Fantastic Trip to SENDAI NIKON, Feb. 22 2007
Fantastic Trip to SENDAI NIKON
February 22, 2007
Fantastic Trip to
Super Trip to Sendai by Shinkansen
The visit to Sendai on Thursday was quite interesting.
The group took a 90-minute ride from Tokyo station
on the Shinkansen to Sendai, a city of about one-million.
The Nikon factory was reached after a short 15-minute local train ride,
and a 5-minute walk (past the Sapporo brewery) from the Natori station.
Happy Tour Group
Mini NHS Meeting in the Train
Group visiting Sendai Nikon
On arrival, we were greeted by Nikon Sendai President Mikio Ohmikawa,
and Kosho Miura, General Manager and designer of the F5.
A formal group portrait with the President
was taken in front of the headquarter building.
Nikon Kenkyukai Tokyo
Nikon Historical Society
Meets the Sendai Nikon
President Ohmikawa invited the group in for a Power-Point presentation
of the Nikon Company and Sendai plant operations.
, started in 1971, is one of three manufacturing plants in Japan.
It employs about 500, with an additional 500 temporary workers.
He was proud of the site's achievements in safe and environmentally sound operations.
The site manufactures cameras (including the new D2Xs, D2HS and F6)
and also produces key components for cameras assembled at other sites,
including Thailand and China.
While no optical components are produced at Sendai,
the 12 millionth camera produced was recently commemorated at this site,
with a specially produced and serial numbered F5,
We also saw the last F5 produced, #3235612.
NHS members at work
The tour started with the machine shop,
where brass blanks are converted to intricate lens mounts
via multi-staged computer controlled automatic lathes.
For the next stop on the tour, the group was required to wear clean-room gear.
Dressed in white cap and gowns, the tour was taken through the production
of printed circuit boards, the key component to today's digital equipment.
President Ohmikawa was gracious in allowing photographs to be taken
of these operations.
Samples of a lens mount and a D200 printed circuit board
were presented to each visitor.
It was stated that there are actually 83 different lens mounts
in current production.......
and we thought an F-mount, well, was a one and only!
Hans and Hans dressed in white cap and gowns
The last stop on the tour was the camera body assembly and inspection lines.
This building also required clean-room garb, for obvious reasons.
It was, perhaps, the most interesting part of the tour,
but with highly confidential proceedings,
no photography was permitted of the work and test stations.
The trip ended with a question and answer session with
the President and General Manager.
The subject of most interest and discussion was centered on the future
of digital photography and the continued growth and development of the technology.
We left with the distinct and assured impression that Nikon will continue
at the forefront of these technological advances.
You can refer to the
president Mikio Ohmikawa's message
Kosho Miura who is General Manager and designer of the F5.
A lot of commendations
Super Nikon F3
Four-Eleven Nikon F5!!!
No. 0000002 of Nikon F6!!!
Hans is promoting the sales of the NHS to the president?! :-)
Chris offered a bribe to the president?! :-)
The return trip also provided an unexpected delight.
At the Sendai Station, we saw the new prototype Shinkansen train - the new Fastech 360.
Quite different in design from the current white bullet train,
the F-360 also sported a slick metallic forest-green paint-job.
Inside the cars were test equipment, connecting wires and monitors.
We all photographed the big green snake as it slithered out of the station
just before our Hayate arrived to take the group back to Tokyo................
New Shinkansen Train Fastech 360
A Once in a Lifetime Experience
Those who made the trip, Bill Kraus, Al Brody,
Hans Ploegmakers, John Millham,
Hans Braakhuis, Tad Sato,
Shusaku Suzuki and Takadon Takahashi are indebted to NHS Member,
Christopher Sap from Belgium, who not only made this visit possible,
but also arranged for the travel and shepherded the group there and back,
Thank You, Chris.
Special thank you very much for;
Mr. Mikio Ohmikawa, President of Sendai Nikon Corp.
Mr. Kosho Miura, General Manager of Sendai Nikon Corp.
All employees in Sendai Nikon Corp.
Tad Sato, Nikon Kenkyukai Tokyo
Shusaku Suzuki, Nikon Kenkyukai Tokyo
Visitor from the Nikon Historical Society(NHS);
Bill Kraus from U.S.A.
Al Brody from U.S.A.
Hans Ploegmakers from Netherlands
Hans Braakhuis from Netherlands
John Millham from United Kingdom
Christopher Sap from Belgium
Takadon Takahashi from Japan
(c) Bill Kraus, Nikon Historical Society
(c) Shusaku Suzuki, Nikon Kenkyukai Tokyo
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Copyright Michio Akiyama, Tokyo Japan 2007