Japan-US Business Report Logo

No. 351, December 1998

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Japanese Companies in the US


In a reversal of their original relationship, FERROTEC CORP. licensed manufacturing and marketing of its ferrofluid sealed spindles to FERROFLUIDICS CORP., which was instrumental in the Tokyo company's formation in 1980. Used in semiconductor production, this sealing system allows the transmission of rotary motion through the wall of a vacuum chamber, pressure vessel or other sealed and protected environment while isolating the protected environment from the ambient space. Nashua, New Hampshire-based Ferrofluidics will pay a 5 percent royalty on sales of the Ferrotec sealing system. The payment is expected to total $500,000 in the April 1999-March 2000 period. The former parent also will market a vacuum seal made by its offspring.

The Environmental Protection Agency has approved the sale of AMANO CORP.'s Alpha 800 electrolytic ionized water system for sanitizing all precleaned, nonporous food contact surfaces, including countertops, eating utensils and glassware in restaurants, dairies, food processing plants and other food preparation areas. The system, which is effective against S.aureus and E. coli bacteria, also can be used as a general sanitizing agent in all areas of federally inspected meat and poultry plants. To produce the electrolytic ionized water, an aqueous salt solution is added to the Alpha 800 and a current then is passed through the solution to produce chlorine, sodium hydroxide and hydrogen. Amano's PIONEER/ECLIPSE CORP. subsidiary in Sparta, North Carolina will handle marketing. It has priced the Alpha 800 between $7,400 and $14,900. Because this method of sanitizing is new to the United States, the company expects to sell just 100 Amano 800 systems in the first year.

With marketing clearance in hand from the Food and Drug Administration, CANON U.S.A., INC. is marketing nationwide the Canon Digital Radiography System. This digital X-ray imaging system, approved for all general-purpose diagnostic procedures, consists of a sensor plate imaging unit, a control station and an operation unit/preview panel. Unlike traditional X-ray systems, which involve exposing film for subsequent wet-chemical processing to create a hard-copy image, the CANON INC. product uses a device to capture the image in electronic form. The digital image data then is used to produce diagnostic hard-copy and reference soft-copy images. A key benefit of the Canon system is its networking capability, which can facilitate teleradiology among distant radiology departments.

An exchange rate of ¥121=$1.00 was used in this report.

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