Construction of the Central Research Laboratory
Central Research Laboratory ,1953.
Beginning of a concentrated effort in technological innovation
The company began strengthening its R&D capabilities and modernizing its production equipment. R&D of TV technology, suspended during the war, was restarted in 1950. The company had considered introducing dry-cell technology from a major American battery manufacturer, but later chose to develop the technology originally, introducing "Hyper" dry-cell batteries in 1954.
In 1953, the company built the Central Research Laboratories. The laboratories conducted basic research and assisted various divisions in developing new products, it also conducted R&D on equipment and techniques for automated production, and included a department for investigation and teaching of product design skills.
The company had been modernizing and automating its production facilities in the face of a sluggish economic climate. At a management policy meeting in 1953, Matsushita told his senior staff to modernize manufacturing facilities as far as financial resources allowed, signaling the start of a reorganization of the company's production system. The next year, he restarted the Comprehensive Technologies Committee and the Product Inspection Program, both of which had been suspended in the difficult times following the war's end.
Inside of Central Research Laboratory.
Innovative Product: Electric refrigerator
The company's first electric refrigerator, the NR-351, was produced in 1953. The refrigeration mechanism employed a new, closed-type, compact compressor requiring high-level production processes, high-precision machining processes, and carefully selected material specifications. Large in size and affixed with the National "crown logo" in the top center of the door, the refrigerator gave a luxurious feel, and was highly acclaimed by people in high-income households.