Fuse Maker Hinode Electric Co., Ltd.

Website: Hinode Electric Co., Ltd.External site: a new window will open
Category: Japanese Machinery

A long history of making fuses

With almost 60 years of experience, Hinode Electric Co., Ltd., knows a thing or two about fuses. CEO Kazuhiro Hirahara's grandfather started the manufacturing company in 1946. It was incorporated as Hinode Electric in 1955. At the time, there was a growing need for fuses that could cut off electricity quickly and reliably. This prompted the company to develop its fast-acting Hinode Protect Fuse for semiconductors in 1974, and it's now its staple product.

CEO Kazuhiro Hirahara holding a Hinode Protect Fuse

The company now makes over 23 series and 500 types of fuses with different ratings

Fast and reliable protection

The company's fuses involve one or more thin pieces of a specially designed metal element that conducts electricity; a dangerous surge in electric current would melt the element, thus stopping the flow of electricity. Fuses balance two seemingly opposing functions: breaking performance and durability. For that reason, Hirahara explains, his company strives to engineer "fuses that will blow only when absolutely necessary." If such a time comes, Hinode Electric's fuses will stop the flow of electricity in microseconds, preventing the risk of overheating and fire. The company now makes over 23 series and 500 types of fuses with different ratings, for the circuit protection of semiconductor devices, inverters, servo drivers and uninterrupted power sources (UPS), among other applications.

Quality to last decades

Hinode Electric is working toward automation of the company's manufacturing area that takes cost into account. With regard to the important manufacturing process, influenced by both quality and performance, the company has been able to realize the manufacture of high quality products-not only through automation but also manual production performed by highly skilled operators, all the while keeping variation in product performance to an absolute minimum.

The company is continually improving its fuse design and is dedicated to quality control. "In our 59 years of business, we have not had any major problem with defective products," Hirahara notes with pride. Hinode Electric fuses are so reliable that some customers have reportedly used them for 30 years, though the company would prefer its customers replace their fuses more often to ensure performance ability and safety.

People are involved in many aspects of fuse production

After assembly, a fuse is visually inspected for quality control

Fusing automation and the human touch

Hirahara says that while other companies fully automate their fuse production, Hinode Electric recognizes the important functions of their fuses and doesn't compromise-which is why their manufacturing process involves human-attended machines. Says Hirahara: "Every fuse we supply has been checked individually." Also, all products are made at their Tokyo headquarters, allowing them to be very selective about the metals and other materials used.

Many large, Japanese companies use their fuses, and Hinode Electric aspires to reach other large, western companies. From industrial machines to power plants and solar panels, Hinode Electric is helping to fuse the technology essential to their safe operation.