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No. 363, December 1999

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Japanese Companies in the US


PRECISION AND MEDICAL EQUIPMENT

Within the next two years, FURUKAWA ELECTRIC CO., LTD. expects to be one of the three biggest optoelectronics suppliers in North America. To this end, it formed FITEL TECHNOLOGIES, INC. in Clinton, New Jersey to run all existing FEC optoelectronics operations in North America. FITEL Technologies is backed by new design and product development centers in Clinton and in Marlborough, Massachusetts. It also can draw on the resources of FEC's existing marketing and sales offices in Peachtree City, Georgia and Santa Clara, California. Beyond a new organizational form, the company's strategy for ascending the ranks of optoelectronics suppliers is to maintain its current leadership position in power pump lasers while providing integrated, custom passive devices for DWDM (dense wavelength-division multiplexing) optical networking systems and optical amplifiers.

SUMITOMO ELECTRIC INDUSTRIES, LTD. is working with CIDRA CORP. to advance the capabilities of the Wallingford, Connecticut firm's distributed fiber-optic sensing systems. Oil companies use these imaging and monitoring systems to locate, manage and control hydrocarbon resources. The partners' immediate goal is to develop distributed sensors. These are required, CiDRA says, because as wells become deeper, hotter and more complicated, the current alternative technology, single-point electronic sensors, no longer are effective. SEI, which is CiDRA's fiber-optic cable supplier, invested $1 million in its collaborator as part of the tie-up.

Marketing will start in spring 2000 of a tissue preparation system developed by the Torrance, California subsidiary of histology and cytology equipment manufacturer SAKURA FINE TECHNICAL CO., LTD. The Tissue-Tek Paraform Sectionable Cassette System is designed to streamline the now time-consuming job of embedding tissue in a cassette and removing the processed tissue and placing it in an embedding mold while, at the same time, making the process more exact. For greater efficiency, SAKURA FINETEK U.S.A., INC. is working on an automated version of the Paraform cassette system. A prototype should be available in the fall of 2000. Sakura Fine Technical plans to market both products in Europe and Japan.

The team of TOTOKU CORP. and Westminster, Colorado-based DATA-RAY CORP. has developed what is said to be the world's first perfectly flat CRT monitor for PACS (picture archive and communication systems) medical imaging. This profile eliminates the distortion typically associated with a CRT's curved screen. The DR96 Digital also employs automatic luminance stability circuitry. By continuously compensating for beam current degradation, this technology ensures that brightness levels remain stable both over time and among monitors. Shipments of the DR96 are scheduled to start in January 2000. Data- Ray, a designer and manufacturer of high-performance monitors for medical, industrial and scientific imaging applications, is owned by NIPPON CHEMI-CON CORP.

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