- In May 1937, operations began in Osaka City with a staff of 150. Today, Daifuku employs over 6,000 people in 20 countries and regions and has emerged as one of the top material handling manufacturers and systems integrators in the world. Below we share some of the milestones of our 70+ years.
Originally, Daifuku manufactured forge rolling machinery for ironworks and construction and later expanded operations to build cranes. After World War II, the company manufactured various products to survive the chaos of a new era. Innovation occurred by trial and error.
- Delivers conveyor system to automobile factory
- After years of chaos, Japan's economy entered a period of tremendous growth. Motorization became an important component of society, and Daifuku introduced the American conveyor system for automobile assembly lines. We installed such systems for Japanese automobile companies and paved Daifuku's way to become a material handling manufacturer.
- Expands business
- Daifuku expanded operations into automated warehouses (creating Japan's first), bowling alley equipment, automatic guided vehicles, and material handling tools including racks and mesh pallets. This new direction helped Daifuku acquire customers in a range new industries, such as electronics, apparel, distribution and automotive. The company built manufacturing factories in Komaki City, Aichi, and Hino Town of Shiga Prefecture, and listed stocks on the Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya Stock Exchanges.
- Experiences effects of oil crisis
- In the 1970s, the oil crisis halted Japanese economic growth. Daifuku faced another challenge at that time - the end of the bowling fad 'boom.'
Webb conveyor system installed in Japan's first passenger car factory
Japan's first online, real-time controlled Rackbuil System
Japan's first bowling machine
- Efforts in the era of Factory Automation
- In 1977, Daifuku entered the car wash machine business. In the 1980s, Factory Automation (FA), machinery tools, automated warehouses and automatic guided vehicles gained popularity. Daifuku began delivering FA systems to the world's state-of-the-art factories and became a mechatronics corporation integrating machinery and control technologies. The company name changed from Daifuku Machinery Works Co., Ltd. to Daifuku Co., Ltd.
The world's cutting-edge Fanuc's Motor Factory (at that time)
- Enters the distribution automation and cleanroom fields
- In the 1980s and 1990s, Daifuku expanded into Distribution Automation (DA), developed a new type of automated sorters, and built a factory for cleanroom transport systems for the semiconductor industry. We also began construction of the Shiga Works manufacturing facility.
- Becomes increasingly globalized
- In line with the Japanese automakers' global expansion, Daifuku built factories in the U.S. and Thailand, and also started the process of becoming ISO 9001 certified.
- Opened exhibition center for material handling & logistics
- In 1994, we opened our full-scale exhibition center Hini Arata Kan in Shiga to showcase products. Hini Arata Kan visitors explore material handling systems up close and under one roof.
Cleanroom transport system - the Cleanway
In August 2005, visitors to Hini Arata Kan exceeded 200,000.
During this period, Japan experienced a deflation-led recession as the bubble economy burst and Asia experienced an economic crisis. Daifuku established a three year business plan in 1998 entitled Daifuku in the Early 21st Century, which focused on material handling and made profitability a priority. Another plan launched in 2001 entitled Daifuku Challenging Information Technology and Logistics Revolutions, established the eFA Division for the semiconductor/LCD industry.
Large-scale distribution center construction increased, LCD screens increased in size, digital appliances such as cell phones were mass produced, Japanese automakers set up overseas operations, and the Chinese economy grew drastically. All these factors helped turn business around. Another three-year business plan was implemented in 2004 entitled Create and Challenge for the 70th Anniversary. Profits were high, which allowed Daifuku to invest worldwide. In addition, Daifuku established a global production network by proactive capital spending at home and abroad. Expecting similar results, another three-year business plan, Jump up for 2010, began in April 2007.
Establishment of production subsidiary in China
Despite the rapid deterioration in business conditions since the start of the global financial crisis in the second half of 2008, the global economy sustained growth thanks to emerging economies such as China and India. To address the new conditions, Daifuku implemented another three-year business plan, Material Handling and Beyond, started in April 2010. The new plan established a foundation for continued sustainable growth with an aim to identify new markets, new products, and new businesses to evolve the material handling business.
We have established a new four-year business plan, Value Innovation 2017, and aim to evolve from a material handling manufacturer to a Value Innovator. We will provide the best solutions for customers by capitalizing on the experience and technologies we have accumulated as a manufacturer and integrator of material handling systems.