The company we now know as Konica can trace its roots back to 1873, when Sugiura Rokusaburo began dealing in photographic and lithographic supplies at his shop in a suburb of Tokyo. Today it is a multinational group with 86 offices in 18 countries and it employs 17,000 people.
From its early days, Konica has been distinguished by its readiness to embrace new technologies and invest in the future. In 1903 it produced the Cherry Hand Camera – Japan’s first brand name camera, and the ancestor of its hugely successful camera manufacturing industry.
A history of innovation
Since that time, through innovative research, Konica developed many features that shaped the future of the modern camera and are now commonplace. They include the world’s first through-the-lens auto-exposure camera; the first compacts with built-in electronic flash, auto-focusing and auto-date recorder; the first motorized auto-loading, auto-winding 35mm SLR.
The same imaginative approach has played a major role in charting the course of other areas of imaging technology. In the medical field, for example, the world’s first 45-second X-ray processing system cut by half the time required for patient diagnosis, while the introduction in 1984 of the Konica Nice Print System, using the world’s first no-wash colour process, laid the foundations of the minilab revolution that has since taken place throughout the world.
Thinking the unconventional
The fundamental strengths of Konica have been its creative vision and a rare ability to think across different disciplines. As a result, the expertise developed in optical engineering, electronics, chemicals, precision manufacturing, colour and coating technology has been applied to creating novel solutions in many different fields.
For example, Konica’s aspherical plastic lenses for the optical pickups used in CD players have the number one share of the world market for such devices.
Konica and the Environment
At the same time, Konica has a firm commitment to maintaining peace and harmony with the environment. It has long supported global warming prevention, responded to a recycling-oriented society – with the aim of achieving zero waste – and promoted environmental risk management.
This commitment also guides all research and development activity, resulting in environmentally-friendly products like the Konica ECOJET system, which utilises chemicals in an easy-to-use, solid tablet form.
The world of Konica
Today, Konica is a world leader in many fields of information imaging and, as we move into a networked, digital world, it is positioned to build on its accumulated technological expertise to become an image solutions provider for the new age.
Its established analogue technology is being combined with digital technology and its strengths in information processing, communication and storage to produce creative solutions for the many challenges of this new market place.
But everything we do is driven by the same desire: that our customers should find that using Konica products is a rewarding experience.
As you’ve seen, Konica has a long and illustrious history. If you would like to see a brief outline, just click here.
Or, to find out more about Konica, take a look at some of our global websites.
Konica Minolta Global
Konica North America