Getting Invited to a camera factory is like a Kid being given an All-Day Ticket to an Amusement Park.
APDS, the local agent for Pentax & Ricoh had kindly arranged & facilitated this exclusive factory tour to Pentax’s plant at
Philippines. We are grateful to be invited.
At the factory, we were given an overview presentation of Pentax’s history (which I am very familiar with) and were shown
some really classified information about the company and its operations. Mr. Shinichiro Kuroda, Manager for Pentax’s Business
Management Group & Mr. Yutaka Konuma, President for Pentax Ricoh Imaging Products (Phils) Corp was very kind and open
to explain to us the benefits of moving Pentax’s manufacturing operations fully to Philippines, which after understanding
the reason behind – make lots of economic sense.
And life at Pentax had taken a new leash of life after Hoya Corporation sold Pentax to Ricoh in 2011. The K-30 is the 1st camera
that were innovated after the change and during launch, it is also the same year that Konuma-san took office as the President at
Pentax in Philippines. The Pentax K-30 had done well and still doing very well.
Pentax enjoys huge market shares in Japan & Europe but not exactly in Asia. Konuma-san explained that one of the reason for the
move is “to be closer” to Asia so as to strengthen the market shares in this region which is predominantly the “C” & “N” territories.
This is also to instill confidence for agents distributing Pentax products in this part of the world. Smart move.
Picture: Me outside Pentax Factory at Mactan Economic Zone 1, Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu Province, Philipines.
Photo by: Yu Ling.
After the presentation, we were taken into the heart of the manufacturing plant and visited every
single segment of the production line, from programming to assembly, from packaging to getting
the cameras ready for export – this is an eye-opener!
My heart was thumping fast and man, I was like a kid pointing out to familiar items and talking non-stop.
Absolute care is taken at every level of the production from primary stage to the final product in the clean room where
every worker is donning hair cover, dust free gowns, anti-dust shoes and gloves. Really looks like a scene from Star Wars.
Instead of light-sabers, everywhere was Pentax Cameras! Apparently photography was not allowed in the facility,
so every minute spent inside the factory, is an experience that could be a once-in-a-life-time affair.
There are various showcases displaying Pentax’s current & past models which I am thrilled to see them on display aka “live archive”
style. I was surprised to see a clinic right inside the factory – which Kuroda-san later explained that this is one of the requirement
set by the local government to have a clinic for staff strength over the size of 500. Pentax employs over 1300 staff at this plant,
so there are 3 Doctors on Duty!!! Speaking of welfare!
I have so much to say and so much praises to sing but I am afraid that I might spill sensitive information so I shall stop here.
A BIG Thanks to Konuma-san & Kuroda-san for inviting Shutter Journey SGP to Pentax’s plant.
This memory shall be with us for as long as we live. (or whenever I use my Pentax Cameras :))
“Konuma-san & Kuroda-san, till we meet again, please take good care!” – Allan Lee
Special Thanks to APDS, our local Distributor for Pentax & Ricoh Imaging products for arranging
and making this visit happened.
Picture L to R: Myan (Pentax), Yu Ling (Travel Editor, Shutter Journey SGP), Allan Lee (Editor, Shutter Journey SGP),
Yutaka Konuma (President, Pentax Ricoh Imaging Products (Phils) Corp., Shinichiro Kuroda (Manager,
Pentax Ricoh Imaging Products (Phils) Corp), outside Pentax Factory at Mactan Economic Zone 1, Lapu-Lapu City,
Cebu Province, Philipines.
Photo by: Pentax.
To Find Out More about Pentax, visit http://www.pentaximaging.com/