LIVERMORE, Calif. — Topcon Corporation celebrated its 80th anniversary on September 1. The Tokyo-based global company was founded in 1932 for the manufacturing of surveying instruments, binoculars and cameras.
In 1947, Topcon began selling camera metering systems and founded its ophthalmic and medical instruments business. Two years later it became a public company with stock listed on the Tokyo and Osaka Stock Exchanges. In 1960, it became an affiliate with Toshiba Corporation.
Topcon formed both its Topcon Europe division and the Topcon Instrument Corporation of America (in New Jersey) in 1970. Five years later the company established its survey instruments sales company, and in 1976 formed Topcon Medical Japan, Co., its medical instrument company.
Over the next decade, Topcon established companies throughout Asia, including Topcon Singapore and Topcon Optical in Hong Kong. In 1989 the company officially changed its name to Topcon Corporation. Topcon Laser Systems (currently Topcon Positioning Systems) was established in California in 1994; the company acquired JPS, Inc., in 2000 and began engineering, manufacturing and selling GPS receivers and related system products.
A holding company — Topcon America Corporation – was established in 2001, and the United States business units were divided into ophthalmic and medical instruments and precise positioning.
Over the next five years, the company acquired various companies, including KEE technologies of Australia, which put Topcon in the forefront of the growing precision agriculture market; and Sokkia Company, one of the world’s largest surveying instrument manufacturers and sales operations.
The company has technology centers in Tokyo; Adelaide, Australia; Moscow, Russia; Concordia, Italy; and in Livermore, California, and Columbus, Ohio.
In the past several years, Topcon has acquired a mobile communications company, Destura and Tierra in Italy, several major dealer operations (including in Italy and Spain), expanded its Chinese subsidiary and sales, established Topcon Medical Laser Systems and entered the therapeutic laser market, and established operations in the Middle East and Africa.
Topcon Positioning Systems, Inc. (TPS) designs and manufactures precise positioning products and solutions for the global surveying, construction, agriculture, civil engineering, mapping and GIS, asset management and mobile control markets. TPS’ parent company, Topcon Corporation (Tokyo Stock Exchange – 7732), was founded in 1932.