Day 20: Danger! High Voltage

Wednesday March 16th, 2011 by Mike Wilmer

After the cultural experiences that have been attained over the last three days, it was time for a few refreshing technical excursions. On this day, we visited Otawa Denki and Mitsubishi Electric, both companies that showed us what real high voltage means.

We arrived a little early at Amagasaki station. However, unlike the Japanese customs we experienced earlier, our contacts - from both companies - were already waiting for us. After a short walk we arrived at the Otawa Lightning Technology Center. After watching the corporate profile video we had a tour trough the building. The tour showed us the high voltage and high current labs, a special test house and the lightning museum. During the tour we saw lightning bolts, trees being chopped down by high current and the effect of Otowa’s lightning protection products.

Our tour guides from Mitsubishi had already joined us at Otawa denki. When the program at Otawa was finished they escorted us to the site of Mitsubishi Electric. After the interesting morning excursions and a short trip by train we where pretty hungry. Mitsubishi had already prepared a lunchbox for all of us. After regaining energy from the delicious meal we could start with the tour. After a number of presentations about the company and their research and facilities, we had a tour over the site. We started with the Advance Technologies showroom, which showed us some of the recent (most innovative) activities of Mitsubishi, including smart grids, laser television, a supply vehicle for the International Space Station and robotics.

After a short break we continued our tour with a visit to the high voltage switchgear lab where we learned what types of switch gear Mitsubishi builds, how they build it and how they test it. To get a better view of the testing methods we also visited some of the test laboratories. In these rooms they test their products on temperature robustness and simulate the duribality for a 30 years lifetime. Also we were shown very impressive high voltage test halls and Mitsubishi’s vibration test facility.

When the tour ended around five it was time for the Welcome party. There were drinks and snacks and this was a perfect opportunity to chat with the personel of Mitsubishi and Otawa under a relaxed atmosphere.


Study Tour SATORI