Motion Control Resources
Hitachi Metals, Ltd. announces that it will purchase Santoku Corporation (Santoku), a rare earth material maker.
Hitachi Metals America Posted 11/28/2017
Hitachi Metals, Ltd. (hereinafter, “Hitachi Metals”) today entered into a basic agreement with Santoku Corporation (hereinafter, “Santoku”), a comprehensive rare earth manufacturer that covers from raw materials to high-purity compounds and assorted alloys, with regard to procedures to make Santoku a subsidiary of Hitachi Metals through the acquisition of Santoku shares (hereinafter, this “Agreement”).
The acquisition of Santoku as a subsidiary of Hitachi Metals will be subject to the approval of the Japan Fair Trade Commission.
1. Background and Purpose
With NEOMAX® neodymium magnets, the strongest magnet of its kind available in the world, as its mainstay product, Hitachi Metals’ Magnetic Materials Company has been supplying a wide range of high-performance magnets as key materials for downsizing, weight-saving, optimization, energy-saving and improvement of environmental performance in various fields including automobiles, IT, home appliances, industrial machinery, medicine, the environment and energy.
At the same time, Santoku possesses a high level of expertise that includes microstructure control technology for alloys, as evidenced by the fact that Santoku was the first in the world to succeed in the molten salt electrolysis of rare earths*1 as well as the mass production of rare earth rapid quenching alloys*2. Santoku also carries out integrated production from raw materials to high purity compounds and assorted alloys.
As for the manufacturing of neodymium magnet alloys that make up the raw materials of neodymium magnets, specifically, Santoku has a patent related to strip casting process*3 manufacturing technologies and has been recognized as the world’s leading comprehensive rare earth manufacturer.
As significant growth is expected in the global market for xEVs*4, Hitachi Metals has been endeavoring to reinforce the competitiveness of high-performance magnets by boosting the global production system and optimizing material flows that cover from raw materials to end-products. While Hitachi Metals has been investing aggressively in the manufacturing of neodymium magnet alloys and the development of new recycling technologies, it has decided to acquire Santoku as a subsidiary in order to further accelerate such measures.
Through the acquisition of Santoku, Hitachi Metals will aim to develop a stable production system and achieve sustainable growth in the global market by establishing an integrated production system that covers from the manufacturing of alloys and magnets for the neodymium magnets business to recycling.
|*1 Molten salt electrolysis of rare earths:||A method to separate rare earths from oxides containing rare earths by means of electrolysis|
|*2 Rare earth rapid quenching alloys:||Rare earth alloys with refined microstructure through rapid quenching|
|*3 Strip casting process:||A method to rapidly cool molten materials on revolving rolls; a mass production technology for thin strips through unidirectional solidification of neodymium magnet alloys|
|*4 xEVs:||General term for electric vehicles (EVs), hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs)|