UK: Mitsubishi Electric's factory in Livingston is set to become one of the Japanese air conditioning and heat pump manufacturer's centre of design excellence following the opening of a new world-class research and development facility.
Celebrating its twentieth anniversary, today saw the opening of two test houses built next to the factory. This follows the recent relocation to Scotland of the UK Branch of the Mitsubishi Electric R&D Centre Europe (MERCE).
The new R&D facility and consists of two custom-built three bedroom detached houses, along with a bespoke experimental control room. Each house is modified by the installation of a vast array of sensors, both for measuring the detailed environmental conditions and for in depth monitoring of the operation of the heating systems.
With its R&D, design and manufacturing teams operating together at the same location, the Scottish site is unique within Mitsubishi Electric globally and is now said to be better placed to respond to the demands of the European market. In addition, the company is committed to investing £20m in its Scottish base to continue its expansion and development of new products in Scotland.
As part of its global growth strategy, Mitsubishi Electric is increasingly shifting production from Japan to key areas throughout the world. The company employs 450 people in Scotland and has been producing air conditioning units from its Livingston base since 1993. In more recent years it has evolved its product range to include heat pumps.
'Sustainability is one of the most important issues for our company,' said Hiroyuki Umemura, executive officer and group president of Mitsubishi's Living Environment & Digital Media Equipment Group. 'We aim to be industry leaders in the production of environmentally friendly, high efficiency, high quality products and services to our customers. In order to achieve this, our site in Livingston will play a very important role as a supply base in Europe for air conditioning and renewable energy heating products and this 20th anniversary is an important milestone.'
Dr Kazuhiko Tsutsumi, executive officer and group president of Corporate Research & Development Group, added: 'The ability for close co-operation between research and manufacturing will speed up the product development cycle in Scotland. We are also engaged with key UK and European universities, including Heriot-Watt and Cambridge, and we anticipate that Scotland's excellent universities will provide a highly educated pool of talent that we hope to attract to support our future expansion.'