NGK History


The electrification gradually began to gain traction at the end of the 19th century. At the time, Japan relied on imports for high-voltage insulators. Japanese high-voltage insulator R&D and production began only with a desire to make a contribution to the country by producing insulators locally and a piece of an American insulator to study. Despite such humble beginnings, NGK Insulators has consistently succeeded in developing ultra-high-voltage, ultra-high-strength insulators to meet the massive demand for electricity of rapidly evolving lifestyles and developing industries. As a result, we have grown into the world's foremost manufacturer of insulators underpinning power supply the world over. Here at NGK Insulators, our formidable technological strengths, honed by long years of experience in the production of ceramic insulators, have enabled us to further develop a range of new technologies which are now contributing to the development of the energy, ecology and electronics sectors. These include the world's first large-capacity storage batteries, which are paving the way for next-generation infrastructures; vehicle exhaust cleaning components that provide a major leap forward in the fight to overcome environmental issues; industrial machinery that provide momentum for chemical industries; and the precision machinery that underpins the evolution of electronics. All of us at NGK Insulators are committed to leveraging our original ceramic technologies to advance the creation of things that meet the needs of all society and promote the betterment of the whole world.

Until 1969
Since Establishment

  • 1919 NGK INSULATORS LTD. was established as a spin-off of Noritake's Insulator Division.
  • 1923 Bushing production operations begin.
  • 1929 1,000 kV-class high voltage insulator testing facilities were completed.
  • 1931 Started manufacturing and marketing of sulfuric acid corrosion-resistant apparatus for the chemical industry.
  • 1934 Distributed ceramic diffusers, used for aeration systems at sewage treatment plants, to the city of Nagoya.
  • 1935 NGK's first exports: Suspension insulators exported to India.
  • 1936 NGK Spark Plug Co., Ltd. was established as a spin-off of NGK's Spark Plug Division.
  • 1942 Construction of Chita Plant, located in Handa, Aichi Prefecture, was completed.
  • 1958 Began manufacturing and marketing of beryllium-copper products.
  • 1962 Construction of Komaki Plant, located in Komaki, Aichi Prefecture, was completed.
  • 1963 Construction of High Voltage Laboratory was completed.
  • 1965 NGK-LOCKE, INC. (the former NGK INSULATORS OF AMERICA, LTD.) was established in the U.S.A.
  • 1967 Distributed a water sludge dewatering system to the city of Amagasaki in Hyogo Prefecture, and a sewage sludge dewatering system to the city of Sakai in Osaka Prefecture.
  • 1968 NGK INSULATORS OF CANADA, LTD. was established.
New Atsuta Plant
Chita Plant under Construction
Komaki Plant


  • 1971 Nichigai Ceramics Ltd. was established to produce ceramic components for the electronic industry.
    Manufacturing and marketing of translucent alumina ceramics HICERAM begins.
  • 1972 Developed bushings for 1,000 kV-class test transformers
  • 1973 LOCKE INSULATORS, INC. was established jointly with the U.S.-based General Electric Company.
  • 1974 Distributed a fluidized bed sewage sludge incineration system to the Minami-tama Treatment Plant in Tokyo.
  • 1976 Began manufacturing and marketing of HONEYCERAM, honeycomb catalyst substrates for controlling automobile emissions.
  • 1977 NGK-BAUDOUR S.A. was established in Belgium.
    NGK EUROPE S.A. was established in Belgium.
  • 1978 Distributed a low-level radioactive waste incineration system to Tsuruga Power Station of the Japan Atomic Power Company.
  • 1979 Construction of ultrahigh voltage contamination test facilities for insulators and bushing shells were completed in the High Voltage Laboratory.
UHV Contamination Test Facilities


