Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Thermal Systems, Ltd. (MHI Thermal Systems), a Group company of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI), has decided to establish a manufacturing center for automotive air conditioners in the industrial park managed by the city of Changshu in Jiangsu Province, China.
An agreement to establish the new company was signed on October 8 with Changshu city officials.
China is projected to be a priority market going forward, with rapid expansion in demand anticipated for electric vehicles (EVs) and other eco-friendly new energy automobiles. MHI Thermal Systems will expand local production of electric compressors to meet the rising growth rate. The new factory is scheduled to begin operations in 2022. This will be the company's second automotive air-conditioning manufacturing production facility in China, and will have manufacturing capacity of 500,000 units annually.
The new production facility, MHI AUTOMOTIVE CLIMATE CONTROL (CHANGSHU) CO.,LTD. (provisional name), will be a wholly-owned subsidiary of MHI Thermal Systems, and is scheduled to be established within the year in the Changshu New and High-tech Industrial Development Zone located in the city of Changshu, a facility that has long had close ties with MHI Group. Incorporating production line know-how from existing manufacturing facilities in Japan, the U.S., Shanghai (China), and Thailand will shorten the start-up period for the new factory, and allow the new company to attain high productivity levels quickly. Further, the center plans to utilize an information traceability system for assembly and parts to build a supply structure that meets customer needs, and will gradually boost production capacity.
Electric compressors, unlike belt-type compressors that use the engine drive, have electricity-driven inverter circuits and controllers, and are able to operate independently. MHI Thermal Systems handles a wide range of compressors, and at the factory in China plans to manufacture electric scroll compressors that push the limits for small size, lightness, and energy-efficiency, and that incorporate software developed based on Automotive SPICE (Software Process Improvement and Capability dEtermination) standards. Compared to previous models, these electric compressors, through optimization of scroll specifications, revisions to the inverter control method, and reconsideration of component placement and other structural elements, deliver industry-leading small size, lightness, and energy-efficiency.
MHI Thermal Systems, in addition to the automotive air-conditioning business, provides thermal solutions in a broad range of business fields including large air-conditioning systems for buildings, area-wide heating and cooling, and factories, as well as residential air conditioners and refrigeration for transportation systems.
Going forward, MHI Thermal Systems will utilize synergies from its broad business fields to offer small, lightweight, and energy-efficient products for the automotive air conditioning business, as well as optimal management systems, and contribute to a more comfortable motorized society and the conservation of the global environment.