Nippon Piston Ring Co.,Ltd. Business Report FY2009

Business Highlights

Financial Overview

(in millions of JPY)
  FY2009 FY2008 Rate of
Sales 39,035 44,789 (12.8) -
Operating income (610) (636) - -
Ordinary income (1,163) (1,605) - -
Current net income (2,787) (4,915) - -
Automotive Parts Division
Sales 35,200 39,267 (10.4) -Sales gradually increased as the year passed, but mostly in the latter half of the fiscal year. This was the result of the Company winning more new business, green-car tax incentives encouraging sales, and OEMs reducing their inventories on hand. In spite of this, sales as a whole decreased year-on-year as the Company reduced its production volume in the first half.
Operating income (678) (798) - -

Business Restructuring

-The Company announced its decision to liquidate NPR Trading (Shanghai) Co., Ltd., its subsidiary selling automobile parts in China, in an aim to achieve more efficient business and better customer services. The liquidation is scheduled to be completed by the end of Nov. 2009. The Company's operation will be integrated into NPR Auto Parts Manufacturing (Yizheng) Co., Ltd. The Company established NPR Trading (Shanghai) in Feb. 2006 as a 100% subsidiary with a capital of US$900,000 (approx. 8,640 yen) and eight employees for auto parts sales in China. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on May 30, 2009)

>>>Financial Forecast for the Next Fiscal Year (Sales, Operating Income etc.)


R&D Expenditure

(in millions of JPY)
  FY2009 FY2008 FY2007
Overall 1,290 1,508 1,655
Automotive Parts Division 1,238 1,448 1,588

R&D Activities

1. Piston rings for aluminum bores
-Traditionally, European automakers have made use of technology developed for producing aluminum cylinders. However, recently Japanese engine makers also are using this same technology to commercially produce engines designed for North America and Japan, reflecting the fact that aluminum cylinders are lighter, more fuel efficient, and easily recyclable. The Company is collaborating with new users of this technology in developing products and preparing for mass-production. However, the Company found some technical problems that are unique to aluminum bores. In order to solve these problems, the Company is now trying to develop technology to mass-produce piston rings in which advanced technology will be applied.

2. High-performance piston rings
-The Company established the technology to make low tension piston rings that produce an adequate sealing capacity. This contributes to making engines more fuel efficient. The Company also completed development of technology for commercial production of piston rings offering improved fuel efficiency, output, and heat conductivity.

3. Highly durable piston rings for diesel engines
-In order to meet the needs of users who are required to comply with diesel emission regulations, the Company increased the mass-production of piston rings being coated with PVD, which has proven to be highly resistant to scuffing and wear. To comply with Euro-Vi, US10, and other regulations enacted to control exhaust emissions and improve the fuel economy of heavy-duty vehicles, the Company has developed technology that can be used in the commercial production of piston rings that emit clean emissions and ensure a high fuel economy. The Company is preparing to mass-produce these pistons rings.

4. Valve seats
-The Company began developing several types of valve seats ahead of its competitors. For gasoline engines, the Company is developing valve seats that meet the requirements for better fuel efficiency; and for diesel engines, it’s developing valve seats that meet emission control regulations. Also, as there are more engines running with bio-alcohol such as E85, the Company is designing valve seats for these types of engines.

5. Assembled sintered camshafts
-The Company developed camshafts for high performance gasoline engines equipped with VVT (variable valve timings) mechanisms. It also developed camshafts for diesel engines being equipped on passenger cars and commercial trucks. A greater number of mass-marketed vehicles are being equipped with these new products.

6. MIM products
-The Company developed products manufactured under the MIM method. These products have a superior, soft magnetic property. Using this method, these products can be produced at low cost by utilizing technology designed for materials and sintering. Both materials technology and sintering technology are the Company’s core technologies. The Company plans to increase the production volume of fuel injector parts.

7. New sintered parts
-The Company solved problems concerning the strength of conventional cast iron products. In order to respond to the needs for stronger performing aluminum engine blocks, the Company developed a highly adhesive, iron-based sintered alloy and combined it with aluminum. Now the Company is trying to make it even lighter and lower in cost.

8. Cylinder liners
-The Company developed technology that can be applied to commercially produce liners designed for diesel engines that comply with the new long-term diesel emissions regulations.  The Company has already completed the specifications needed to start commercial production. Also, the Company is now developing and evaluating low friction liners using the Company’s proprietary tribology technology, in order to meet future regulations on emissions and fuel economy.

Licensing of Technology from Other Companies

(As of Mar. 31, 2010)

Name of the licensed company Country Date Details Term of contract
Sejion Cam Co., Ltd. Korea 2000.07.01 Sintered camshaft production methods Seven years after the start of mass-production (To be annually renewed after the term)
Henan Zhongyuan Engine Fitting Co.,Ltd. China 2005.09.02 Cylinder liner production methods Until the Company no longer supplies the products
Yizheng Shuang Huan Piston Ring Co., Ltd China 2005.12.27 Piston ring production methods Seven years
IP Rings India 2010.04.01 Oil ring production methods

Five years

India 2010.03.01 Nitrogenous ring production methods Five years
India 2008.02.21 Steel ring production methods

Five years

India 2003.12.01 Oil ring assembly production methods Eight years
India 2008.04.01 Manufacturing methods of chrome plated rings Five years
2008.12.22 Steel ring production methods Six years

Investment Activities

Investment Expenditure

(in millions of JPY)
  FY2009 FY2008 FY2007
Overall 1,519 4,262 7,098
Automotive Parts Division 1,404 4,032 6,634

-The Automotive Parts Division made a capital investment in order to maintain and/or upgrade existing facilities.

Planned Capital Investments

(As of Mar. 31, 2010)

Name Location Type of facility Planned total investment (1000 JPY) Construction start month Planned completion month Capacity upon completion
NPR Manufacturing Kentucky, LLC Kentucky,
Construction of new plants 5,500 2006.05 2011.06 18,000,000