Tsuneo Murata was born in Kyoto in 1951. In 1974, he graduated from the Faculty of Economics at Doshisha University and joined Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd. In 1988, he became Geschäftsführer, or Managing Director at Murata Europe Management GmbH. After being appointed to the Murata MFG. Co., Ltd. Board of Directors in 1989, he served as Executive Vice President, Corporate Senior Executive Vice President, and Executive Deputy President, and became President, Statutory Representative Director in 2007.
In his free time, Tsuneo Murata enjoys raising orchids and photography.
The focus on the "intelligent" use of energy – particularly electrical energy – is greater than ever before, and many accelerated efforts towards this goal are currently in place. Not only are we seeing the need to decrease energy consumption by raising the efficiency of equipment that uses electrical energy, but there is also a demand for comprehensive "intelligent" solutions involving the generation, transmission, and storage of energy. It is for this reason that we have selected "energy management" as the theme for this metamorphosis issue.
In the past, the energy issues we focused on were the depletion of fossil fuels and global warming caused by growing emissions of greenhouse gases. Today, however, Japan in particular has shifted its attention to rethinking its dependence on nuclear energy, and there is a greater focus on the increased use of renewable energy along with efforts to reduce and shift peak energy loads. The question of what we use as our main energy source aside, we may notice that the fundamental issues are in fact much the same as they were before. In other words, we must raise the efficiency of electrical equipment while at the same time determining how to make the best use of less reliable renewable energy sources. We can only expect light and heat from the sun on days when the weather is fair, and wind does not blow at a fixed rate.
With regards to the energy of the future, there is no doubt that we will see the establishment of many energy management systems, much smaller in scale than power company control systems, which will work together to provide fine-tuned energy management. With communication modules that make it easier to work together and sensing devices that enable fine-tuned control, Murata hopes to be able to contribute to this effort, and I believe that by making use of the expertise and experience we have accumulated over the years, we will indeed be able to do our part. We believe we can make a contribution through energy harvesting, which derives small amounts of energy from the environment, and with our DC-DC converters, which help make equipment more efficient. Furthermore, products such as our wireless switch systems, which were not developed by Murata alone but were achieved by combining our technologies with the technologies and products of other companies, will no doubt be of great use to our customers, and will help us as we strive to provide new values.
In the past, the majority of Murata products were used in low power consumption circuits. When we consider that we will be increasingly called upon to provide more comprehensive solutions in the future, we can see that there will be a need for us to accommodate a wider range of energy needs, which will require us to develop products we have not tried our hand at before. Non-ceramic capacitors are a good illustration of this, for they will allow us to provide solutions for fields involving higher energy consumption than was possible with monolithic ceramic capacitors. It is true that this is a new field for Murata, in terms of both the technology and the market. The material is non-ceramic, which naturally necessitates a different manufacturing process. As we deal with larger amounts of energy, we cannot always rely on the same rationale that has guided us in the past. On the other hand, by utilizing the many technologies at our disposal, we will surely be able to produce distinctive new alternatives to products already on the market, and our dealings with our customers will no doubt lead us towards the development of more advanced and original products, along with the discovery of new product applications. As we enter this new frontier, we will work with our customers to make a contribution to the society we live in.