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Case Studies - Energy / Hokuriku Electric Power Company

Motivation for Installation

Hokuriku Electric Power Company, which supplies electric power to the entire Hokuriku region, maintains more than 70 operational bases in the four prefectures of Toyama, Ishikawa, Fukui and Gifu, in addition to Tokyo. Each of these bases are equipped with various types of power plants, such as thermal, hydraulic, nuclear, photovoltaic, and wind power, in order to support the lifestyles of the people in the Hokuriku region with a stable supply of electricity. Being able to conduct smooth conferences with remote locations is essential for the operations of a power company with so many operational bases, and since many of these bases are located outside of city areas, Hokuriku Electric Power Company has long used videoconferencing systems. However, with previous systems, the materials that were displayed on the monitor during the conference were difficult to see, making it necessary for each site to prepare materials in advance in order to ensure accurate information. There was a serious problem with picture quality. For this reason, the company decided to install HD Visual Communications (HDVC) Units in order to improve the picture quality of their videoconferencing systems.

System Selection Points

In addition to having a main display to show the conference image in the videoconference rooms at each site, a number of sub monitors are provided directly in front of the participants to allow them to view materials. The materials include both text and a large number of power plant images or motion images. The discussions require the images to be highly detailed. For this reason, the computers are connected using an HDMI terminal that allows the HDVC Unit to provide instantaneous, high-resolution information. It was assumed that this would contribute greatly to smooth conferences. A request to connect the HDVC Units of all sites to the existing MCU (multipoint control units) was also fulfilled without any difficulty, enabling the company to feel the benefits of the HDVC Unit's excellent connection compatibility. Hokuriku Electric Power Company's videoconference rooms are often filled all day long as remote conferences have become a critical part of the company's operations. Since an interruption in videoconferencing would seriously impair this operation, a high level of support in the area of maintenance and related services was an important point in system selection.

A conference proceeds while checking materials on sub monitors.

A camera is mounted on the display using a special rack.

Conferences can be recorded by connecting the HD Visual Communications System to a digital input recorder.

Hokuriku Electric Power Company was established in 1951, based on a "Market-in Concept of Constantly Observing the Viewpoint and Feelings of the Customer." This has enabled the company to contribute to developing the regional society by supplying clean, high-quality energy at low cost. Aiming at providing a stable supply electricity while prioritizing safety and conducting sales activities based on regional needs, the company has supported the lifestyles of Hokuriku residents for more than 60 years.

Members of the Information Telecommunications Department, Hokuriku Electric Power Company

Yoshinari Tokumitsu,
Manager (3rd from the left)

Shoji Sakai,
Assistant Manager (2nd from the left)

Toshinori Kumada,
Section Manager (4th from the left)

Nobuhiro Tsunekawa,
Assistant Section Manager (1st on the left)

Kaoru Kaeriyama,
Superintendent (5th from the left)

Installation Effect

Hokuriku Electric Power Company uses the HDVC Unit on a daily basis for videoconferences among its branch offices and departments. "Immediate, high-picture-quality, multi-site" emergency conferences are also smoothly conducted under unpredictable situations, such as typhoons. The dedicated remote controller unit enables immediate switching between conference and material images with the press of a button, and the Pan/Tilt button makes it possible to easily switch from a close-up view of the speaking participant to an overall view of the conference members. These features make the unit highly popular for providing smooth conferences that often occur on short notice. Because the details of important conferences such as these also must be studied at a later time, a recorder has been installed so the conference images can be recorded. The digital input recorder, which can be directly connected to the HDVC Unit, saves images in their original Full-HD quality. A recorder that imprints time and date information onto the video signal is also used to enable accurate confirmation of the time and date of recording at a later date. Hokuriku Electric Power Company can also connect up to 75 HDVC Units simultaneously, so events such as company-wide policy announcements and seminars can be broadcast from a single location to a large number of sites. This is a highly effective use of the HDVC System. Information can be accurately relayed to company employees without having to assemble at the Head Office's large conference hall, thus greatly expanding the usage potential of the system. By using a variety of applications that take advantage of HDVC Unit features, even greater effects can be expected in the future.

System Configuration and Operation

Installed System

  • HD Visual Communications Unit KX-VC1300 ... 75 Units
  • Digital Boundary Microphone KX-VCA001 ... 284 Units
  • HD Communication Camera GP-VD151 ... 71 Units
  • Recorder DMR-T4000R ... 59 Units
  • Recorder DMR-MC500 ... 3 Units