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Newsletter "SEI NEWS" 2011

Home > Company Information > SEI WORLD > Back number > Vol.404

[Newsletter "SEI NEWS" Vol.404]

Celebrating the 70th Anniversary of Itami Works and the 50th Anniversary of Yokohama Works

In 2011, we celebrate the 70th anniversary of Itami Works' founding and the 50th anniversary of Yokohama Works’ founding. On the occasion of reaching these milestones, we renew our commitment to achieving further growth for Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd. and adding new pages to the Company’s glorious history.

Itami Works

Itami Works was opened in March 1941 as the Company’s second manufacturing base. Initially, the facility was dedicated to the production of the cemented carbide tool IGETALLOY and aircraft valve spring piano wire. The facility has since supported Sumitomo Electric Group’s development in the vanguard of group business diversification. Today, Itami Works comprises Production Groups for special steel wire, powdered alloys, synthetic diamonds, sintered components, functional components and compound semiconductors, as well as an R&D Group working mainly on new materials-related projects. Itami Works is a unique industrial site that houses, a wide variety of manufacturing activities, in areas ranging from electronics to automotive and industrial materials and components.

Aerial view of Itami Works (Itami City, Hyogo Prefecture)

■ Itami Works' History
1941 Itami Works opened
1948 Sale of sintered products commenced
1963 Manufacture of disk brakes commenced
1970 Manufacture of compound semiconductors commenced
1977 Start of Electronic materials business
1985 Manufacture of synthetic monocrystal diamonds repositioned as commercial operation
1987 Mass production of automobile antilock braking systems (ABS) commenced
1999 Spin-off of the brake business as a subsidiary company
2000 Achievement of ISO14001 certification
2002 Spin-off the special steel wire business as a subsidiary company
2003 Spin-off the powdered alloy, diamond product, sintered product and functional component businesses as subsidiary companies
2005 Achievement of OHSAS18001 certification
2008 Opened Technical Training Center; Established Sumiden Friend, Ltd. (later recognized as special subsidiary)
■ Receiving the "19th Hyogo Prefecture Environment-Friendly Business Award"
  表彰状   受賞の様子  

Hyogo Prefecture presents its Governor's Awards to businesses engaged in environmental protection or creative activities that are recognized as excellent from the perspective of the local general public. The 19th Environment-Friendly Business Award was presented to Itami Works in recognition of the facility's activities: participation - in the framework of the company's local community service - in activities of the forest section of a local association for the protection of Itami's natural environment; promotion of flower and greenery festivals and other local programs, in partnership with Itami City; and the installation of solar power generators and energy-saving lighting equipment as CO2-emission reduction activities. Itami Works remains committed to continuous and steady efforts for environmental protection, in collaboration with the local community.

■ Tree-planting Ceremony Marking 70th Anniversary


On the occasion of the Inari Festival (celebration of Sumitomo's establishment) on April 3, 80 company executives, headed by Mr. Masayoshi Matsumoto, President, gathered on the premises of Itami Works and attended a ceremony in which prayers were offered for safety of company operations and a yew tree (ichii or araragi in Japanese) was planted to mark the facility's 70th anniversary. The yew tree has thin, long, dark-green leaves, has small flowers that bloom in April and bears red fruits in early autumn. The yew tree was chosen for this ceremony in hope that the Company's operations would rank No. 1 (ichii) in their respective segments.

Yokohama Works

Yokohama Works commenced production of telecommunications cables when it opened in 1961 as the company's first manufacturing base in the Kanto Region. Manufacturing and development divisions, featuring the latest equipment, were gradually added and expanded. Today Yokohama Works is a major manufacturing base of information and telecommunications products, including optical fiber cables, optical connectors, optical fiber fusion splicers, optical amplifiers, and optical and electronic devices. An R&D division supporting the production of these products is also located on the premises.

Aerial view of Yokohama Works (Sakae Ward, Yokohama City, Kanagawa Prefecture)

■ Yokohama Works' History
1961 Yokohama Works opened; communication cable factory inaugurated
1966 His Imperial Highness the Crown Prince (presently His Majesty the Emperor) visited Yokohama Works
1974 Communication device factory inaugurated
1982 Optical fiber mass-production factory inaugurated
1983 His Imperial Highness The Crown Prince (present His Majesty The Emperor) visited optical fiber factory;
Systems Integration & Engineering Division established
1985 New optical system building and new IGETALLOY building completed
1987 His Imperial Highness Prince Naruhito (present His Imperial Highness The Crown Prince) visited Yokohama Works; main laboratory building completed
1992 Mass production of optical data links for public communications use commenced
1997 Mass production of wavelength-division-multiplexing (WDM) dispersion-shifted fiber for submarine cable systems commenced
1999 Achievement of ISO14001 certification
2009 Sumitomo Electric Device Innovations, Inc. established (micro & opto devices business)
2010 SSEI Optifrontier Co., Ltd. established (lightwave network products business)
On-site Science Classes for Local Elementary School Children

On-site science class

On November 24, 2010, Yokohama Works personnel made a "special delivery" of a science lesson about optical fiber to the fifth- and sixth-graders of nearby Senshu Elementary School. The students first carried out an experiment using tin-can telephones, to confirm the transmission of voices via the thread. They then learned the principles of optical communications and actual applications of optical fiber. This was followed by an optical communications experiment in which the students learned to remote-control a video camera using an experimental optical fiber kit. The personnel hope that through such an experience, school children will discover the pleasures of science and become more interested in it.

Yokohama Works Site Now and Then

Area before establishment of Yokohama Works

Yokohama Works is situated near JR Tokaido Line Ofuna Station. Before Yokohama Works was built, the area was a vast expanse of paddy fields, with Mt. Kikkou standing in the middle like a floating island. In those days, eels, crabs and shrimp were found in abundance in the nearby Kasio and Sekiya Rivers; hares, weasels, ducks and Chinese bamboo partridges inhabited the surrounding fields. In the 1920s, a score of red swamp crawfish, imported from North America for use as feed on Kamakura Frog Farm (then located in Ofuna), escaped and spread throughout Japan. By the mid-1930s, large numbers of red swamp crawfish were seen in rice paddies on the present site of Yokohama Works, which came into being in such a nature-rich environment.

- IGETALLOY is a trademark or registered trademark of Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd.

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