Yaskawa celebrates 100th anniversary

Local subsidiary hosts event to mark milestone.

Yaskawa Electric Corporation (Yaskawa), headquartered in Kita-Kyushu, Japan, commemorated their 100th anniversary during 2015 across all global locations in 28 countries. In addition to the centenary celebration, Yaskawa designed a new corporate logo and identity as a symbol of evolution and future growth.

Yaskawa was started in 1915 as a producer of coal mining equipment by Daigoro Yasukawa, known today as the founder. During the 20th century, Yaskawa developed technology innovations such as the super synchronous motor, minertia motor and Motoman L10 robot. Today, Yaskawa is one of the leaders in developing and manufacturing robotics and automation solutions, with approximately $3 billion (US Dollars) in annual revenue and over 14 000 global employees.


Manfred Stern, CEO of Yaskawa Europe, Corporate Vice President of Yaskawa Electric Corporation and Regional Head of Europe / Middle East / Africa, Japanese Ambassador to South Africa, H.E. Shigeyuki Hirokiof and Terry Rosenberg of Yaskawa Southern Africa

“Celebrating our 100-year anniversary provides an opportunity to reflect on the values that have made us successful,” said Junji Tsuda, chairman and president of Yaskawa.

“Our ability to develop products that help society progress will ensure a prosperous future for Yaskawa and our customers.”

In celebration of the anniversary the industrial giant unveiled its “Robot Village” complex where visitors can view and interact with its advanced robotic technologies, which includes a renovation of the Kita-Kyushu Headquarters.

The highlight of the renovated manufacturing and headquarters facility is the Yaskawa Innovation Center, which houses around 50 or so state-of-the-art robots that are used in medical research, manufacturing and other fields. Some can perform complicated human arm movements.

The company spent more than 10 billion yen ($80 million) on the redevelopment project to commemorate the 100th anniversary of its founding this year, and hopes the facility will prove popular with local residents, particularly children.


Iain Liddell of Combination Products, Hans-Peter Neth of Retecon Machine Tools and Alfred Grau of AGM Maschinenbau


Uli Retter of Kare Sheet Metal with Claudio Ferrari and Sietse Walma van der Molen, both of Budget Sheet Metal


Colin and Lisa Brings of Yaskawa Southern Africa with Peter Erasmus of Directech

“We want to show children the future and its potential, and something they will not learn in school,” said Junji Tsuda.

“Even though we are a global company, we want each of our offices and facilities to take root in the region where they are based,” he said.

“We want the ‘robot village’ to blend in with the local community and become a model for our other businesses in and out of Japan.”

“For any organisation, company or brand, the ability to stay relevant and provide value to customers for a century is an extraordinary accomplishment,” said Terry Rosenberg, Managing Director of Yaskawa Southern Africa.

“For Yaskawa, we feel fortunate to provide products and solutions that help advance society and alleviate people from jobs that are dirty, dangerous or dull.”

“We are a very customer-centric organisation. We have and will continue to invest in people, products and technology that prioritises customers, and their satisfaction, to the highest level.”

About Yaskawa Southern Africa
Founded in 1991 as Robotic Systems (Pty) Limited the company was acquired by
Yaskawa in May 2012. Yaskawa and Robotic Systems had previously worked together on the basis of a supplier/distributor partnership since Robotic Systems’ establishment. The company also represented Motoman Robotics, a wholly owned subsidiary of Yaskawa since inception of the company. Motoman offers both general purpose and application-specific robots for a wide range of applications, including arc welding, assembly, coating, dispensing, material cutting, material handling, material removal, packaging, palletizing and spot welding.


Peter Middleton of Fusion, Sean Blake of SAIW and Mark Gutridge of Brink Towing Systems


Charl Weyers of CRH, Kurt Rosenberg of Yaskawa Southern Africa and Eric Kaeflein of Afropak


Graham Hartly and Antonio Villanella, both of Efficient Engineering with Kristi Kruger of Yaskawa Southern Africa

In November 2015 Yaskawa Southern Africa, which is based in Longmeadow Business Estate, Modderfontein, Gauteng hosted an event for local clients and dignitaries from Europe and Japan to mark the milestone. Below are a selection of photos from the evening.

For further details contact Yaskawa Southern Africa TEL: 011 608 3182 or visit www.yaskawa.za.com