Attendance more than doubled at SPAR 2006J, our second annual forum on capturing and managing existing-conditions data last week in Kawasaki, Japan. Total attendance reached 187, up from 65 at last year’s inaugural event. Most of the world’s leading suppliers of 3D laser scanning hardware exhibited their products including Kyokuto Boeki (Z+F), Optech, FARO Japan, Riegl Japan, Toshiba Plant Systems, SYSPRO, Topcon, Leica Geosystems, Informatix and Nikon-Trimble.
Following a keynote presentation by Professor Chikatsu, Tokyo Denki University, Spar Point’s Tom Greaves gave an update on technical and market trends in the 3D laser scanning market which included a briefing by Koji Kawamura (Spar Point Japan). Presenters from Hitachi Plant Technologies, Shinsei Giken, Enzan Koubou, CAD CENTER, Aero Asahi, Taisei, Sohki and Mitsui Sumitomo Construction presented various applications of this technology. The sessions concluded with a panel discussion on how to promote the Japanese market by Akahiro Iwata from Toshiba Plant Systems, Terry Morita from Nikon-Trimble, and Koji Kawamura.
Many applications of 3D laser scanning in Japan today are for civil engineering and transportation system projects. Process and power industry applications are beginning to find acceptance, as is scanning of automotive production facilities. Using scanning to document cultural heritage facilities is another important application in the Japanese market.
We believe the significant increase in SPAR 2006J attendance indicates growing awareness of the cost, schedule, safety and quality values delivered by 3D laser scanning and other advanced dimensional control technologies in Japan.