In a previous JTEC report*, this author outlined the keiretsu structure, as well as the roles played by a number of large companies in the development and implementation of composite products. In this section, organizational structure is discussed, with an emphasis on research and development that may have a bearing on the deployment and implementation of fiber reinforced composites technology and products in civil engineering.
The Shimizu Corp is a major participant in both the ACC Club and the CFRRA. Its participation in the ACC Club is based on its NEFMAC product. But in the CFRRA (where it has no product or technology) it chairs the association and serves as a research organization for the Tonen Corp. The Shimizu Corp. has a very active research wing, consisting of five research and development divisions. Shimizu's Institute of Technology, which includes an educational doctoral level component, is the most involved with composites for civil infrastructure applications. (The other divisions are the Technology Division, the Izumi Research Institute, the Space Project Office, and the Nuclear Power Division.)
Started as a research section within the Design Department with 2 researchers in 1944, the Institute of Technology now has over 370 researchers with an annual research budget of over &165;6 billion. Researchers from the institute have constant contact with the company's marketing, technology, and design divisions, and often serve in those divisions for periods of time. The institute has extensive state-of-the-art facilities in 16 laboratories including the following:
The facilities make the Shimizu Corp. a natural partner for a number of developmental efforts using new technologies in Japan. Construction companies like Shimizu are actually an integral part of new technology development and are often part of market development activities. They also appear to be open to the use of new and relatively unproven (by U.S. standards) technology in their projects. This ability translates into a leading position in the world market.
*Wilkins, Dick J. (ed.), JTEC Panel Report on Advanced Manufacturing Technology for Polymer Composite Structures in Japan, Japanese Technology Evaluation Center, Baltimore, MD, NTIS PB94-161403, April 1994. (http://itri.loyola.edu/polymers/).