Hitachi Cable knows how to conduct business in the wire and cable industry. It makes antenna and coaxial cable, optical products (fiber optics), semiconductor material, components and materials for automotive use (hoses and sensors), technologies and materials for medical equipment (fiber optics for laser transmission), electronic components (Apresia branded Ethernet switches and thermal antennae for wireless applications), rubber products (escalator handrails and waterproofing materials), copper/clad metal products (superconductors and products for electrical use), and wire and cables (power, electronic, and magnetic). The company has sales bases in 44 locations worldwide. Hitachi Ltd. owns 51% of the company.
The company was highly acquisitive in 2008. It began by acquiring Coupled Products, an automotive hose manufacturer in the US. The new company, renamed Hitachi Cable Florida, is expected to expand the company's share in the brake hose market. The company also established a new company in Vietnam -- Hitachi Cable Vietnam -- to manufacture electronic wires and wiring devices. The new company will oversee a large manufacturing facility that will serve as the core base for manufacturing operations in Southeast Asia. Hitachi Cable purchased Sosey, a manufacturer of rubber rollers for office automation equipment, to further expand its rubber roller business. It additionally acquired about 70% of Austria-based Astral Meditech, a manufacturer of ultrasound probe cables, for about $22 million. It acquired the firm's production base in the Ukraine. Now named Hitachi Cable Austria, the division is expected to help the company expand sales and achieve a 40% market share in probe cables for use in ultrasonic diagnostic equipment. The company purchased a 50% stake in the Kiev-based Akutron, which specializes in the development and manufacture of radioelectronic equipment and wire.
The company experienced operating losses at the end of 2008; sales prices for wires, cable, and copper products plunged. The company announced the closure of its plant in Kentucky by the end of 2010. As part of its restructuring plan, Hitachi Cable divested its subsidiary Euro Wire & Cable Services.
The company keeps focused on advances in manufacturing, and introduced the Hitachi Cable Just-in-Time (JIT) Production System. It also launched its InfiniGreen line of optical active cables which offers six times more bandwidth than current market offerings. – less