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Special Feature
Newsletter "SEI WORLD" Vol. 462

Osaka Works’ 100th Anniversary

Plant celebrates the longest history and tradition in the Sumitomo Electric Group

The following section introduces the Osaka Works, the mother plant of the Sumitomo Electric Group, with a long history since 1897 when the plant started manufacturing electric wires as a Sumitomo Family enterprise. Osaka Works celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2016.

Research & development

New R&D Center, WinD Lab, built in 2010
New R&D Center, WinD Lab, built in 2010

The Osaka Works strongly believes that R&D is the driving force of a manufacturers’ sustainable development. Here, out of 2,300 employees, 600* are engaged in R&D, placing the Works as one of the Group’s central research centers. Based on the core technology of wire and cable manufacturing together with material and processing technologies accumulated over a long period, the Osaka Works is engaged in the development of new products in response to the requirements of various industrial fields, such as information and communication, electronics, and automobiles.

*As of February 2016

【Here are some examples of research conducted at the Osaka Works.】

Micro smart grid demonstration system (since 2011)

The Osaka Works has developed and been testing a micro smart grid demonstration system that interconnects the power generation facilities of renewable energies such as solar and wind power and the storage battery by using a DC power grid. By interconnecting the four types of power generation equipment and storage battery with a DC power grid and controlling unstable natural power generation and demands for electric power in a sophisticated way, the system enables a stable and efficient supply of electric power supply to various facilities and equipment.

Products

【Here are some examples of products researched, developed, and produced at the Osaka Works.】

Electric conductors

Inheriting Sumitomo Family’s copper business, the Osaka Works is equipped with a continuous casting and rolling mill, the most upstream process of electric wire manufacturing. Copper wire rods produced here are processed by domestic electric wire manufacturers into various types of wires and cables, including power cables, indoor cables, magnet wires (enameled wires) for motor coils, automotive wiring harnesses, and electronic wires used all over the world. About 20 percent of all electric wires produced in Japan are processed from the copper wire rods produced by the Osaka Works.

Copper wire rod
Copper wire rod

Intelligent transport systems (ITSs)

ITSs are new road traffic systems that aim to optimize safety and transport efficiency by using advanced information and communications technology. The traffic control system, one of the core ITS products, analyzes traffic information collected from roadside sensors, controls the traffic in a highly advanced manner, and provides traffic information. The Osaka Works researches, develops, and produces products ranging from traffic signal controllers that constitute these systems, and associated roadside equipment such as sensors and wireless transmission devices. These products are adopted not only in Japan but in other countries too, contributing to safer, smoother road traffic around the world.

Power cables

The Osaka Works also produces CV cables, power cables with cross-linked polyethylene insulated vinyl sheaths, first developed by Sumitomo Electric in 1959 and commercialized up to high voltage of 500 kV. The cables manufactured here are used not only in Japan but worldwide, significantly contributing to the development of electricity infrastructures.

Ultrahigh-voltage CV cable
Ultrahigh-voltage CV cable
VCV tower
VCV tower

Cable for EV rapid charger

Cable for EV rapid charger

The cable connecting a rapid charger and electric vehicle (EV) needs to transfer much higher electric power than cables for general consumer electronics products. Therefore, the Osaka Works continues its efforts in developing and manufacturing products with increased safety, excellent operability, and high durability.

Superconductivity products

Bismuth superconducting wire (DI-BSCCO™) is a long, high-temperature superconducting wire that Sumitomo Electric commercially produced for the first time in the world. The wire is a dream material with features of low loss, no electrical resistance, and high current density, about 200 times the current capacity of copper wire with an equal cross section. In cooperation with Japanese electric power companies, Sumitomo Electric has been conducting a demonstration experiment of superconducting cables by connecting them to a commercial power grid since October 2012. Additional applications, such as compact but powerful coils for vessel motors and high-speed operating magnets for inspection of permanent magnets, have also been studied in order to contribute to an energy-saving society.

Bismuth superconducting wire (DI-BSCCO™)
Bismuth superconducting wire (DI-BSCCO™)
Superconducting cable
Superconducting cable

Air cushions

Air cushion for railroad vehicles
Air cushion for railroad vehicles

Air cushions are used in various vibration absorption and damping applications in railroad vehicles and industrial machinery. Our air cushions are widely used in railroad cars inside and outside Japan, including the Shinkansen and subways, dampen vibration and mitigate vertical movement of running trains, achieving high-speed travel while ensuring a stable and comfortable ride for passengers. Based on the expertise derived from the production of jacket materials for electric cables and wires, Sumitomo Electric developed highly reliable rubber materials and applied to this product.

Broadband network products

10G-EPON and 4K-STB
10G-EPON and 4K-STB

The Osaka Works produces equipment and devices associated with telecommunications and broadcasting, such as 10G-EPON, 4K-STB, VDSL, IP telephone adapter, application service gateway, and digital head end equipment for telecommunications service providers and CATV business operators. Through the provision of equipment to sustain the infrastructure for the latest telecommunications and broadcasting services and proposal and technical support to our customers, the Osaka Works contributes toward creation of a safe and comfortable broadband networked society.

The Osaka Works actively promotes various social contribution activities with the aim of progressing in harmony with local communities.

Opening of a rose garden

Rose garden adjacent to the WinD Lab
Rose garden adjacent to the WinD Lab

As part of the commemoration of the Company’s 110th anniversary, the Osaka Works built the WinD Lab in November 2010 and created a rose garden next to the building. The garden has 110 species of roses and more than 1,000 trees, many of which are perpetual and bloom in spring and autumn. Since then, the garden had been open to the public every May. From this year, however, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Osaka Works, the public opening has been renamed “Rose Festa” to provide visitors with a pleasant time with roses and music together. We welcome your visit. Please enjoy the beautiful roses here.

Social contribution activities

Clean-up activities
Clean-up activities
Factory tour with students from Shimaya Elementary School
Factory tour with students from Shimaya Elementary School

(1) Promoting cooperation and exchanges with local communities

  • ・Contribution to local environmental protection, providing cleanup and greening activities
  • ・Support for disaster-prevention and safety measures in the region
  • ・Opening athletic facilities (the Work’s sport ground and gymnasium) to the public

(2) Facilitating communication with local communities

  • ・Offering factory tours for neighborhood associations Support and participation in local events and activities
  • ・Issuing a newsletter for local communities

(3) Providing support for education and training

  • ・Support for training
  • ・Teachers’ work experience at the company
  • ・Science lectures at local schools
  • ・Work experience and vocational learning

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