On Japan, Robotics, Machine Tools & Manufacturing

A while back we noted that machine tool sales were continuing to fade and that there was alarming news from my boots on the ground source in the industry centered on Japanese builder Mori Seiki.

Machine Tools Fading

In NFTRH we had been following Machine Tool and Robotics builder Fanuc since Q4 of last year, with the idea being that Japanese exporters could get a good bounce due to the BoJ’s Yen killing operations.  Below is a smaller formatted version of that chart.

An astute subscriber noted many months ago that FANUY could fill the lower gap.  I personally did not think that likely until I got the recent inside info on the Machine Tool industry (thanks again, Pat, I much appreciate it).  Then I thought it more than likely simply because as noted in the above linked post, when the builders start blowin’ ’em out, stand clear; the fallout is going to be extreme.


A service by men in suits (i.e. folks who are from finance, not manufacturing), whom I will not mention by name, has been talking up Fanuc as a Robotics company, which it is.  But we have been warning however that Fanuc is a Machine Tool company that makes Robots.  You can’t just bend reality to suit (no pun intended) a story.

So now, Fanuc has impaled what I thought was support and is heading for the astute subscriber’s gap.  Further, here is some language from Fanuc’s most recent quarterly results.  Japan’s Machine Tool industry is hitting the skids despite the weak Yen, and Fanuc is and has been a Machine Tool builder with a nice Wall Streetable side play in Robotics.  Remember the ‘additive manufacturing’ AKA 3D Printing craze?


Moral of the story is that if you don’t understand manufacturing, don’t invest in it, because Wall Street sure does not understand it; and this is going back to the days when the financial media used to insist the US did not make anything anymore even as I and others like me were making stuff every damned day, and doing well at it.

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