  • 1981 Developed a new manufacturing technology for ferrite used in magnetic heads.
  • 1985 NGK CERAMICS EUROPE S.A. was established, starting production of HONEYCERAM in Belgium.
    NGK EUROPE GmbH was established in Germany.
  • 1986 A written style of Japanese trade name was changed. (Katakana is now used for the part, "Gaishi (i.e. Insulator)," where Chinese characters were formerly used.).
    NGK METALS CORPORATION was established by acquiring the U.S.-based Cabot Corp.'s beryllium-copper business.
    Distributed ceramic turbocharger rotors to Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.
  • 1987 Began the sale of bioreactors.
    Nastech Corp. was established in Japan jointly with ABB (ASEA Brown Boveri AG) Germany, initiating research for NAS batteries.
    P.T. WIKA-NGK INSULATORS, a joint venture company, was established in Indonesia, beginning assembly production of distribution insulators.
  • 1988 Accumulated production of suspension insulators reached 150 million units.
    NGK CERAMICS USA, INC. was established, beginning production of HONEYCERAM in the U.S.A.
  • 1989 Production of diesel particulate filters begins.
Ferrite for magnetic heads
Ceramic turbocharger rotors


  • 1990 Distributed a high-pressure compaction system for treatment of non-combustible solid waste to Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station of the Tokyo Electric Power Company.
    NGK Okhotsk, Ltd. was established, beginning production of ferrite products for magnetic heads.
  • 1991 Distributed a cyclone-type sewage sludge melting system to the Nanbu Sludge Plant of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.
    NGK Filtech, Ltd. was established for design and production of comprehensive filtering membrane equipment and systems.
  • 1992 Began testing of a prototype of NAS battery for commercial use in an actual transmission system at Kawasaki Substation of the Tokyo Electric Power Company.
  • 1993 A joint venture company NGK STANGER PTY. LTD. was established, starting production of power distribution automation equipment in Australia.
    Divisions in charge of insulators for transmission lines and substations acquired ISO 9001 certification.
    Divisions in charge of beryllium-copper strip products acquired ISO 9002 certification.
    Construction of a plant for large-scale catalyst carriers was completed.
  • 1994 An environmental inspection system was introduced.
    NGK-LOCKE POLYMER INSULATORS, INC. was established in the U.S.A.
  • 1995 Delivered the world's largest gas bushings for the UHV transmission (11.5 m in overall length) to the Tokyo Electric Power Company's Shinharuna Substation.
  • 1996 The automotive ceramics division acquired ISO 9001 certification.
    P.T. NGK CERAMICS INDONESIA was established as a production base of HONEYCERAM in Indonesia.
    NGK INSULATORS TANGSHAN CO., LTD. was established as a production base of insulators in China.
    Mass production of ceramics for semiconductor production devices begins.
    Production of vehicle exhaust gas NOx sensors begins.
  • 1997 A medium-term management plan "EXCEL-01" was formed.
    SIAM NGK TECHNOCERA CO., LTD. was established as a production base of kiln furniture in Thailand.
  • 1998 NGK Foundation for International Students was established.
    Three production bases (Nagoya, Chita and Komaki) acquired ISO 14001 certifications at the same time.
    Production of piezoelectric microactuators for inkjet printers begins.
  • 1999 Celebrated the 80th anniversary of NGK's foundation.
    Accumulated production of HONEYCERAM reached 400 million units.
    Engineering Business Group acquired ISO 14001 certification.
    NGK International House (a residence for international students) was completed.
Prototype NAS Battery for Commercial Use
NGK International House


