Japanese firm moves expansion project to Subic
SUBIC BAY FREEPORT — A $1-million expansion project by Japanese owned Nicera Philippines, Inc., an ultrasonic sensor manufacturer here, would close down its China operations and transfer in this premier Freeport.
Nicera Philippines President and GM Takashi Morimoto said, “We will expand our current product line with new merchandise because we are going to transfer our China plant to Philippines.”
Morimoto also stated during the contract signing with the SBMA on Tuesday that the relocation to Subic was prompted by the one-child policy of the Chinese government, which had resulted in “insufficient workforce” for the firm’s China factory.
SBMA Administrator Armand Arreza said that the $1-million expansion project of Nicera is a bold move to “meeting the challenges posed by recession head-on.”
“The transfer of Nicera from China to the Philippines would certainly hasten the resurgence of export production in Subic Bay,” he said.
Some 110 additional workers will be hired by the company upon completion of its expansion project where most of the products made by the company are pyrosensor modules and pyroelectric infrared sensors used in home-security lighting systems.
These products are used in the assembly of the so-called Ecopa ball and stick, which combined with another system with voice recorder, allows the detection of motion in the dark. The system emits white light diodes upon detection and activates the playback of a recorded message.
Takashi said this new product line would be manufactured in a new building to be built in a 15,000-square meter lot at the Subic Techno Park (STEP) sometime next year.
He added that the firm aims to produce 50,000 pieces of pyrosensor modules and one million pieces of pyroelectric infrared sensors a month.
As of now, Nicera employs 136 direct workers and 553 employees from sub-contractors.
Starting out with 22 employees, Nicera began its Philippine operations in the Subic Bay Freeport in 2001, infusing $25 million to manufacture ceramic sensors called ultrasonic transducers that were installed in bumpers as a safety gadget for Japan-made vehicles.
Utrasonic transducers are designed to detect obstructions from different ranges, producing varied warning sounds depending on the distance of the obstruction.
In September, 2007, Nicera undertook a $4-million expansion project to meet the growing demand for high-tech products in the global market. It hired additional 400 workers for this expansion.
Aside from electronic sensors, the Nicera group of companies also produce ceramic filters, traps, discriminators and resonators, top quality ferrite core for power switches and transformers, micro-chip components for CR-ROM, floppy drives and precision motors, and fly-back transformers. By JONAS REYES - Manila Bulletin