DMG Mori tracks use of its machine tool products to prevent military application

DMG Mori, one of many world’s largest producers of superior machine instruments, has began monitoring using its merchandise to make sure they don’t seem to be utilized to army functions at a time of rising geopolitical tensions.

The German-Japanese firm requested purchasers worldwide from April to put in a distant administration system that will swap off gear if it had been eliminated or dismantled.

In a letter despatched in late March and seen by the Monetary Occasions, DMG stated the set up of the system was geared toward stopping its gear from being “illegally transferred to people or nations that will threaten worldwide safety”.

The letter added that the corporate would refuse to reactivate the gear if its use violated “relevant export guidelines”. DMG makes a machine instrument used to fabricate every little thing from passenger automobiles to fighter jets.

In response to a question from the FT, DMG stated it had made the choice to implement the brand new measures “as a result of international political scenario — and definitely as a result of outbreak of the Russian struggle in Ukraine”, including that it was ensuring no “misappropriation of our machines takes place”.

The transfer by DMG, which was created by means of the merger of Japanese Mori Seiki and its German rival Gildemeister, comes as tensions rise between the EU and China over the struggle in Ukraine. China’s international minister on Tuesday condemned EU proposals to impose sanctions on Chinese language firms for supporting Russia’s struggle machine, vowing to react “strictly and firmly” to defend its companies.

A few quarter of DMG’s gross sales are made in Asia. The corporate doesn’t present separate figures for its China enterprise.

China was Germany’s high buying and selling accomplice for the seventh yr in a row in 2022, serving as a significant marketplace for German automotive producers specifically. However western issues about dependence on Beijing, pushed by the US, have been deepened by the fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic and Russia’s struggle in Ukraine.

Safety issues have prompted Berlin in current months to rethink using Huawei gear within the German telecoms community and overview a choice to permit the Chinese language transport firm Cosco to purchase a stake in a Hamburg port terminal.

“Whereas the requirement could apply to many nations, it can have an effect on China essentially the most since Chinese language civil-military fusion factories had a historical past of shopping for DMG machineries,” stated a former DMG China government. “We had for years feigned ignorance of the place our merchandise had been deployed in China.”

Liu Hanyu, an analyst at Daxue Consulting in Shanghai, stated extra western machine-tool makers would comply with in DMG’s footsteps. This, in response to a report final month from Guangzhou-based GF Securities, will create “an enormous threat” for exporters of high-end machine instruments to China.

International manufacturers accounted for 60 per cent of China’s five-axis machine-tool gross sales final yr, whereas DMG took 17 per cent of the market in the identical yr, in response to QY Analysis, a California-based consultancy. Chinese language machine-tool customers stated the newest mandate from DMG may encourage them to extend purchases from native suppliers.

James Wei, an engineer at a Guangdong-based producer that has labored with western machine-tool makers, stated no less than two native manufacturers may function an alternative to DMG. “There may be an urgency to scale back our reliance on international gear,” stated Wei.

But the swap to native manufacturers may come on the expense of high quality. “The design of the Chinese language machines is good and nice,” stated Raffaello Martini, manufacturing director at Ibarmia China, a Spanish machine-tool maker. “However you additionally have to have a powerful physique to fulfill the necessities of the market.”

That has put Chinese language machine-tool customers in a tough place. “We have to be taught to work with the second-best machine instrument within the foreseeable future,” stated an engineer at a Chinese language plane maker.

Extra reporting by Laura Pitel in Berlin

Back To Top