Earlier this month I visited the Trimble/MENSI K.K. offices in Tokyo to meet with representative director Terry Morita. Before joining MENSI in 2002, Morita worked for MUTOH, Intergraph’s main distributor in Japan for 22 years. Morita says his initial plan was to provide MENSI 3D laser scanner solutions to process industry firms. Two years later, Trimble/MENSI has found success – but more in civil engineering and
land survey markets than in the process industries. To date Trimble/MENSI has sold approximately 20 scanners in Japan. According to Morita, this is because some surveyors are responding to shrinking emand for traditional surveying services by developing laser scanning competence.
Together with its customers, Trimble/MENSI has crafted a promotion program to develop emerging markets for 3D laser scanning in such areas as tunnel surveying, earthquake damage analysis, integration of airborne LIDAR scanning data with terrestrial laser scanning data, documentation and preservation of cultural heritage buildings, bridge and dam construction and others. [At the Trimble 3rd DiMENSIon conference in Paris last month, Morita regaled attendees with an account of how bears are a particular hazard for laser scanning work on a dam project in northern Japan – editor.] According to Morita, demand for the accurate, detailed survey results that laser scanning delivers is increasingly driven by owner demand for more accountability from their construction contractors.