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YDK and the air of innovation

Article - October 18, 2019

One of the most reputed brands in the world, Dyson’s vacuum cleaners are synonymous with high-performance and sleek design that have made them a popular choice with high-end consumers.



While Dyson is a British company, it does in many ways resemble the characteristics of a Japanese manufacturer. Like many of its Japanese counterparts, Sir James Dyson’s firm focuses on developing innovative products that are often more expensive than those of its competitors, but are far superior in terms of performance, quality and reliability.

Perhaps it will come as no surprise then that the company depends on a specialist Japanese manufacturer called YDK to supply the high-efficiency motors that are core to the performance of Dyson model vacuum cleaners.

Specializing in the development of small motors for vacuum cleaners, automobiles, sewing machines and other home appliances, YDK has 85 years of experience in meeting the expectations of demanding customers like Dyson. During that time the company has invested heavily in innovation and R&D in order to develop its extensive product line of motors, which are renowned among its customer base for highperformance, efficiency and superior noise reduction capabilities.

“If we look at our company, throughout our history, we’ve continued to maintain a level of high quality. This is due to our level of consistency and our commitment to always reach the greatest quality for our products,” says president, Hironori Yamamoto.

YDK’s strongest segment has been in the vacuum cleaner arm, but in recent years the company has focused its efforts on growing the automotive end of the business, which supplies air blower motors to some of Japan’s leading car makers.

Thanks to YDK’s artfully applied technology, these ultra-thin motors can maintain performance and durability even in the harshest environments, as well as eliminate the generation of unpleasant noise associated with car air conditioning fans. In 2019, Mr. Yamamoto was proud to launch the latest super silent and lightweight YA-62 series that he is confident will further exceed the expectations of YDK’s customers.

“Moving forward, our automobile blower motors will be the highest in terms of our production volume. We can really say that we’re strong when it comes to the automobile sector because we have been able to keep up with modern trends, such as the move towards miniaturization and making products more lightweight,” he explains.

“We’re doing our best to make our products lighter. If we compare motors from 10 years ago, we have cut down the amount of parts used by 30% and in terms of weight they have gotten 20% lighter.”

As an 85-year-old company, YDK has faced many external market challenges over the years and has successfully adapted and thrived. But like for many Japanese companies perhaps the greatest challenge it faces today is the competition from regional competitors from the likes of China and South Korea. However, Mr. Yamamoto is confident that YDK’s dedication to develop the highest quality and most start-of-the-art products will keep it ahead of the pack.

“It is clear that China and Korea are right behind us, and if we were to stop striving, they will overpower us. However, if we continue to strive for greatness, they will never catch up, and I personally think that this is one of Japan’s advantages,” he explains.

“In terms of quality in comparison to YDK’s foreign competitors, there is a huge difference between theirs and YDK’s. And that is why one of YDK’s main clients is Dyson.”