Digital Society Business Group
With a sense of urgency Aiming to grow into a second core business
The Digital Society Business Group will aim to expand business and contribute to resolving issues facing a digital society by offering various products in the electronics field. Our most important mission is to grow into a second core business to follow the automotive products business. By 2030, we expect overall Digital Society Business sales will reach a scale similar to automotive products, which means nearly doubling our current sales. With the awareness that 2030 is only eight years away, we must emphasize speed as we implement our business strategies.
Our main growth strategy involves significantly increasing resources for the next-generation product development in the SPE business. This will support business expansion and respond to the medium- and long-term needs of the semiconductor manufacturing equipment market, which is expected to see continued growth. We will also allocate human resources in Japan and expand partnerships with our customers as we work to expand business to match the speed of market growth in the US and Asia. For the Electronic Devices Business, we will continue to expand operations in response to increased demand for mainstay products such as piezoelectric micro-actuators for HDDs and bonded wafers. At the same time, we will collaborate with the Corporate NV Creation on marketing for products facing fierce market competition such as the lithium-ion rechargeable battery EnerCera and DCB and AMB substrates. In the Metal-related business, demand trends for wrought products are strong, so we will make large-scale investments in domestic plants to improve domestic production efficiency. We will also share market information, develop applications for production technology, materials, and processing technology, collaborate on DX promotion, and improve efficiency. Through these initiatives, we will generate synergy between the three businesses from various perspectives and help stimulate business.
We will work to realize the NGK Group Vision by continuously challenging ourselves to new endeavors, including developing new products and pioneering and engaging in new markets. This environment will create numerous opportunities for all involved. In particular, this will create opportunities for younger members to gain experience that will lead to growth. I am committed to fostering a spirit of taking on challenges without a fear of failure or change. I will maintain a keen focus on personnel development and utilization while aligning our efforts with head office vectors to lead us towards achieving our goals.
We manufacture and sell ceramics for semiconductor manufacturing equipment that contributes to improving semiconductor manufacturing productivity, piezoelectric micro-actuators required for the precision positioning of magnetic heads that read and write data, and beryllium copper products that improve the reliability of electronic devices and help achieve device miniaturization.
Business overview and forecast
In the fiscal year ended March 2022, sales of products for semiconductor manufacturing equipment (SPE) increased thanks to an increase in shipments driven by favorable conditions on semiconductor markets. Demand for beryllium copper strip, piezoelectric micro-actuators for hard disk drives (HDDs), and ceramic packages were strong, resulting in increased sales.
For fiscal year ending March 2023, we are forecasting net sales of 180 billion yen and operating income of 27 billion yen, both of which represent a year on year increase. Demand for SPE is expected to continue to grow on strong investment sentiment, particularly for foundries. For electronic devices, we are forecasting increased sales of piezoelectric elements for HDDs thanks to favorable data center investments as well as on demand for ceramic packages. In regards to Metal-related products, demand is expected to remain strong, particularly for industrial equipment.
- Using our unique materials technology and manufacturing process technology to engage in fields that are difficult for our competitors
- Closely communicating with customers to develop high value-added products
Recognition of external environment
- Global increase in data traffic
- Increased speeds of mobile communications
- Increased investments in semiconductors to resolve semiconductor shortages
Recognition of external environment
- Misreading our development roadmap
- Trade friction and difficulty in procuring raw materials
- Emergence of local manufacturers
Basic Strategies for the NGK Group Vision: Road to 2050
- By consolidating product groups that contribute to a digital society, we will generate synergy by linking internal and external information.
- Expand sales of DS-related products with a focus on semiconductor-related products, and aim for net sales of over 300 billion yen by 2030
- Develop carbon-neutral products for EV/HV and hydrogen-related infrastructure: DCB and AMB substrates, beryllium copper materials
- Capture expanding demand for semiconductors and electronic components, make timely capital investments, reduce costs and improve productivity
- Incorporate DX (data utilization, process automation) to establish smart factories
- Early profit contributions from new products: Achieve by collaborating with Corporate NV Creation
Products with future growth potential
DCB*1 and AMB*2 substrates
A ceramic circuit board that combines the high heat dissipation properties of copper with the insulation performance of ceramics. These products provide excellent reliability and heat conduction, and are used in the power modules that perform motor drive control and power conversion control for generators. In addition to the electrification of automobiles (EV/HV), we also forecast increased demand for renewable energy and other industrial equipment applications.
*1 DCB: Direct Copper Bonding
*2 AMB: Active Metal Brazing
Insulated heat dissipation circuit board with high heat dissipation and electrical insulation
Note: This interview was conducted in May 2022.