Kubota confirms major plant expansion to help meet mini-excavator demand

KUBOTA Corporation has announced plans for a £100 million expansion of its main mini-excavator manufacturing facility in Hirakata, Japan.

The move will see Kubota increase annual production capability from 48,000 to 78,000 units, which the firm said will help tackle high demand across Europe and North America, as well as future demand predicted in Asia and other emerging markets.

An entirely new building will be erected and focus on the painting and assembly of the machines, ‘streamlining’ the manufacturing process and creating more workspace to allow for more machining and welding equipment. Kubota said it expects the start of operations for the assembly line to commence in Q4 2024, with the painting line becoming operational a year later.

“The increase in production capacity perfectly aligns with the ambition and expectation for a growth in demand for mini-excavator technologies here in the UK, and across the construction industry as a whole,” said Rob White, division manager, construction, Kubota UK.

“Expanding production capabilities by more than 60% ensures Kubota UK will be able to continue providing its customers with good lead times and access to the latest mini-excavator technologies, as demand increases. And of course, all of this will continue to be supported through our vital dealer network and aftersales offering to ensure Kubota remains first choice in the UK and Ireland for mini-excavators.”

Kubota is also investing in new technologies that will be included within its new manufacturing process. The new painting process will adopt an ‘environmentally friendly’ powder that is said to minimise paint loss and reduce volatile organic compounds (VOC), in addition to the electrodeposition painting, which helps towards anti-rust prevention.

The company also plans to reuse the heat generated by these coating processes and employ solar power generation equipment on the roof of the new building.