  • 2000 NGK CERAMICS SOUTH AFRICA (PTY) LTD. was established as a production base for HONEYCERAM in South Africa.
  • 2001 Tied up with De Dietrich of France in the glass-lined apparatus business.
    Developed the world's first piezoelectric ceramic displays.
    NGK Ceramics Suzhou Co., Ltd. and NGK Technocera Suzhou Co., Ltd. were established in China to produce HONEYCERAM and kiln furniture respectively.
    Accumulated production of HONEYCERAM reached 500 million units
  • 2002 Electronics Business Group and three affiliated companies jointly acquired ISO 14001 certification.
    Achieved the management rights to FMI, a US based manufacturer of modules for semiconductor manufacturing equipment.
    The 2002 medium-term management plan was formed.
    Launched home-use water purifiers "C1."
  • 2003 Transferred all shares in Asahi Tec Corporation.
    BIRLA NGK INSULATORS PVT. LTD. was established as a production base of insulators in India.
    NGK CERAMICS POLSKA SP. Z O.O. was established as a production base of diesel particulate filters in Poland.
    Mass production of NAS battery system begins.
  • 2004 Received the 50th Okochi Memorial Grand Production Prize for the development and practical application of NAS batteries.
    Supplied ceramic membrane municipal drinking water treatment systems on an OEM basis.
    Received an order for the Japan's largest ceramic membrane municipal drinking water treatment system from Fukui Prefecture.
  • 2005 Participated in the 2005 World Exposition, Aichi, Japan with the NGK Water Lab exhibit.
    Reduced the number of directors and introduced a corporate officer system.
    Developed ceramic microactuators for hard disk drives (HDDs).
  • 2006 NGK EDUCATION SERVICES, LTD. was established to promote education and training.
    NGK INSULATORS SUZHOU CO., LTD. was established as a production base of insulators in China.
    NAS Battery was installed and began commercial operation in the USA for the first time in foreign countries.
    Established the system to increase production of SiC diesel particulate filters in Komaki Site.
  • 2007 Opened the Toba General Training Center.
    NGK Water Environment Systems, Ltd. was established as a spin-off of NGK's Engineering Business Group.
    Acquired naming rights of Nagoya Civic General Gymnasium.
    Developed the world's largest nano-ceramic membrane element.
  • 2008 NGK CERAMICS MEXICO, S. DE R. L. DE C. V. was established as a production base of diesel particulate filters and HONEYCERAM in Mexico.
    NGK Water Environment Systems, Ltd. and Fuji Electric Water Environmental Systems Co., Ltd., merged into METAWATER Co., Ltd..
    commercialized the world's first NOx sensor that detects the concentration of nitrogen oxides (NOx) in vehicle exhaust in real time with high precision.
  • 2009 Accepted orders for NAS Batteries from Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (ADWEA) in UAE, and from MTA New York City Transit for bus depot.
    The first mass-produced version of HONEYCERAM was registered with the National Museum of Nature and Science as an Essential Historical Material for Science and Technology.
    NAS battery business received the Environmental Business Award at the eco japan cup 2009 event.
World's First Piezoelectric Ceramic Display
Home-Use Water Purifier "C1"
Ceramic Microactuators for Magnetic Heads of Hard Disk Drives
NOx Sensor


  • 2010 Agreed to develop large scale NAS battery assets to provide ancillary services in the UK.
    FM Industries, subsidiary of NGK, acquired a critical supplier to the Semiconductor Equipment.
    Received a PACE Award for the development of high-precision automotive NOx sensors.
    Launched commercial-quality water purifiers "C1 MASTER.
  • 2011 Launched "NGK Innovation Laboratory" in Nagoya Institute of Technology for strategic task force R&D joint project.
    Began operation at Ishikawa Plant and NGK CERAMICS MEXICO, S. DE R. L. DE C. V.. Accumulated production of HONEYCERAM reached 1 billion units.
  • 2012 Acquired semiconductor manufacturing equipment-related business from U.S. manufacturer.
    Developed GaN Wafer for ultra high brightness LEDs.
    Developed drying equipment system applying variable wavelength technology.
    Production of gasoline particulate filters begins.
  • 2013 NGK ITALY S.r.l. was established to support project of NAS battery system installation.
    Developed ultra high strength and highly conductive Copper-Zirconium Alloy Wire.
  • 2014 Started production of cordierite large-size HONEYCERAM in Poland.
    Increased NOx sensor production capacity to 1.5-fold.
    Production of bounded wafers begins.
  • 2015 NGK Electronics Devices, Inc. that manufactures and sells ceramics for industrial electronics converted to a consolidated subsidiary.
    NGK TECHNOLOGIES INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED was established as a local subsidiary in India.
    NGK CERAMICS (THAILAND) CO., LTD was established as a production base for HONEYCERAM and DPF in Thailand.
  • 2016 Started production of gasoline particulate filters (GPF) in Poland.
    Decided to manufacture GPF in China. (Planned in 2018)
    Began manufacturing of Copper-Nickel-Tin Alloy Strip.
  • 2018 Commercialization of gallium nitride (GaN) wafers and micro-lenses for ultraviolet LEDs begins.
    Total HONEYCERAM production reaches 1.5 billion.
  • 2019 Revised the NGK Group Philosophy.
    Commercialized chip-type ceramic rechargeable battery "EnerCera" series.
GaN Wafer for Ultra High Brightness LEDs
Drying equipment system applying variable wavelength technology


  • 2021 Formulated mid- to long-term vision, NGK Group Vision: Road to 2050.
    Formulated NGK Group Environmental Vision.