1 May 2023
On 10 May, Japan-based Hamamatsu Photonics K.K. is holding a groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of a new building (costing about 4bn yen) at its Miyakoda Factory site in Shinmiyakoda, Kita-ku, Hamamatsu City, Shizuoka Prefecture.
Scheduled for completion in July 2024 followed by starting operation that October, the 1780m2 Building No. 4 (with four storeys, providing total floor space of 6720m2) will accommodation about 160 staff and increase production capacity to about 25 million lasers per year (converted to single chips) in response to the increasing demand for semiconductor lasers essential in light detection & ranging (LiDAR) applications.
Picture: Artist’s impression of Miyakoda Factory Building No. 4.
Hamamatsu Photonics develops, manufactures and sells semiconductor lasers and laser oscillators used in fields including measurement, analysis, laser processing, factory automation and medical applications. This includes optoelectronic devices requiring a broad range of laser types.
Sensing technologies using light are now utilized in a vast range of diverse applications including LiDAR, which uses semiconductor lasers for contact-free and high-precision measurement of the position and shape of objects over long distances, and is currently applied to autonomous driving. They are also present in many other applications including public transportation infrastructure, automated transport, and autonomous mobile robots. A vast expansion in the LiDAR product market can hence be expected in the future, says Hamamatsu.
Hamamatsu’s new building at the Miyakoda Factory site will consolidate post-processing steps (after wafer process) in semiconductor laser manufacture. Currently, these are dispersed to different locations in the factory site. Construction of the new factory building will expand production space to meet ever-increasing product demand. This newest building will allow the firm to optimize workflow lines between production processes and also install the latest in manufacturing and inspection equipment. This will promote process automation and efficiency, hence improving productivity, reckons the firm. The factory has an earthquake-resistant design to make it more disaster resilient and proactively incorporates eco-friendly measures such as heat-insulating structures and solar power generation systems.
“We are one of the very few companies in the world that manufactures both photodetectors and light sources,” claims Hamamatsu Photonics. “This gives us the advantage of being able to propose an optimum set of photodetectors and light sources that are specifically designed, developed and manufactured to match each application,” it adds. “Taking this advantage, we aim to expand sales of semiconductor lasers, including those for LiDAR.”
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