Electronica: Free-thinking at Murata
Success in business is looking at what will be needed and getting it to a customer to improve his market position before anyone else can, Terry Churcher, President of Murata Europe, told EW at Electronica.
“A certain proportion of the time of our engineers is spent in free-thinking,” said Churcher, “those free thoughts go to a special department – we have three people at our European HQ in Amsterdam who do nothing but present these ideas to customers to see if they could be useful to them.”
About 10-20% of the engineers’ ideas translate into products, he said.
One of them was for an RFID IC to go inside mobile phones which will tell a mobile phone company’s repair shop whether that phone is a counterfeit or not.
“When mobile phones go for repair they have to be opened up and when they open them they find that a large proportion are counterfeit,” said Churcher, “with the chip inside there’s no need to open them up.”
Murata has developed capacitive charging for a pad which can charge mobile devices of all kinds. The company is trying to persuade car companies, restaurants etc to incorporate these pads in their infrastructure so that people using mobile devices in their cars or restaurants can charge their devices as they drive or eat.
Capacitive wireless charging doesn’t result in the heat or EMI of inductive wireless charging, said Churcher.
In order to ensure it has the best means for turning ideas into products, Murata manufactures all its own products, makes all its own materials, develops its own process technologies and, mostly, makes its own production machinery.
The strategy has kept Murata growing at 6-7% CAGR for over 30 years to where it is a $7.5bn business today.