We will develop our businesses, optimizing our cultivated technological strengths in the industrial products field, including the automotive industry, striving to resolve social issues with our business partners.
In Industrial Products, we engage in various industrial application areas, endeavoring to expand our earnings.
In the optical module business, in 2017 Ricoh Industrial Solutions drew on its strengths in optical and image processing technologies to develop and begin mass producing the world’s smallest automotive stereo camera. This camera is designed to enhance driver safety. We will bolster our products and technologies for the automotive industry, while applying expertise from that field in other industries, thereby expanding our business scale.
Automotive and battery sales are rising in the IC and wafer business of Ricoh Electronic Devices Co., Ltd. In CMOS analog semiconductors, where we have proprietary process and circuit technology, we are reinforcing our position in general-purpose power ICs that are compact and minimize current consumption. In battery protection ICs, where we have amassed a solid record over the years, we will endeavor to maintain our leads in mobile devices.
In the precision component business, Ricoh Elemex focuses on precision components for automobiles. The subsidiary aims to expand its business by developing and securing new technologies so it can cater to emerging customer demand for more compact and lighter offerings.
Creating new image and video expressiveness with unique and attractive hardware and data use
We are focusing on reinforcing our sales structure to generate both consumer and corporate demand for the RICOH THETA camera. This model can provide 360° still images and movies that showcase atmospheres and locations, and has considerable potential in the restaurant, hotel, tourist facility, construction, and automotive sectors. In addition, we offer the THETA 360.biz as a Web application that makes it easy to save images on the cloud and show them on subscriber websites. We aim to expand our lineup of models that can capture video in 4K and are waterproof, and look to establish our position as a top runner in cultivating new markets.
In data services, we are building a platform to store and analyze image and video data, and expanding our services. We aim to improve customer value in various industries, examples being facial authentication algorithms for security, behavioral analysis solutions for retailers, and stereo cameras for infrastructure inspection solutions.
In conventional digital cameras , we maintain a solid lineup of models. They include single lens reflex cameras for professionals, high-performance compact cameras, and action cameras that are waterproof, dustproof, and shock resistant.
Establishing priority areas in which we aim to swiftly commercialize offerings
In September 2014, the Ricoh Group launched an additive manufacturing business focusing on 3D printers. To date, we stocked and sold such hardware as Ricoh and other brand 3D printers while providing solutions that integrate everything from consulting to 3D data design and modeling.
We established RICOH Rapid Fab centers in Atsugi, Shin Yokohama, Osaka, and Nagoya to assist customers with everything from installing to operating 3D printers. They can talk with Ricoh technicians and see numerous modeled samples, direct parts, and molds and jigs at these centers, which show just how versatile 3D printing can be. We hold monthly events and seminars around Japan that highlight the technologies and applications of 3D printers and showcase the latest products. We will step up support for customer innovations through such initiatives, products, and services.
We seek to evolve with our customers through environmental management, which we began undertaking in the 1990s. We opened the RICOH Eco Business Development Center in Gotemba, Shizuoka, Japan, in April 2016. The goals of this facility are to create new environmental technologies and businesses that conserve resources, create and save energy, and through open innovation encompassing collaboration between industry, government and academia and to reuse and recycle MFPs. Ricoh Japan provides solar power facility operation and maintenance services that constantly monitor conditions and manage demand peaks and also provides electricity sales services. We aim to build and expand our eco solutions overall to generate annual sales of ¥100 billion by the fiscal year ending March 31, 2021.
The Ricoh Group entered the healthcare field in 2016 to capitalize on opportunities offered by an aging society and the need to reduce medical costs and eliminate regional disparities in medical treatment standards. We aim to expand our business by focusing on healthcare solutions, medical imaging, and biomedicine.
In healthcare solutions, we demonstrate experiments with telemedicine systems that use videoconferencing. In May 2017, we signed a joint business development agreement with MinebeaMitsumi Inc. for a bed sensor system for monitoring biometric information. In the first phase of this project, we will build a platform to monitor the elderly. The platform would accurately noninvasively monitor such biometrics as the weight and movements of people in beds, helping to enhance patient monitoring while reducing measurement and recording workloads. In medical imaging, we are developing magnetometers that can evaluate spinal cord and neural activity. We are also developing a spinal magnetometer that can evaluate nervous system functions. We acquired the brain activity measurement business of Yokogawa Electric Corporation in April 2016, and have accelerated business development and R&D in biomagnetic measurements. In the biomedical field, we are conducting R&D for bio-3D printers that create human tissue by using inkjet technology to three-dimensionally place cells.