Icom, the two-way radio and communications specialist, is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2014. The Japanese company was founded back in 1954 by Tokuzo Inouye, who has overseen its growth into a global manufacturer of business radio, amateur radio, marine radio, aviation radio, navigation products and communications receivers.
The company said that it continues to look forward and recently the company has moved into digital amateur radio products (D-STAR), digital two-way radio products and systems including NXDN, dPMR and P25 products under its IDAS digital brand.
ICOM stressed that its products have a reputation for ‘unsurpassed quality and reliability’ - a fact of vital importance when so many of its customers depend on its products for their livelihood and safety. ICOM stated that its radios are tested to pass rigorous in-house tests, as well as environmental tests to the US Military standard 810 specifications.
ICOM's research and development is renowned for developing ground breaking equipment. In recent years ICOM developed waterproof, buoyant radios for the marine market, advanced digital and HF radios for the business and amateur radio marketplaces.
To demonstrate its commitment to design and innovation, the company points to its touch screen IC-7100 HF radio and its new Licence-free WLAN radio system, due out in the UK in March this year.
ICOM is located in Osaka, Japan and is a rare example of an electronics manufacturer which has not shifted production to lower cost countries. Instead, it has kept its production base 100% in Japan and that commitment to quality is one of the founding precepts of the brand.
The ICOM Wakayama plant has an advanced production system to produce the entire range of multi-mode wireless communication products. Design and manufacture processes are certified to ISO9001/ISO9002 and ISO14001 quality procedures.
Today, ICOM looks very different to what it was 50 years ago. ICOM Inc is now a publicly held Japanese corporation; its stock is traded on the Tokyo and Osaka Stock Exchanges. The company has an international sales and service network around the world today, selling in over 80 countries around the world.
Icom has subsidiaries in the US, Australia, Germany, Spain and China. Despite its size and success ICOM’s founder Tokuzo Inoue is still a huge influence in the running of the company today.
Dave Stockley, chairman of Icom UK, said: “Our relationship with ICOM Inc. began in March 1974 with us discussing ways that we could develop the brand and sales of the product range in the UK. Communication in those days was tricky, as there were only a few staff in Japan that could speak English. This became much less of a problem over the years, as many more ICOM staff were able to speak English.
“Since then the relationship has been extremely successful and Icom UK is thought of as one of the most progressive companies in the ICOM family around the world. As for Mr Inoue, the founder, right from the beginning he has been a strong businessman, determined in the ways thing should be done. However, right from the start, he has been a friend and inspiration and I am thankful for that.”
Icom UK Ltd was established in 1974 and is the sole Icom UK and Republic of Ireland importer and distributor for Icom Inc. Based in Herne Bay, Kent, the company is privately owned with 31 staff.
1954: Tokuzo Inoue founded Inoue Seisakusyo in Kyoto Prefecture, Japan.
1964: INOUE COMMUNICATION EQUIPMENTS CORP. established with Tokuzo Inoue as president.
1976: Icom (Europe) GmbH, established in Dusseldorf, Germany.
1978: Name changed to Icom Incorporated.
1979: Icom America Inc. established in Bellevue, Washington, U.S.A.
1982: Icom (Australia) Pty., Ltd. established in Melbourne, Australia.
1986: Hirano Plant completed.
1987: Tokyo R&D Centre established.
1988: Wakayama Icom Inc. established in Wakayama Prefecture, Japan.
1990: Stock was listed on Osaka Securities Exchange.
1991: Material Centre completed.
1994: Narayama R&D Office completed.
1997: Icom Spain,S.L. established in Barcelona, Spain.
1998: Asia Icom Inc. established in Taipei, Taiwan R.O.C.; Acquired ISO 9001 certification.
1999: Icom Information Products Inc. established in Osaka, Japan.
2001: Stock was listed on Tokyo Securities Exchange; Stock was listed on the 1st Section of Tokyo & Osaka Securities Exchanges.
2003: Acquired ISO 14001 Certification
2006: Mr. Tokuzo Inoue assumed the position of chairman; Mr. Tsutomu Fukui assumed the position of president
2014: Icom Inc. celebrates 50th Anniversary.