OMRON's electronic component business makes full use of state-of-the-art technology. We supply the world with innovative electronic and mechanical components that create smooth interfaces between people and machines, supporting ubiquitous computing.
Typical examples of these components are MEMS microphone chips for personal digital assistants and PCs; UWB antennas for wireless communication between digital appliances; high-efficiency, high-intensity LCD backlights for mobile phones; and OKAO Vision facial recognition technology, which is employed in mobile phones to recognize the phone's owner. We are also developing DC high-capacity relays for clean-energy cars, such as fuel-cell vehicles and hybrid cars, thus helping to miniaturize and reduce the weight of various devices in order to achieve advanced features, increased capacity and higher speed.
In order to provide more valuable to customers, OMRON has worked to further strengthen four leading-edge technologies in the electronic components business. The first is an ultra-precise replication technology that produces replicas that are accurate down to a single micrometer. This technology is indispensable to optical communications, optical displays, illumination, high-frequency devices and subminiature mechanical devices.
The second is optical control technology, which uses the wave nature of light to efficiently control the direction of light movement, to support the evolution of LCDs for I/O devices, video recording devices and IT devices used for data communication.
The third is micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) technology, which helps support the IT age by allowing materials to be processed with micrometer- to nanometer-level precision, thus contributing to the microminiaturization of mobile devices, consumer applications, industrial applications, automobile applications and biotechnology-related products. The fourth is nano-material technology, which is used to pursue materials at the nano level of molecules and atoms. Further development of this technology is expected to produce added value for key devices.
For many products, advanced functionality and increased ease of use depend on the evolution of built-in electronic components. For example, a wide range of relays and switches that were miniaturized in order to reduce power consumption and preserve the environment are now playing a major role in improving the performance of home appliances and mobile devices.
Optical communications devices such as relays and switches support the construction of highly reliable, efficient networks while helping to downsize LAN devices with large-scale capacity in the Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) service that is now becoming popular. Furthermore, advanced sensors built into machines in game arcades improve the entertainment value of the machines. In these and other ways, highly precise, high-quality cutting-edge components are responding to needs in a wide variety of fields.
Electronic components are becoming smaller and more precise everyday. From a quality control or production efficiency perspective, the conventional method of inspecting these components after they are produced is no longer adequate. In response, OMRON's electronic components business is applying statistical process control (SPC) to ensure that products customers receive meet the highest quality standards.
We attach top priority to product quality. That is why OMRON built the Global Lot Tracing System, a database that logs important production-related information, for easier troubleshooting. The system also allows factories and distributors to share valuable information. By using strong environmental management to eliminate or reduce the use of hazardous substances, OMRON has also succeeded in bringing all the electric components it produces in line with RoHS requirements.