The Rupp Report: Executive Interview: Noriharu Teraoka, Group Manager Sales, Textile Machinery Division, Toyota Industries Corp.
Rupp Report : What do you expect from 2012 in general?
Noriharu Teraoka : The situation of incoming orders decreased since the second half of 2011, and the market is still slow nowadays. However, we expect a certain recovery later this year.
RR : What is the biggest change you see in the business for your products this year prior to ITMA Asia + CITME?
Teraoka : We see further demand and needs for labor- and energy-saving issues.
RR : What conditions are you experiencing that are most influencing your business and your customers' business?
Teraoka : For sure, it is the instability of the economic situation in consuming markets such as the European Union and the US, as well as the flexibility of money flow in China.
RR : How do you see the current market situation in Asia and Mainland China?
Teraoka : As mentioned before, for Asia in general, the market is slow due to economic instability in export markets such as the European Union and the US. In addition, for the Chinese market, the customers are waiting and expecting the government's credit policy to be changed.
Aggressive Chinese Suppliers
RR : Do you face any problems in China?
Teraoka : As you certainly know, there is a more aggressive market approach by the Chinese machinery manufacturers because they offer low prices.
RR : In your mind, what should be done to solve these problems?
Teraoka : The best thing would be to mitigate the current instability in the European economy.
RR : Are the mills receptive to new technology, or are they on the sidelines?
Teraoka : Yes, for sure. The mills are receptive to new technologies, especially for energy-saving issues.
RR : Is this situation the same all over the world, or is it special in the different regions of the globe?
Teraoka : Between developed regions and developing regions, it was different five years ago, but nowadays there is virtually no difference.
RR : Is the green movement - for example, sustainability - a reality for your customers?
Teraoka : For us, it means - in other words - energy savings. So this should be a reality for our business.
RR : How are you helping your customers to address sustainability issues?
Teraoka : We went through this and experienced it already in the last 20 years in Japan, the US and other developed markets. We can prove our technology to any customer.
RR : Will you show any true novelty for the first time at ITMA Asia + CITME 2012?
Teraoka : Yes, we are exhibiting two new models at ITMA Asia that are different from the exhibits presented at ITMA 2011 in Barcelona.
RR : Please give the readers a short description of the products.
Teraoka : With pleasure. We will show a new air-jet weaving machine with high-speed operation with eight colors, a 16-harness-frame style and an air-saving monitoring system.
On the other hand, we will present a new combing machine with two-twin-drive, count control, a leveling system and a combing optimizer. The features offer consistent, reproducible qualities even at highest speed and performance; as well as an easier operation than conventional combers.
RR : Did you face any problems with product piracy at the last ITMA Asia + CITME?
Teraoka : Yes.
RR : And what did you do?
Teraoka : Well, we sent our intellectual property specialist from Japan, made a survey and took legal actions.
RR : This is very interesting to hear. And was the outcome of your action successful?
Teraoka : We believe it is working, at least as a deterrent effect.
RR : What will you do if you face product piracy again in Shanghai?
Teraoka : Oh, we will take the same action again.
RR : The organizers of ITMA Asia + CITME 2012 declared in a recent Rupp Report that they are committed to fight against any product piracy (See " The Rupp Report: Successful ITMA Asia + CITME 2012 Anticipated," TextileWorld.com, April 17, 2012). Do you think they will be successful?
Teraoka : Of course. However, we cannot expect perfect measures, but we will evaluate their efforts.
Toyota Industries Corp. will be exhibiting at ITMA Asia + CITME 2012 in Hall W2, Booth C02 and Hall E4, Booth B10.
June 12, 2012