Mitsubishi Electric to Build New Satellite Production Facility

Mitsubishi Electric has announced that it will invest approximately 11 billion Yen (about $100 Million USD) to construct a new facility for the production of satellites in Kamakura, Japan.

Together with existing facilities, Mitsubishi Electric will now be able to produce 18 satellites in parallel. Currently they can manufacturer up to 10 in parallel. This increased capacity will help satisfy the growing demand for governmental satellites in Japan and commercial communication satellites worldwide. They are expecting to have space-related revenue of 150 billion Yen by 2021 (Over $1 Billion USD).

The new facility is set to increase production efficiency, shorten production time, reduce costs and elevate product quality for enhanced competitiveness. It will incorporate information technology based on Mitsubishi Electric’s e-Factory solutions, which extract hidden benefits from existing resources through integrated automation to improve efficiencies, reduce costs and increase overall productivity.

Mitsubishi's long involvement with satellites includes the Himawari 7, 8 and 9 weather satellites, the Superbird C2 (Japan's first commercial communications satellite), QZS high-accuracy positioning satellite systems and the TURKSAT 4A and 4B satellites for Turksat A.S of Turkey.

The Japanese market for governmental satellites is expected to grow under the Japanese government's Basic Plan for Space Policy to develop satellites that support daily life, including for observations, communications and positioning, and to promote the commercial use of space for the enhancement of Japan's industrial and scientific infrastructure. In the field of commercial communications satellites, which account for a steady global market, Mitsubishi is now aiming to enhance its position in this market with technologies cultivated for governmental satellites, such as next-generation engineering test satellites.

Some highlights of the new Kamakura facility are:

  • Location: Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan
  • Floor area: 13,000 m2
  • Production Capacity: 18 satellites in parallel (together with existing facilities)
  • Completion: July 2019
  • Investment: Approximately 11 billion yen
  • Green Measures: Solar-powered system, heat pump air-conditioning system, LED lights and energy-management system