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Technology / AI and automation


Matsushita Electric Industrial Co and its Matsushita Communications Industrial Co affiliate reckon that they are well placed to clean up on the mobile phones front when the pan European digital cellular system comes into service in the early 1990s. Accordingly, they have announced plans to establish a mobile phones factory in Thatcham, Berkshire, starting production in May with an initial 80 local employees and five Japanese nationals. The new British Matsushita Communications Ltd will be 51% owned by Matsushita Electric, 49% by Communications, and will be capitalised at UKP3.5m. It plans to make 30,000 cellular phones in 1988. Separately, expanding on its earlier announcement (CI No 875), Matsushita Electric says that it has set up a new subsidiary in the US, location unknown, as the Panasonic Factory Automation Co unit of Matsushita Electric Corp of America, which will sell assembly robots and other factory automation equipment, and will also develop software for controlling industrial automation equipment, tailored to the needs of US users.

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