Osaka Vacuum – Building strong relationships with China

Established in the center of Osaka in 1950, Osaka Vacuum is an award-winning company in the development, manufacture, sales and maintenance of vacuum systems and pumps.

The company’s products, from low to ultra-high vacuums are used in many applications across various sectors including the automobile and the semiconductor industries where it is critical that vacuum pumps handle harsh process conditions and corrosive gases.

Osaka Vacuum invented the world’s first compound Turbo Molecular Pump (TMP) which is today the global standard for rotor design.

In 1990, the company also produced the world’s largest TMP which recorded an exhaust-pumping speed of 25,000 liters per seconds.

Bridges spoke with the company founder’s son and president and chief executive officer, Kasaoka Kazuyuki, ahead of the 17th Shanghai International Adhesive Tape Functional Film & Optical Film Expo (APFE2021)taking place from May 26 to 28, 2021, regarding his plans for the company and his interest in the Chinese market.

Bridges: How did Osaka Vacuum’s business develop?

Kasaoka: My father, an aviation engineer that graduated from the University of Tokyo, started the company over seventy years ago. Today we are one of the longest-established vacuum companies in Japan with multiple ‘world-first’ developments including our ‘Extreme high vacuum Maglev’ Turbo Molecular Pump.

Our global expansion began in 1991 with the opening of our first overseas branch office serving the semiconductor industry in Silicon Valley in San Jose, North America. We also have a branch office in South Korea and shortly after we celebrated our fiftieth anniversary, we opened our Shanghai subsidiary company in 2001. I am very proud of this as I participated in a short-term Mandarin language training course at the Fudan University in Shanghai to familiarize myself with Chinese culture.

In which sectors are you most active and what are your plans for the Chinese market?

The optical parts industry represents over twenty percent of our business and the semiconductor sector accounts for twenty five percent. We are active in many other sectors including chemical, automotive, electrical devices, food and medical.

We anticipate increased demand for electronic components, including semiconductors and we are focusing on the Chinese market as a region because of the economy’s strong manufacturing capabilities. We believe that innovation does not occur suddenly. It is based on continuity and founded on past achievements. Quality and performance are very important and to gain our user’s confidence, we emphasize cooperation in solving their process problems.

How have you succeeded in China?

The company we established in China was a production type, licensed and wholly-owned subsidiary in Shanghai’s Pudong district in 2001. Full-scale sales activities began in 2007. From the beginning of our business in China, we concentrated on developing our sales channels for Chinese companies and not rely entirely on Japanese companies present in China.

What have you learned from doing business in China?

For more than twenty years, many highly-skilled Chinese engineers worked in North America’s semiconductor and electronic components companies. Consequently, Chinese people contributed to the development of the semiconductor industry. Today, China has the world’s largest semiconductor industry and has become a technology hub.

Osaka and Shanghai are only two hours away, with dozens of flights a day. In order to take advantage of Osaka’s location and cultural characteristics, we are focusing on incorporating our Chinese business into our business plan. As Japanese nationals, we are able to easily communicate with our Chinese counterparts. Japanese can easily understand written Chinese symbols, having studied this from China 2,000 years ago.

What does the future hold for Osaka Vacuum?

We will continue our current business strategy and place our management efforts and resources into the semiconductor, electronic parts and optical parts industries.

Our dream for the next five years is to evolve from a Japanese vacuum company to an East Asian vacuum company by focusing on our core expertise in vacuum related business.

Kasaoka Kazuyuki, Chief Executive Officer

To realize this goal, we intend to continue building strong relationships with China, the Chinese people and our business partners.

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