Point of Beginning

Topcon opens new Brisbane technology center

October 18, 2006
LIVERMORE, CALIFORNIA (US) -- Topcon Positioning Systems (TPS) recently opened a new Topcon Technology Center (TTC) in Brisbane, Australia. The center produces key software systems for the company's machine control and land surveying products used around the world.

According to Ray O'Connor, TPS president and CEO, the Brisbane operation, one of five Topcon Technology Centers around the world, can expect strong expansion over the next few years. The expected expansion is tied to the "massive growth of machine control systems for construction and agricultural equipment."

He said, "Three years ago, GPS-based machine control was just getting started, and accounted for a small amount of Topcon Positioning Systems' revenues.

"In the past 12 months, however, our machine control business has grown by 100 percent and is set to keep growing."

O'Connor said that currently TPS, which is a US-based subsidiary of Japan's Topcon Ltd (itself partly owned by Toshiba), is on track for record revenues. That is going to mean major growth for our TTC-Australia operations; the key to our business in the future is going to be software," he said.

"The future of our business, and the solutions we provide for our customers are going to come in part from the software we are developing in Brisbane."

O'Connor said the prospects for machine automation in construction and in agriculture - which together are $ 7 trillion a year businesses - are "extremely positive. At present in the machine control business, we are just scratching the surface," he said.

"People are often surprised when I tell them that we are in the "┬śmachine shop' business - but that's what we are doing in the construction and agricultural industries: we are machining the face of the planet to build roads and bridges, or to plant crops.

"These industries are essentially manufacturing businesses, and yet they are the least-automated industries in the world," he said. "That means the prospects for our machine control businesses - and our TTC-Australia operations - are very exciting over the next few years."

Eduardo Falcon, Topcon's vice president of product development, said the growth of TPS' business has driven exponential growth in Topcon's share price on the Tokyo Stock Exchange in the past three years.

"Topcon has been around for 75 years, and today is a $1 billion a year company," he said.

"Over the past three years, our stock growth has been 2,200 percent, which is due to the fact that we have the TPS business."

Neil Other, TPS sales manager for Australia and New Zealand, said that the opening of the company's Brisbane center showed the company's commitment to its global operations - and the important contribution Topcon's Australian development team was making to its future growth.

"The team we have in Brisbane knows and understands the local market and its requirements and challenges extremely well and is playing a vital role in developing our key machine control and survey products," he said.

Software products developed for global markets out of the Brisbane TTC include Topcon's 3D Machine control software, its 3D Office software, Pocket 3D data collector software and Agriculture 3D software.

It also develops Mining 3D software and is working on a number of innovative hardware projects.

About Topcon Positioning Systems:

TPS is the world market leader in developing and supplying innovating precision GPS, GIS, laser, optical surveying, and machine control, products, software, and applications to the survey and construction industries. In Australia, TPS products are distributed through a network of independent dealers. Topcon Corporation is traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange (7732)