Inspiration through Innovation

Hitachi - Daimler Supplier Award

Chain saw, drill, lawnmover, fan and elevator. All by Hitachi and all with an electric motor. Hitachi can also do automotive: the Daimler Supplier Award was now handed over for the concentrated competence in electronics.

Hard to believe. More than 100 years ago, Hitachi already built its first electric motor. That was in 1910. In Japan. The so-called three-phase asynchronous motor was invented 21 years beforehand. In Germany at AEG. By a Russian emigrant. For Hitachi, it was the starting point for the founding of a global corporation. And at the same time a central idea, because the focus always lay on electrical engineering. Today, the Hitachi Group owns more than 850 companies with more than 300,000 employees in total.

Hitachi Five-horsepower induction motor
It all started for Hitachi in 1910: the 5-horsepower induction motor.

Hitachi has been active as an automotive supplier since 1930. Shock absorbers, brake cylinders, engine control units, stereo cameras, and above all, component parts that are used in electric motors. The group subsidiary Hitachi Automotive Systems today has more than 40,000 employees with 61 production sites in Asia, Europe and America. President & CEO Hideaki Seki recently had the opportunity to travel to Sindelfingen. For the conferral of the Daimler Supplier Award. For Hitachi, there was the coveted prize in the “Innovation” category, from Mercedes-Benz Cars. “Hitachi Automotive Systems is a highly creative and dependable partner in the electrification of our product portfolio,” explains Klaus Zehender, Member of the Executive Board of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Procurement & Supplier Quality.

Hitachi as a partner in electrification. Sounds a little abstract. In concrete terms, this takes the form of supplying inverters and DCDC converters. The latter convert the voltage from the high-voltage battery into on-board voltage. From 400 to 12 volts. The infotainment and driving assistance systems and ambient lighting, for example, work with this voltage. To protect the 12-volt battery, the entire vehicle electrical system is powered without interruption, as far as is possible, via the DCDC converter. An inverter is a frequency converter. It converts direct voltage in alternating voltage for the electric motor. The inverter is the ECU that regulates the currents and with it also torque and power. Hitachi Automotive Systems designs and manufactures inverters and DCDC converters in Hitachinaka, Japan. 130 kilometers northeast of Tokyo.

In addition to inverters and DCDC converters, Hitachi Automotive Systems furthermore produces important components for electromobility, autonomous driving, and driveline and chassis technology. More than 80 years of experience in the automotive sector form the basis for the development of future technologies. “Inspire the next” – for Hitachi, this motto embodies the capacity for fresh thinking which will inspire the next generation and life in society in the future. Linked to this: continuous change and constant innovation. The Daimler Supplier Award in the category of “Innovation” shows that Hitachi is successfully implementing its corporate motto.