Company Profile

Sumitomo Drive Technologies has been trusted for over 130 years to provide quality products and innovative solutions to help our customers solve their complex challenges.

This rich history has made us a leading manufacturer of gear reducers and control products in a wide variety of applications for leading brands around the globe.

The history of Sumitomo Drive Technologies dates back to 1888. Sumitomo, who had been invested in the copper industry in Japan already, opened the Besshi Copper Mine in 1691. The “workshop”, which was created for manufacturing and repairing machines and instruments used in the Besshi Copper Mine, was the origin of Sumitomo Drive Technologies.

In 1938, we made a technical alliance with Mr. Lorenz Braren, who invented the Cyclo Reducer in Germany, and is now the basis for our main products in the marketplace today. Since then, we have expanded our product lineup to include compact gearmotors, large gearboxes, and speed reducers for precision control; all of which are handled by our facilities and sales offices around the globe. Currently, our global footprint includes 10 production facilities, 30 assembly plants, over 200 sales offices.

In 2018, Lafert Group, an industrial motor manufacturer in Italy, became a wholly-owned subsidiary and has expanded our business in the electrical motors and controls industries.

Sumitomo Drive Technologies will continue to provide customers with solutions that match our historic reputation and the evolving industries that we serve.

History of Sumitomo Drive Technologies

1888 - 1940

  • 1888: Established a construction operation at the Besshi Copper Mine in Japan.
  • 1911: Started production of the 3.7kW DC motor used at the Besshi Copper Mine.
  • 1926: Mr. Lorenz Braren invented the first Cyclo reducer mechanism in Germany.
  • 1931: Established Cyclo GmbH (now known as Sumitomo (SHI) Cyclo Drive Germany GmbH) in Munich, Germany and started production of the Cyclo Reducer.
  • 1938: License agreement between Cyclo GmbH and Sumitomo.
  • 1939: Began domestic production of the Cyclo reducer manufactured in Niihama Works, Japan. Niihama produced the first domestic aircraft.

1941 - 1990

  • 1952: Collaborated with Liechtenstein - HIVAG, beginning the production of the Beier Variator; a variable speed reducer drive.
  • 1961: Opened the Nagoya Manufacturing Plant in Obu, Japan.
  • 1966: Established Sumitomo Machinery Corporation of America in Carlstadt, New Jersey, USA.
  • 1973: Partnered with Hansen Transmissions International SA of Belgium, and began production of Hansen Patent Reducer (HP II Series).
  • 1976: Established Sumitomo (SHI) Cyclo Drive Germany GmbH in Munich, Germany.
  • 1984: Founded SM Cyclo of Canada, Ltd. in Toronto, Canada.
  • 1984: Launched the Cyclo reducer mechanism for precision control.
  • 1988: Launched the Hyponic reducer.

1991 - 2000

  • 1992: Launched the Paramax reducer.
  • 1993: Established a manufacturing factory in Kurashiki, Japan.
  • 1993: Launched the Altax reducer.
  • 1993: Founded SM Cyclo de Mexico, SA de CV in Monterrey, Mexico.
  • 1994: Established Sumitomo Heavy Industries Cyclo Drive (Tianjin) Co., Ltd. (Now known as Sumitomo Heavy Industries Cyclo Drive (China) Co., Ltd.) in Tianjin, China.
  • 1996: Established Sumitomo (SHI) Cyclo Drive Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd. in Singapore.
  • 1997: Established Sumitomo (SHI) Cyclo Drive Korea, Ltd. in Seoul, South Korea.

2001 - 2010

  • 2003: Cyclo reducer production reached 10 million units.
  • 2003: Introduced "Sumitomo Drive Technologies" as a global brand.
  • 2005: Established Sumitomo Heavy Industries (Vietnam) Co, Ltd. in Hanoi, Vietnam.
  • 2006: SEISA Gear, Ltd. became a wholly-owned subsidiary (now known as Sumitomo Heavy Industries Gearbox Co., Ltd.).
  • 2008: Established Sumitomo Heavy Industries (Tangshan) Ltd. in Tangshan, China.
  • 2008: Launched the Prest NEO gearmotor.
  • 2010: Established Sumitomo Industrias Pesadas do Brasil Ltda. in Brazil.

2011 - Present

  • 2011: Hansen Industrial Transmissions NV in Belgium became a wholly-owned subsidiary.
  • 2011: Established Sumitomo Heavy Industries Gearmotor Co., Ltd.
  • 2017: Integrated the gearbox business divisions of Sumitomo Heavy Industries Gearbox Co., Ltd and Sumitomo Heavy Industries, Ltd. PTC.
  • 2018: Lafert Group of Italy became a wholly-owned subsidiary.

Contact Us

Harness our decades of accumulated knowledge in the power transmission and controls industry. Our sales and service teams worldwide work seamlessly to create the reliable solutions that you need. Contact our experts today.