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Both elementary school students and adults can experience and be absorbed by the world of manufacturing at the X TECH Museum!

Translated from Japanese by
The X TECH Museum is a hands-on showroom of MinebeaMitsumi, a comprehensive precision parts manufacturer, located at the Shiodome Sio-site. The museum opened its doors on September 27th, 2023, with the hope of inspiring children to develop an interest in manufacturing, which is one of Japan’s strengths, and in the manufacturing industry, through direct contact with real precision components. The museum was established with the hope that, amidst the growing concern that children are “losing interest in science” and “hate math,” children will develop an interest in manufacturing. As a general rule, the program is open to fifth grade elementary school students and above, and reservations are required. Anyone can visit the factory free of charge. This time, we visited the X TECH Museum, which has already been visited by many elementary school students, to experience the essence of manufacturing.

All aboard the X Ship, and off we go in search of precision parts!

The X TECH Museum is located on the first floor of MinebeaMitsumi Tokyo Cross Tech Garden, the company's Tokyo headquarters building in Shiodome, Minato-ku. It is a three to five minute walk from Shiodome Station. No parking is available, visitors are advised to use public transportation.

The entrance to the museum is located on the first floor. Adorned with projection mapping reminiscent of various instruments, the front of the entrance looks like an amusement park. Passing through the corporate zone, which introduces MinebeaMitsumi's history, international operations, and basic management policies, visitors enter the museum.

The front of the museum opens to reveal the X Ship, a theater that resembles a cockpit and can accommodate approximately 40 people. The visitors are invited to board the X Ship spaceship, and watch a seven-minute movie that explores MinebeaMitsumi's parts and overseas factories.

In the area beyond the X Ship, the X Ranger, who also appears in the movie, will introduce MinebeaMitsumi's products and technologies.

The X Ranger character is a war hero-like character representing MinebeaMitsumi's eight core businesses: bearings, motors, analog semiconductors, access products, sensors, connectors/switches, power supplies, wireless communications/software, and sub-core businesses: smartphone and game-related products, for a total of 10 businesses. The character is also the museum's mascot. He is very popular not only with children, but also with people from overseas.

Study the principles of the natural world through hands-on experience!

X Energy is an interactive exhibition zone where visitors can learn about the principles of the natural world, which are essential to MinebeaMitsumi's manufacturing. Consisting of four booths (Friction, Electricity/Electronics, Magnetism, and Radio Waves/Light), visitors can understand the laws of physics while playing, just like in a science museum.

Visitors will be able to experience the power of friction at the "Friction" booth via equipment on display that includes a roller conveyor and an air field hockey game.

The "Electricity/Electronics" booth lets visitors try their hand at generating electricity by turning a steering wheel. Discover and experience the difference between "alternating current" and "direct current".

The "Magnetism" booth offers visitors the opportunity to learn about the various properties of magnets. Ferrofluids, like iron sand, are attracted to magnets and are used to make hard disks and speakers, etc. When a magnet is brought close to a ferrofluid, a spiky "spike phenomenon" is produced. This allows visitors to feel the invisible power of magnetism.

The "Radio Waves/Light" booth features a ray gun that shoots infrared rays, the same kind used in TVs, air conditioner remotes, etc., to hit glowing targets. You can hit the targets one after another, and some elementary school students are said to be very good at it. If you are good at gun-shooting games, you should be able to get a high score!

There were two to four display devices in each booth where visitors could learn about the fundamentals, and they were able to relearn the laws of physics that they had studied as children. The next stop after the X Energy area, which was exciting even for adults, was the exhibition zone, where visitors could learn about MinebeaMitsumi's business operations.

See and handle the actual components used in the manufacturing process.

The X Cores exhibit showcases MinebeaMitsumi's core business activities with a variety of products and interactive displays. Visitors will be able to appreciate how the four principles they experienced at X Energy are related, while actually touching bearings, motors, and other components that they would not normally see.

The "Bearings" booth features ultra-high-performance ball bearings developed by MinebeaMitsumi in collaboration with a skateboard manufacturer. The car driven by X Ranger has ultra-high performance ball bearings, while the car driven by False Ranger has plain bearings with higher friction, so that visitors can compare which car will finish first and how much difference in speed there will be.

X Cores, an introduction to the company's core operations, revealed that MinebeaMitsumi components are used in everything from smartphones, computers, and household appliances such as hair dryers and washing machines, to automobiles, trains, and industrial machinery.

The entire museum has a total floor space of approximately 850 square meters, with a wide variety of exhibits. Time passed quickly as I took my time looking at the exhibits. The next zone of the museum highlights "Products" in which MinebeaMitsumi components are used, as well as "Initiatives for the Future."

X Ranger and I stood shoulder-to-shoulder and took a picture! "Say cheese!"

The X World zone, which showcases products from all over the world, features equipment from a variety of fields, including ballot sorting machines, drones, and baby strollers. On display is also a 1/10th scale mockup of an aircraft wing flap that incorporates MinebeaMitsumi's roller bearings. Visitors have the chance to clearly see how the bearings work.

Various MinebeaMitsumi components are used in automobiles, ranging from bearings and sensors to motors, and each component is introduced in an easy-to-understand manner using a transparent car mockup.

Car enthusiasts will love the demo car equipped with MinebeaMitsumi's latest technology, such as the ability to use a smartphone to lock the locks and automatically open and close the back door.

In addition, there is a section where visitors can take a commemorative photo with life-sized X Rangers. The face of each character is also highlighted by a pictogram that shows at a glance the business the character represents.

In the X Future zone, which features a selection of future initiatives, introduces products such as the Bed Sensor System®, which utilizes sensor technology and can be used in nursing homes and other facilities. Visitors are invited to actually lie on the bed and experience the accuracy of the sensors.

In the "X Ranger" corner, visitors can transform into the X Rangers using a capture of their faces, and can also enter their dreams and goals to be displayed along with their transformed appearance. It is sure to be a fun and exciting time with family and friends!

The X Corridor, located in the basement of the museum, is a corridor where the origins and history of MinebeaMitsumi's core operations are explained, and in the adjacent X Tech Lab, visitors can actually see manufacturing in action.

From its opening to the end of 2023, the X TECH Museum has received approximately 3,500 visitors. The museum was created with the hope that children will develop an interest in manufacturing and that as many children as possible will pursue careers in technology and manufacturing in the future. The museum is also used as a place for school field trips, and has recently hosted approximately 200 elementary school students from outside the city as part of their social studies field trip. Naturally, families, groups of friends, and even single adults are welcome to visit. Although it is open to children in the 5th grade and above, we highly recommend everyone to come and visit the museum, which is filled with fascinating scientific attractions that are by no means intended only for children.
X TECH Museum
MinebeaMitsumi Tokyo X Tech Garden, 1-9-3 Higashi-Shinbashi, Minato-ku, Tokyo
https://www.minebeamitsumi.com/xtechmuseum/
Open: Monday to Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (reservation only)
*Reservations can be made through the above Official Site
Closed: Saturdays, Sundays, national holidays, year-end and New Year's holidays
Admission: Free

*Bed Sensor System is a registered trademark of MinebeaMitsumi Corporation. The registration number is 6152256.

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