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TopCon Corporation: Leader in Positioning Technology for Industrial Use

Topcon was established in September 1932, based in the surveying instrument division of K.Hattori & Co., Ltd. It initially manufactured optical devices, such as binoculars and cameras for the Japanese Army. After World War II, the factory was temporarily closed, then converted to produce civil products. Since then Topcon has been divided into three in-house companies of Positioning, Smart Infrastructure, and Eye Care. The corporation in now affiliated with 72 companies in 25 countries, and employs over 4,000 people. Their head office is located at 180, Shimura-motohasunuma-cho, Itabashi-ku, Tokyo.

The purpose of the Positioning/Laser Company is to “Automate the two largest industries in the world – construction and agriculture.” The Global Navigation Satellite System(GPS, Russia’s GLONASS, Europe’s Galileo) originates from machine control(MC) technology(acquired 1994) and Global Positioning System(acquired 2000). It’s initial target the agriculture business with lateral development of the MC technology. Farming machines and operations are optimized with information technology. GNSS and MC tech enables innovative “crop monitoring to application control, and from field guidance to land leveling.” Now it provides profecient equipment to meet demands of precision-users (Surveying, Civil engineering, Construction). Their recievers are integrated with Universal Tracking tech and utilize multi-constellation reception, to ensure prime reception of each GNSS signals. Equipment at construction sites installed with total stations, receivers, and sensors(mmGPS, hydraulic control systems, etc.), can be operated using design data. Currently Topcon, with Tremble Navigation Ltd.(located in United States), have the largest shares in global market for machine control(MC) systems.

Smart Infrastructure Company develops cutting-edge positioning tech products, such as global positioning systems(GPS) and laser/image analysis technologies. Investments in emerging country target markets are expected to create a notable increase in business opportunities. Sophisticated Topcon total stations, such as TSShield(cloud-based total station user support system), are implemented into surveying, civil engineering and construction sites. This enables “operational status and trouble reports, through integrated multifunctional comunication module,” to be automatically collected and relayed. 3D measurement and monitoring systems, which includes 3D laser scanner, 3D station, and automated gyro station, are developed by the Smart Infrastruture Company as well. IP-S2 series is Topcon’s onboard 3D mobile mapping system that calculates and image absolute positions with peak precision. IP-S2 Lite( uses onboard 360 camera and inertial measurement unit for 3D video), and IP-S2 Standard( uses hi-def shapes to construct point cloud data) inexpesively acquires 3D spatial data effectively through combining 3D shape/image data. These techniques improves construction and surveying fields project life-cycle, by integrating information and communication tech.

Eye Care Company designs ophthalmic instruments for wide range of applications, including diagnostic/treatment instruments and ophthalmic data/electronic medical record systems. These aid in diabetic screening and other preventive medical devices. Medical professionals utilize these tools to detect early-stage deseases, such as glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration; the 3 major causes of blindness. Topcon effective ocular-disease screening solutions contribute to patients quality of vision. IT solutions are implemented to aid ophthalmologist in the complicated eye-examination procedures. IMAGEnet is one solution that “consolidates various examination and diagnosis data… and the ‘electronic medical record system’ that streamlines practice routines.” Eyeglass shops can obtain Topcon’s vision tester system. It simulates a customers lifestyle scene, ensuring shop customers leave with glasses that feel comfortable. Topcon Eye Care Company continues to provide innovative techniques for vision care.

Augmented Reality wearables for workers in Agriculture, Engineering and Construction(AEC) industry is also being influenced by Topcon’s advanced positioning tech. Daqri and Topcon have teamed up to improve workers safety and effectiveness through Daqri’s smart helmet. This enables employees to retrieve real-time data from their projects in the real-world work environment. With the added hands-free capability, the smart helmet effectively improves workplace effeciency. With their involvement in AR tech and development of sophisticated positioning systems, Topcon is definitely a hi-tech leader in the AEC industry.

“By exploring the possibilities of light, which forms the basis of the company’s core optical technologies spanning a wide range of wavelengths, we will create new value by meeting our customers’ unanswered needs with TM-1(Time to Market No. 1)products, and thereby make enduring contributions to human society.”


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