Fantastic Trip to SENDAI NIKON
Nikon Historical Society
Nikon Kenkyukai Tokyo
the SENDAI NIKON
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.
The tour started with the machine shop, where brass blanks are converted to intricate lens mounts via multi-staged computer controlled automatic lathes.
NHS members at work
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.
The group was required to wear clean-room gear
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.
President Ohmikawa invited the group in for a Power-Point presentation of the Nikon Company and Sendai plant operations.
Sendai Nikon, 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.
A lot of commendations
GOOD DESIGN AWARD
Super Nikon F3
Sendai Nikon SLR camera shipments reached 11,111,111
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, #11,111,111. We also saw the last F5 produced, #3235612.
Four-Eleven Nikon F5!!!
No. 0000002 of Nikon F6!!!
Introducing the NHS Nikon Journal
Nikon Sendai President Mr. Mikio Ohmikawa and General Manager and designer of the F5 Mr. Kosho Miura are from the left in the photo.
Chris gave the president Belgian beer as a thank you for the visit
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.
New Shinkansen Train
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
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, safely. Thank You, Chris.
Special thank you very much for;
Mr. Mikio Ohmikawa, President of Sendai Nikon Corp.
Visitor from the Nikon Historical Society (NHS)
Bill Kraus from U.S.A.
Visitor from the Nikon Kenkyukai Tokyo
Author of this article
Photo : Shusaku Suzuki, Nikon Kenkyukai Tokyo
Copyright Michio Akiyama, Tokyo Japan 2007, 2022