Over the almost 300 years since its development, the capacitor has evolved into diverse forms according to its application, and is widely used in various sectors today. Its evolution still knows no bounds, as there is growing demand for compact and high-capacitance ceramic capacitors, and especially for our high-capacitance series of capacitors.
Yet a mere two years ago, a group of engineers went completely against the flow of the times and attempted to create an ultra-large, ultra-high-capacitance ceramic capacitor. They called this massive capacitor OmegaCap, and its story has since become a legend that people still talk about today.
The idea for OmegaCap was hatched from a small group's challenge "to create an innovative new product that does not yet exist in the world." Because the members of this group all happened to be somewhat less than innovative, they came up with the misguided idea to create "the world's largest ceramic capacitor" as a "product that does not yet exist in the world." With complete disregard for the fundamental elements of marketing, they simply acted on their wishes to display their overwhelming technical edge over other companies in the same business, to produce a symbol of Murata on par with Murata Boy and bask in the limelight, and to widely attract people's attention to Murata's mainstay product by enlarging the small and almost invisible ceramic capacitor to visible size. Thus, driven by their engineering spirit to "aspire to new heights" and to "stand out above all others," the group set about to create OmegaCap without much thought beyond achieving their target size of 20×12×1.2 cm and target capacitance of 1F.
The development of OmegaCap, however, was wrought with difficulties. Lacking sufficient knowledge to move their project forward themselves, the group sought help from experts in various fields. They did so, even at the risk of being ridiculed and scoffed at. The experts, however, sensing the group's strong determination, shared their extensive knowledge and taught them all they needed to know. At that moment, all organizational walls came tumbling down, and some members could have shed tears of gratitude. When the group succeeded in creating their first shape model after repeated failures, the members erupted with joy.
Then came the worldwide recession in 2008, and the group's dream was one of the first to be written off as a white elephant, leaving only the legend behind. It was, perhaps, to be expected.
Society may ridicule the group and say that its undertaking deserves to be questioned, but the members of the group do not agree. They established connections with departments they normally have no relation to, experienced the joy and satisfaction of working not individually but as an organization, and were able to start afresh as engineers who challenge the limits of technology in earnest, even if considered daring. This is just a random thought of mine, but I think that the process of establishing wide-ranging contacts and carrying out bold endeavors through such initiatives as the OmegaCap project will come to play an important part in the growth of organizations and companies, not to mention individuals.
author: Fukui Murata Manufacturing. Co., Ltd. Naoto Yoshii