Japan’s Seiko Epson Corp has announced that its subsidiary company, Epson Atmix, is to construct a new factory on a 10,000 m2 plot adjoining its existing Kita-Inter plant, located in the city of Hachinohe, Aomori Prefecture.
The Kita-Inter Plant, which came online in October 2013, produces water atomised superfine alloy powders used in the production of high-performance precision metal injection moulded components for vehicles, smartphones, tablet PCs, wearable products, medical equipment and a wide variety of other products. Epson states that annual global market demand for its superfine powders is growing and this trend is expected to continue for the foreseeable future.
Epson Atmix will invest a total of Yen 1.2 billion in the construction of the new factory, which was planned to begin in March 2016. The factory is scheduled to begin operations in April 2017.
The company reports that the additional facility will focus on back-end processes including the treatment, packaging and shipping of alloy powders and will help to raise overall production efficiency by working in tandem with existing atomisation processes.
It will approximately double the company’s current superfine alloy powder treatment capacity to more than 10,000 tonnes and provide greater supply stability and reduced lead times from order to shipping.
Epson Atmix has a broad lineup of MIM powders that includes stainless steels and low-alloy steels. In addition, the size of powder particles can be adjusted to suit a given application, helping to increase the strength of metal injection moulded parts.