The first ever gyrocompass,
which was built with our specialist technology


To achieve further energy efficiency, gyrocompasses are being made smaller each year. However, the smaller they are made, the lower their durability becomes, and issues arise such as a decline in precision. That was the common view until it was changed by NorthFinder™, which was created with the unique technology of our company.

Creating a completely new product

In recent years, one of the most important challenges in the resource excavation industry has been the reduction of energy consumption. In test excavations for the purpose of conducting preliminary investigations ahead of the main excavation in particular, it is necessary to reduce the diameter of the borehole each year when considering energy efficiency. However, the mechanical and fiber-optic gyroscopes generally used were limited by a number of problems, such as being too large to fit into the test hole, low durability in regard to vibrations and impacts, and insufficient accuracy. By applying Northfinder™, our company only solved the problem of realizing a small diameter, high durability, and high accuracy. We also succeeded in reducing the size and weight and eliminating power supply cables, making its operation significantly easier.

25 years of work solved the challenges

Products must maintain precision while being small and tough. We were able to solve this difficult issue because of the experience the company has accumulated while constantly taking on the challenge of new product development over the past 25 years. It was also the result of the unwavering commitment of our company to flexibly propose the optimal solutions to challenging conditions. To detect true north with a gyroscope sensor, the rotation of the Earth must be measured accurately. General MEMS gyroscope sensors are unable to achieve sufficient accuracy, which is a major problem. Therefore, we reviewed the current issues affecting gyrocompasses, including the MEMS gyroscope structure, and developed a new structure that enables accurate measurement even under severe conditions. At the same time, we also designed an algorithm that makes the most of the new structure. The result was the innovative gyrocompass Northfinder™. Small and robust, delivering accurate true north detection. It is a product that is still used in many resource excavation sites as a highly precise product that also improves energy efficiency.

Also, this product has three additional strengths.

The first is low power consumption. Power consumption was reduced to about 1/10 of that of mechanical and fiber-optic gyroscopes. We succeeded in reducing the power consumption to a level that can be covered by a mobile battery even after a full day of use.

The second strength is field calibration. A user can adjust the equipment by themselves. It is possible to calibrate the product on a regular or irregular basis as needed depending on the aging of the equipment, etc., which is ground-breaking. This calibration can be done with just a PC and the product itself with the fully automatic sequence built in. In other words, even at a resource excavation site, it is now possible for customers to calibrate the equipment by themselves in a short amount of time.

Finally, the third strength is the short initial settling time. The Northfinder™ takes only 90 seconds from power-up to when it is ready for making measurements, significantly less time than existing gyrocompasses.

The ever-evolving NorthFinder™

The innovation of NorthFinder™ has been recognized and it has been sold to resource excavation sites around the world. Its use is still continuing to expand today. As excavation technology continues to develop, the conditions demanded by the resource excavation industry will no doubt become more severe and sophisticated. Products must become easier to use and achieve higher precision. We are always looking for new solutions and will continue to improve the functioning of the products, so that they will remain something that is unique and has an appeal that no other product can match.