STA, 3 December 2018 - Yaskawa's emerging plant in Kočevje, which was visited by Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek, Japanese Ambassador Masaharu Yoshida and the boss of the Slovenian subsidiary of the Japanese robotics group Hubert Kosler on Monday, will start test runs in January and become fully operational in the second half of next year.
Yaskawa is expected to obtain the operating permit for the plant, where seven types of robots will be manufactured, this month and launch test production in January.
So far the company has employed 30 people, but the number is to grow to between 60 and 70 by March and to 120-150 by March 2020.
The EUR 24.6m investment is then to start operating at full capacity in the second half of the coming year, with the production expected to reach 6,000 robots a year. By 2023 the headcount is to reach around 200.
Economy Minister Počivalšek sees this as a confirmation of Slovenia's status as "an excellent investment location", while Yaskawa's investment will also make the country an important regional player in robotics.
In addition to the plant, the Japanese group plans to establish an R&D centre to strengthen and upgrade cooperation with faculties and institutes including the Faculty Of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Electrical Engineering and the Jožef Stefan Institute.
Počivalšek also pointed out that this plant was a good initiation for another Yaskawa investment planned in Slovenia, a plant that would produce motors, servo regulators and inverters.
Production at plants in Slovenia is to satisfy about 75% of needs for Europe, Middle East and Africa. For the rest of the robots coming from Japan, Slovenia will serve as the main distribution hub.
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