Hirose Electric’s 80-year
history of connectors
made in Japan.
Since its founding in 1937, Hirose Electric has taken
challenge of connecting people’s ideas.
Through its 80-year history, Hirose has used world
first innovative products
to create connections and contribute to innovation
on a global scale.
Hirose Electric’s employees will continue
to work as one, proud to be a
manufacturer, to turn customers’ ideas into reality.
These products which were designed and built in Japan, were launched into a connector industry which was dominated by foreign-made products. The Ramicon was half the size of overseas products, leading to its selection as a global standard connector for VTR connections.
Hirose was an early entrant to the Korean market, which had developed into one of the world’s suppliers of mobile products. Hirose developed a partnership with Daedu-ck Industrial Co., Ltd., a local PCB manufacturer, to form Hirose Korea. This partnership grew to become a leading global parts supplier.
This joint initiative between South Korea and Japan was praised for its contributions to an economic and cultural exchange between the two countries. In 2006, while chairman of the company, the late CEO Hideki Sakai received the Korea-Japan Businessperson Grand Prize.
Connecting FPCs to connectors requires inserting the FPC into the connector, which can be a difficult process for operators. Hirose developed a new “flip-lock” ZIF (Zero Insertion Force) design in which the connector’s top is opened to insert the FPC, making the connection process easier (see the figure on the righttop). This simple and reliable connection method is now a standard design concept in the connector industry.
At the time, coaxial connectors for antennas were large and expensive. Anticipating a coming tide of miniaturization, Hirose developed a series which uses stamped and formed components to achieve a significant size and cost reduction. These compact coaxial connectors matched the needs of mobile phone antenna connectors, and have been widely used since the advent of the mobile phone.
Micro-USB connectors have become a global standard I/O connector for many devices such as smartphones, tablet computers, e-book readers, and headsets. Hirose succeeded in aggregating I/O connector designs, which had previously varied by manufacturer, and, based on Hirose proposals, created a global standard specification (with the basic form being the GX series). It became the standard power charging specification in China and the EU, and is used in Japan in feature phones and gaming devices.
Equipment at the Ichinoseki and Koriyama plants was damaged by the earthquake. The Miyako Plant also suffered a prolonged infrastructure outage due to the subsequent tsunami. This made it difficult to supply products to our customers, but an emergency team was established in Yokohama. Expertise from around Hirose was pooled together, enabling Hirose to satisfy our responsibility to provide customers with products.
In 2011, construction of the Yokohama Center was completed, one of Hirose Electric’s future-oriented sites. The building concept was to gather all departments under a single roof. Seeing the 80-year history as only part of its journey, the new Yokohama Center building was created as a unconventional centennial project. All of the company’s employees vowed to help achieve unending growth and development.
Cabling secured with screw fasteners in buildings is commonplace. Hirose researched power supply connections in buildings which had remained unchanged for decades and developed its “Zero Screw” design, which requires no screw fastening, eliminating the need for maintenance. This product holds tremendous future potential as work site personnel shortages become more severe.