Company History

  • 1953

    SUMITA Optical Industries Ltd. applies existing technology of optical glass molding to lens materials, and anticipating the future development of the optics industry, SUMITA Optical Glass MFG. Co., Ltd. is established with the purpose of optical glass melting.

  • 1961

    Lanthanum optical glass melting is begun with the objective of expanding SUMITA’s business into lens material for cameras.

  • 1966

    Development of multicomponent optical fiber is begun.

  • 1970

    Tajima Tabehara Factory is established and ultrasonic delay line glass melting is begun.

  • 1971

    Cadmium-free glass, free of the regulated pollutant cadmium, is developed.

  • 1973

    Liquid crystal spacer glass is developed.

  • 1974

    Thorium-free glass, free of the regulated pollutant thorium, is developed.

  • 1978

    High performance prism glass for binoculars, BPG2, is developed.

  • 1979

    Expansion into the European market is made along with the opening of Yagoshima Factory.

  • 1981

    A representative office is established in USA in order to expand into the American market.

  • 1984

    Direct press formation of lens materials is begun.

    Control of the hand-press department is transferred to a separate company, and Nankai Optical Co. (later SUMITA Photonics), Ltd. is established.

  • 1985

    Aspheric lens that does not require polishing is developed using ultra-precision glass in cooperation with Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. (later Panasonic Corporation) development laboratories.

    Nagano Tajima Factory is established.

  • 1986

    The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun, Ltd. (Japan Industrial Newspaper, hereinafter “Nikkan Kogyo”) “10 Greatest New Product Award” is won for our “Integrated Optical Pickup Lens”.

    SUMITA’s glass ceramic material for thin film magnetic heads, photosensitive glass and ceramics for chemical machining, and a unique sealing glass are developed and commercialized.

  • 1987

    “Photaron,” an optical glass in place of fluorite, is developed.

  • 1988

    Company name is changed to SUMITA Optical Glass, Inc.

    Sale of the low price fiberscope, “My-Scope,” is begun.

    “Photaron” receives “The Circle of Excellence Award Winners” from the U.S. Magazine Photonics Spectra.

  • 1989

    “Gadron,” an abnormal partial dispersion glass, is developed.

    Nikkan Kogyo’s “The 1st Small to Medium Enterprise, Excellent New Technology and Product Award” is received for our “Fluoride Optical Fiber.”

  • 1991

    Nikkan Kogyo’s “The 3rd Small to Medium Enterprise, Excellent New Technology and Product Award” is received for our compound glass fiberscope, “My-Scope Hosokei.”

  • 1992

    “The 24th Ichimura Industry Award Achievement Award” is received for SUMITA’s “Molded Glass Aspheric Lenses.”

    “Preforms Material for Aspheric Lenses” and infrared (IR) detector, “Photo Turkey” is developed.

  • 1993

    Infrared (IR) detector, “YAG Turkey” is developed.

  • 1994

    YAGLASS,” the world’s first infrared (IR) detecting device using transparent crystallized glass ceramic, is developed.

  • 1995

    SUMITA’s low dispersion glass “Gadron” and “Super Gadron” receive the Japan Invention Promotion Association and Nikkan Kogyo jointly sponsored “20th Invention Grand Prix.”

    YAGLASS” receives “The 7th Small to Medium Enterprise, Excellent New Technology and Product Award.”

  • 1996

    A factory for melting optical glasses and manufacturing leached image bundles for fiber scopes are expanded in Tajima-cho, Fukushima.

  • 1997

    Lumilass B” receives “The 9th Small to Medium Enterprise, New Excellent Technology and Product Award” in Japan, and also receives “The 1997 Circle of Excellence Award Winners” from the U.S. magazine Photonics Spectra.

  • 1998

    Long-Phosphorescent Glass” that stores light energy and continues to light in darkness is developed. “Magnetic Glass,” a glass that magnets adhere to, is developed.

  • 2001

    The precision molding lens factory at the Tajima Tabehara Factory is newly organized.

  • 2003

    “Super Vidron K-PG325” receives “The 2002 Circle of Excellence Award Winners” from the U.S. Magazine Photonics Spectra.

  • 2003

    “Super Vidron K-PG325” receives “The 15th Small to Medium Enterprise, Excellent New Technology and Product Award, Small-medium Enterprise Secretary’s Award.”

  • 2004

    The Emperor of Japan visits our Urawa Factory.

    ISO 14001 is certified.

  • 2005

    SUMITA OPTICAL GLASS EUROPE GmbH is established in Nuremberg, Germany.

  • 2006

    A fluoride fiber is developed which enables a blue semiconductor laser to oscillate continuously as a white laser from one laser light source.

    SUMITA is chosen as one of the “300 Best Small and Medium-Size Companies in Japan for Vitalizing Manufacturing” by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI)/ Small and Medium Enterprise Agency.

  • 2007

    The optical glass for precision molding “K-PSFn214,” which has a refractive index of 2.14 (nd) is developed and commercialized.

    “White Light Source Composed of Blue Semiconductor Laser Diode and Optical Fiber” receives the Nikkei BP Company sponsored “2007 (17th) Nikkei BP Technology Award, Electronics/ Information Appliances Category.”

  • 2009

    “Glass Encapsulated LED” receives Japan Brand Award at Super Manufacturing Award sponsored by Nikkan Kogyo.

  • 2010

    Tajima Factory obtains Business License for Medical Device Manufacturer.

    Participates in the METI's Program to develop medical equipment and devices to solve unmet medical needs.

  • 2012

    ISO 9001 is certified.

    Participates in Fukushima’s program to develop medical and welfare devices.

  • 2013

    ISO 13485 is certified at Tajima Factory.

    Tajima Factory obtains Business License for Medical Equipment Repairing.

    Tajima Factory also obtains Business License for Medical Device Manufacturers for Animal use.

  • 2014

    Tajima Factory obtains Business License for Production and Sales of the second class medical devices.

    "Teluna- LED Head Light -" receives Excellent Award at Science and Technology for Fire and Disaster Management Award from Fire and Disaster Management Agency.

  • 2017

    SUMITA obtains Business license for Sales and Leasing of Advanced Medical Equipment.

    "HDIG Scope" receives "Award for Brilliant Industrial Technology in Metropolitan Area" at Metropolitan Summit.

  • 2018

    SUMITA is selected as "The Leading Company for Regional Future" by METI.

    SUMITA OPTICS (Dongguan) Co., Ltd. is established in Dongguan, Guangdong, China.