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Sanritz Automation : Directing the Traffic


Industrial computer system manufacturer Sanritz Automation Co. is the brains behind any number of industrial and social infrastructures in Japan. Katayama Osamu profiles the company.


Today, IT is used in every area of society. Computers play an important role in managing numerous facilities and equipment, such as factories, power plants, stations, logistical warehouses and stores as well as microcomputers embedded in home electric appliances, including televisions and refrigerators. Software that enables computers to work and systems that manage computers as a whole are essential to computers.

Sanritz Automation Co., which is headquartered in Machida, Tokyo, is an industrial computer system manufacturer with around 150 employees.

※Suzuki Kazuya, president of Sanritz Automation Co.

“For embedded systems, we are dedicated to industrial devices including social infrastructures, not customer products including home electric appliances,” says Suzuki Kazuya, the company’s president. “We handle factory systems, such as automobile production lines and semiconductor manufacturing devices, and social infrastructure systems, such as electronic toll collection (ETC) systems and local airport remote monitoring systems.”

Sanritz Automation deals with the entire systems, including devices and embedded computers, and software that enables computers to work.

Sanritz Automation was founded in 1971. Suzuki Ichiro, the father of Kazuya, was originally an electric construction work engineer. He established Sanritz Automation Co. as a software developer, a designer and manufacturer of minicomputer and microcomputer systems, and an electronic equipment seller with the aim of achieving factory automation by computer.

The company’s first major project was the Traffic Control System for Tokyo Metropolitan Expressway in 1973.

Toshiba Corporation played a role as a system integrator, and Sanritz Automation participated in the project as a subcontractor. Sanritz Automation dealt with proposals regarding system design and the development of software that enables computers to operate. It was a major achievement for Sanritz Automation that it handled the advanced social infrastructure system of traffic control.

Sanritz Automation’s partnership with Toyota Motor Corporation in 1987 was an epoch-making milestone.

Toyota Motor Corporation is famous for its Toyota Production System (TPS). Toyota began to visualize production processes by using sensors and electronic tags in the 1970s. Sanritz Automation participated in streamlining and automating Toyota factories and introducing electronics for mechatronics apparatuses and mechatronics equipment.

Suzuki says, “Toyota first worked on visualization for improvements. If it conducted visualization using data and numbers, it could find problems and improve the situation. We helped it with this.”