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Yaskawa Electric Building European Robot Parts Centre in Ribnica

Ribnica, 23 January (STA) - The world's largest producer of industrial robots Yaskawa Electric is in the midst of developing a production centre for Europe in the town of Ribnica, some 35 km south of Ljubljana.

The Ribnica plant will become a strategic supplier for all subsidiaries of the Japanese group in Europe, its head told STA.

The plant is an upgrade of the existing activities at Yaskawa's Slovenian operations, Motoman Robotec and Yaskawa Ristro.

Director of the two companies Hubert Kosler said that that the companies were expected to finish the current financial year ending in February with revenues of EUR 3.2m and EUR 7m, respectively.

As part o the expansion, revenues at the latter should rise to EUR 12-15m in the next financial year.

The two companies currently employ 62 staff, with that number expected to rise by 30 in the next financial year as a result of the expansion drive. The hirings will include areas of planning, IT development and project management.

More new jobs are to be created the the year after that as revenues and production continue to rise at similar growth rates, Kosler said.

As part of the development drive, Yaskawa's operations in Slovenia, which date back to the early 1990s, will be merged into Yaskawa Slovenija.

Kosler explained that due to the competitiveness and strong performance of both Slovenian companies, Yaskawa Europe decided to shift all engineering and production from its plant in Munich to Ribnica.

This will make the Ribnica plants the strategic suppliers for all of Yaskawa's companies in Europe.

According to Kosler, the two Slovenian companies are working closely with the universities in Ljubljana and Maribor and have in recent years started to build ties with Slovenia's premiere research institute, the Jozef Stefan Institute.

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