Press Release

NSK's Manipulation System Available in the United States

Now Compliant with North American UL Standards

NSK Ltd. (NSK; Headquarters: Tokyo, Japan; President and CEO: Toshihiro Uchiyama) today announced that its manipulation system now complies with North American UL Standards. NSK developed the system for micro applications in the medical, biotechnology, and electronic component industries, and it has been praised for its high level of safety and durability. NSK launched sales in the U.S. in February 2015, with the first unit delivered to a biotechnology research center. Future NSK aims to increase sales by targeting cutting-edge research institutions and universities as well as manufacturers of compact electronic components and companies in the precision machinery industry in the U.S.

NSK will exhibit this product for the first time outside of Japan at MD&M Minneapolis 2015, a medical industry exhibition, to be held in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.A. on November 4 (Wed.) and 5 (Fri.).

Information on the Manipulation System

NSK's manipulation system is composed of a microscope and a 3D (XYZ) table equipped with a tool for manipulating micro size test samples such as cellular material. Such systems are very common in the medical, biotechnology, semiconductor and electronics industries. In 2008, NSK developed a high-precision, easy-to-use manipulation system by combining precision positioning drive technology with state-of-the-art image processing technology. Later, working in cooperation with Japan's Central Institute for Experimental Animals, NSK ran a variety of tests on the system and, in 2014, was successfully in achieving micro-fertilization of an experimental animal. The system was adopted by the Central Institute for Experimental Animals for its improved operational efficiency, more compact design, and improved automation.

The NSK manipulation system has received high praise for contributing to the advancement of developmental biology, winning the 2015 CHO MONOZUKURI Innovative Parts and Components Award-NPO Manufacturing Life and Civilization Chairman's Award.

NSK responded to the requisite standards of the National Recognized Testing Laboratories (NRTL: US national certification testing laboratories), a civilian institution that is authorized to carry out a variety of product safety and authentication tests based on the Federal Standard, thereby demonstrating compliance with UL safety standards established by Underwriters Laboratories. The system fulfills safety requirements for measurement and control, and as an electrical device for use in laboratories, as well as specific requirements for medical devices used in in-vitro diagnostics.*

*:Diagnostics for biology experiments such as in-vitro and conditions that require artificial construction outside the body.

Features of the New Manipulation System

(1) Improved operability
Carrying out micromanipulations while looking through a microscope places a heavy burden on the operator. Additionally, operators must take particular care to prevent their own movements from shaking the equipment. On top of this is the challenge of entering and leaving a specialized cleanroom environment, which is necessary to prevent contamination by dust and microorganisms. The most recent modifications have made it possible for anyone to operate the device, while viewing images on a monitor, while also making remote operation possible, significantly reducing the burden on the operator.
(2) Improved operational efficiency
Working efficiency has been improved thanks to the automation of repetitive operations.
(3) Easier to use, with higher precision
By converting many of the operations from manual operation to powered operation, and switching operation handles to easy-to-see buttons, electronic control has been made easy, eliminating the need to rely on the intuition of a highly skilled operator.
(4) Compliance with UL Standards
The results of compliance assessments in drop and shock-resistance tests of electrical equipments enables NSK to declare that the system meets the requirements of a compliance assessment report issued by the civilian institution, indicating compliance with UL Standards, the most widely adopted standards in the U.S.

NSK's Approach to Future Technology

As a manufacturer of mechanical components based on its Motion and Control technologies, NSK has been contributing to the advancement of a variety of industries through the development of mechatronics and mechanical components such as bearings. In recent years NSK has also expanded its development activities into such fields as robotics, sensors and bio-MEMS.

NSK is dedicated to applying its world-class technical capabilities to meet the future, state-of-the-art needs of industries around the world.

NSK's Approach to Future Technology
NSK's Approach to Future Technology