Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Technology: Best and Wurst (how's 44% operating margins grab ya?)

From Bloomberg:

`Microsoft' of Machine Tools Runs Plants From Mount Fuji Base
At the base of snowcapped Mount Fuji sits a bright yellow compound that is home to one of Japan’s most profitable -- and secretive -- companies.

Fanuc Ltd.’s systems tell lathes, grinders and milling machines how to turn steel into an Apple Inc. iPhone case or aluminum into the rib of a Boeing Co. 747. More than half of the world’s computerized tools, including those used by suppliers to Toyota Motor Corp. and General Motors Co., use Fanuc controls.

'Microsoft' of Machine Tools Runs Plants From Mt. Fuji Base
Fanuc's servo motor and spindle
motor factory in Oshino, Yamanashi
Prefecture, Japan. 
Source: Fanuc Ltd. via Bloomberg

“They’re the Microsoft you’ve never heard of,” said Scott Foster, an analyst at BNP Paribas in Tokyo. “If Mount Fuji erupted and took them out, the world would stop running.”

Fanuc’s operating margin rose to a record 44 percent last quarter, the company said, making it the third highest on the Topix 100, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. To further boost profits, President Yoshiharu Inaba is focusing on China and India, Asia’s two fastest-growing major economies.
“We’re working harder than ever to penetrate the Chinese and Indian markets,” Inaba, 62, said last month at company headquarters. “All of our capacity is running full-out.”

Fanuc boosted net income to 31.1 billion yen ($373.1 million) last quarter, an almost eightfold increase from a year earlier. That’s more than double the growth reported by 1,605 companies on the Topix, according to data compiled by Bloomberg....MUCH MORE
And From Reuters:

Two Germans fed up with eating Bratwurst sausages not fried to perfection have come up with a "Wursttoaster," or sausage toaster, to ensure caterers no longer have an excuse to serve anything less than the best.

Marco Bruns, 25, said he and his business partner Felix Rennies, 28, came up with the idea after being less than impressed with English efforts to pull off the popular German snack on one of their frequent trips to Britain.

"We went to a market where there was German Bratwurst but we discovered the English don't have a clue how to cook them -- they were completely brown on one side and completely white on the other side," he told Reuters.

The pair consequently realized it was not all that easy to cook the perfect Bratwurst, and Rennies, a trained engineer, came up with the idea to automate the cooking process "so that the perfect Bratwurst would always be easily achievable."

The Wursttoaster looks rather like a conventional toaster, except that the openings are round and deep enough to house a sausage, but Bruns says the technology behind it is new....MORE

Die Innovation in der Gastronomie! 
Der Smartwurst Wursttoaster Schnell und einfach perfekte Bratwurst...

Ideal für Tankstellen, Kneipen, Snackshops usw.

Typical European ad agency understatement. But it works, I'm re-thinking turkey for tomorrow.