Business Category : Machines(other machinery)
Created on 2013-4-15
Updated on 2015-3-19
The Soma Optics' main office is where you can spot soon after getting out the Ken-o Expressway at the Hinode Interchange. The name SOMA has come from the president's hometown, the city of Minami-soma in Fukushima prefecture, and there are an abundance of activities within the company to support the Tohoku region where the mega-quake struck. In this piece, we have asked President Ura about his company's activities in the project "Support services for enforcing groups of core manufacturing technology" promoted by Tokyo as well as their advantages to carry on business in the Tokyo area.
I founded Soma Optics when I was thirty years old. We started up as a machine design company and gradually shifted to a product development company. We developed and distributed analyzers so called high-speed liquid chromatography in the beginning. The high-speed liquid chromatography needs photo detectors to detect components. Our know-how in precision optical technology, one of our core technologies, is applied on the photo detectors. Only there are a number of major company competitors within the market for liquid chromatography. Therefore, we started to develop evaluation apparatus of solar cells fifteen years ago with eyeing the environmental / energy field for the future.
The areas which we have been focusing on besides the environment / energy field are the agriculture and livestock industries. What is notable is that we developed a device which analyzes meat lipid in a non-destructive manner by using light in the optical range of near infrared rays. We are the only company in Japan that works seriously on this field. The quality of fat is an important element to grade meat. With this device, you can grade carcass just before shipping. The Wagyu Registry Association has adopted our product for their Wagyu Olympics, in which the results measured with the meat lipid analyzer account for 20% of its scoring criteria.
With support of the public fund, we have been developing a device which measures luminous efficiency of LED. With this device, you can measure LED apparatus in a non-destructive manner while it is still in a state of materials before it is completed as a product. Since development requires huge funds, a small and medium sized company like us could not have made a start without the grants. Since we have been making use of tax, I am hoping to make a profit promptly to repay in the form of tax. We manufacturers tend to be bad at sales, so I feel very comfortable that sales members have joined in the team. I have realized that the supplement of members has increased trust from our business partners and outsourcees, which is also a motivator to our employees by actually experiencing it.
A national policy to create an industrial cluster which concentrates companies in all sizes, universities and banking institutions in an industrial park along Route 16 has resulted in attracting information, human resources and merchandise. When you face a lack of technology in a process of development, you can get advice from people around you if you seek one or obtain materials within thirty minutes. Therefore, I think this location outweighs a high land cost for the manufacturers like us. Furthermore, we can get quick access not only to the latest information but also to the front-line information about everyone's needs which we will require in the future. I love my hometown Minami-soma. I have a dream that one day I will launch a small factory in my hometown and involve in manufacturing. However, when I return once in a while and talk with my old friends who engage in manufacturing, I realize a huge advantage of working in Tokyo, which stops me from leaving the metropolis. The merit of being in Tokyo is unrecognizable when you have been doing business within it, but once you step away, I cannot help noticing how huge Tokyo has advantages to work in it.
Address: 23-6 Hirai, Hinode-machi, Nishitama-gun, Tokyo