Japan’s Panasonic is moving some production of specialized batteries from Indonesia to a plant in Columbus, Ga., by the end of 2018.
It’s the latest example of a Japanese firm bringing more work to Georgia to be save on logistics costs and cut down lead times to end customers.
“The production shift is a testimony to an ongoing commitment to supplying customers the highest quality and broadest line of battery technologies, while addressing current market conditions,” Kanji Kawakami, Chief Engineer for OEM and Industrial Batteries, said in a statement.
The battery in question — the CR-2/3AZ cell — is customized to operate in harsh environments for a extended periods of time and is used in smoke and CO2 detectors, along with meters and other applications where long life is prized, the company said in an Oct. 8 news release.
Panasonic Energy Corp. of North America, the home for the company’s battery manufacturing operations in the U.S., did not say whether the move would result in increased capital investment or new jobs at the Columbus plant, which is the largest producer of cylindrical lithium cells in North America. More than 360 million Panasonic eneloop rechargeable batteries have been shipped from Columbus to the rest of the world.
A decade ago, Panasonic shut down its alkaline battery division in Columbus, one of three plants it operated there, cutting 250 jobs.
Learn more about the plant and its manufacturing team here.