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Inspection Systems

Our inspection system business is based on the image-processing technology that our Group has developed and refined for over 30 years, and is chiefly concerned with quality control inspection systems used in a range of sectors, from the manufacture of electronic components to printing. Our image processing technology started out in 1973 with systems for the steelmaking industry that filmed the surface of stainless steel sheet using industrial video cameras and automatically measured crystal grain size. Later, in response to the rapid advancements in personal computers, these systems were improved and used in applications ranging from basic research and sample testing in laboratories to inspecting silicon wafers for defects. Our principle inspection systems are the BCON, used on printing lines to assure printing quality by checking for marks and defects in printed materials at high speed, and the MujiKen, the plain-surface defect inspection system that applies high resolution and processing speed to the inline inspection of plain webs (film, paper, metals, etc.) in continuous motion. The MujiKen system has been developed to meet the needs of manufacturers who are facing fierce competition and pressure to maintain quality and cut costs of the high-performance film that is used in the production of LCD TVs and flat-panel displays, as competition for high image quality and lower prices intensifies with the growing use of these devices. At present, although our inspection system business accounts for about 20% of our corporate results, the market is developing, and we are positioning this business as one in which high growth is expected.

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