Case study

Case study

Yaskawa Poland – the world leader in mechatronics on the Polish market

Yaskawa is a company with a long tradition. It was established over 100 years ago in Japan, starting its activity with the production of electric motors. Today, it is a global leader in the field of robotics and industrial automation, which has had its own branch in Poland for 4 years, located in the Wrocław Technology Park. What was the way to its creation?

Yaskawa is a company present on all continents, employing 14,500 qualified employees all over the world. Innovations are permanently inscribed in its DNA.

Yaskawa was founded on the will to help others and to develop technology to improve work and social life.
The founder of the company, Daigorou Yasukawa, developed the first automatic drives for conveyors used in mines, which relieved the workers working in them. It was from this idea that our company was born, which has been associated with the highest quality drives for over 100 years
– says Artur Wojewoda, president of Yaskawa Poland.

Yaskawa was one of the first companies in the world to create an industrial robot. The main axis of its activity is mechatronics, which is everything that combines electrics, mechanics, electronics and software. It has been a leader in the production of drives for decades. Its industrial robots, developed over the years under the MOTOMAN brand, are known all over the world. The company started its operations in Europe over 40 years ago, opening 23 branches and 8 factories, and employing nearly 2,000 employees. By conquering new local markets, in 2016, it opened a branch also in our country.

The potential of the Polish market

For many years, Poland was perceived as a satellite of the company’s European headquarters in Germany, but the inflow of foreign investments to our country and the increase in the automation potential of Polish industry in recent decades changed this system. Domestic companies had to start the automation process in order to develop further and be able to compete in international markets. All this created the right conditions for us to enter the Polish market. Initially, a representative office was established – together with Marek Bukieda (then responsible for sales and now a member of the Management Board), there were only two of us. We managed to generate high revenues, thanks to which we convinced the European headquarters of the company to open an official branch in Poland. For 10 years, we have built the foundations that allow us to establish a company that employs 18 people today. The scale of our development is also shown by our goals – at the beginning we wanted to achieve a turnover of PLN 8-10 million, today they oscillate around PLN 30 million – opowiada prezes Yaskawa Polska.

Although the official Polish branch of the company was established in 2016, Yaskawa industrial robots, previously known as MOTOMAN, had been operating in Poland since the 90s. In 2012, the company introduced over 600 robots and systems to the domestic market. Today there are over 1,600 of them, and the number is constantly growing.

The last decade has been very beneficial for us – the high level of investments, falling unemployment and the opening of the Polish market to innovations have created ideal conditions for the development of our company. You can even say that the market has helped us over the last few years. The first big challenge, somehow disrupting the natural development process, is the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic. However, automation and robotization have become a permanent part of the awareness of enterprises as a way for faster and more effective production and operation of industrial business – comments Wojewoda.

It should be added, however, that our branch has never had a reduced tariff from the headquarters. Yes, it invested capital, but after a few months we had to support ourselves and achieve specific sales targets, record an annual growth of 25%. The challenge for us was the transfer of knowledge and building a specialized team – these are key factors that allow us to achieve sales success, especially the implementation of large investments, thanks to which we gain our own experience and develop local competences – adds president of Yakasawa Poland.

The portfolio of Yaskawa Polska includes clients from various sectors – from small enterprises to large international corporations. It includes companies that are important both on the Polish and foreign markets, including, for example, manufacturers of wooden products such as yachts, manufacturers of compressors, but also companies from the food industry. The company also supplies products for foreign companies that develop their plants in Poland, e.g. for Bridgestone. Yaskawa beats the competition because its offer in the field of mechatronics is very wide. It offers over 100 industrial robots alone. The company’s range of drives is even wider.

Of course, it happens that we also fulfill orders for individually prepared products, tailored to the customer’s needs. This is possible due to the fact that Yaskawa has its own production facilities not only in Japan, but also locally in Europe– adds Artur Wojewoda.

Local competence development

Yaskawa Polska runs the Yaskawa Academy, which is part of a larger European project. In the company’s showroom, which already has over 100 sq m. space, not only its solutions are presented, but also educational, testing and research and development goals are implemented. Thanks to this, the company intends to build local competences and carry out research and development projects concerning, among other things, vision systems and software. All these projects are carried out in Wrocław.

We chose Wrocław as the seat of the Polish branch of Yaskawa, because both me and Marek Bukieda, with whom we started building the Polish representative office of Yaskawa, are connected with this region. We believe that Wrocław is a good place for business development, conducive to entrepreneurship. We opened our branch in WPT, because it is a place where we have the opportunity to develop – expand our space, both office and production purposes, along with the company’s growth – explains president of Yaskawa Poland.

Today, Yaskawa Poland focuses on the development of its team – it wants to double its number in the coming years. The company also plans to develop its own research and development department.

We want to develop our competences and implement R&D projects as part of the Yaskawa Academy. Thanks to the local development of competences and experience, we will be able to make an additional contribution to the entire group. We know that the Polish market has the potential to do so – says Artur Wojewoda.

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