotive
supplier Denso Corp.s operations in Michigan and
Tennessee, he said.
SUS hopes to see the
GreenFrame Series gain traction among other automotive
companies and perhaps in other industries as well, Ishida said.
Its too early to say how much SUS might invest in the
United States, what the capacity of any U.S. facility might be
or how many people it might employ, he said.
"That is something we
would have to make a decision on based on the sales performance
and the orders coming in," Ishida said. But if "everything goes
well," a U.S. facility could be in the cards within the next
two years, he said.
Ishida touted the
companys GreenFrame Series, rolled out in Japan a decade
ago and elsewhere overseas about six years ago, as more
corrosion resistant and roughly half the weight of a similar
He conceded that it
might be more expensive initially than a comparable steel
system, but argued that its benefitsincluding its light
weight that makes it easier to useoffsets the higher
up-front cost. Other GreenFrame Series benefits include ease of
assembly and a semi-automated "Karakuri" system that relies
primarily on gravity instead of electricity for movement, he
While the GreenFrame
Series is currently deployed to a limited extent in the North
American automotive sector, SUS would like to see the system
expand into other industries and, if successful, to introduce
other company products to North America, Ishida said. A U.S.
factory would likely be able to produce the GreenFrame Series
and other products, he said.
(aluminum) still has a new history, and when it comes to its
applications and uses its not completely matured yet," he
said. "We are at this time introducing only the (GreenFrame)
Series. However, as a company ... we are hoping to be able to
introduce more of our product lines to the U.S. in the future,"
Ishida said, adding that those products include systems for
automotive assemblies along with items as basic as household