Following the 8.9 magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami that devastated Japan on March 11, industry members have showed great concern about how the event has affected equipment manufacturers that are headquartered on the island.
Roland DGA, which is based in Hamamatsu, reports that though it felt tremors, it sustained no damage and no deaths related to the event. Hamamatsu is about 300 miles from Sendai, where the earthquake was most intense.
Mimaki Engineering, with headquarters in Nagano and factories and offices around Japan including a Sendai sales office in Tohoku area, confirms that its facilities are not affected by the earthquake, and plans to continue to provide products as before. The firm has suspended operations in its Sendai sales office until conditions improve there.
Mutoh Japan, with headquarters in Shinagawa, Tokyo, a factory in Suwa, Nagano and a regional office in Northeastern Japan, reports that it has received no substantial earthquake damage to any of its offices in Japan, and that all employees have been accounted for and remain safe.
Seiko I Infotech, with headquarters in Chiba, Japan, reports that its Japan-based office buildings, engineering facilities and manufacturing sites are intact, though some have suffered minor earthquake damage. Seiko employees are all accounted for and safe. However, some of its offices near Tokyo are under still under threat from rolling blackouts and the possibility of worsening radiation leakage from damaged nuclear power plants.
Production has been temporarily suspended, mainly because of limited public transportation, but will resume again as soon as possible. Manufacturers report that shipping, and especially air freight and courier shipments have been delayed because of the closure of Narita Airport.
Canon Inc., with headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, reports that some of its operation sites and Canon Group companies have suspended operations for one month or more. The company is considering using alternate sites that were not damaged by the earthquake as a means of continuing production.
The level of damage differs at each Canon Inc. operation site and Canon Group company located in northern Honshu (the area hardest hit by the earthquake). Concrete schedules for when production may resume have yet to be determined.
Operations for Canon plants and Group companies in the western half of Honshu have already resumed, and the company is determining whether or not there will be any impact on production at each location. To aid in the relief efforts for the earthquake victims, the Canon Group is making a donation of 300 million yen to the Japanese
(Editor's note: We, the staff of Sign & Digital Graphics extend our heartfelt condolence to all those directly and indirectly affected by this disaster. Industry members interested in helping victims of the disaster can do so through the American Red Cross www.redcross.org.)