TOA Corporation providing voice evacuation, public address and professional acoustic solutions in over 120 countries.
Founded in 1934 in Kobe, Japan, TOA benefits from many years’ experience in research, development and international sales and marketing in the fields of public address and audio systems.
Their longstanding know-how ensures quality and peace of mind when using their products. Their knowledge in the business fields of Voice Alarm, Intercom, ProSound, Distribution, Wireless and Conference Systems allows them to create acoustic sound fields for millions of people to make lives safer, communication easier and audio entertainment more pleasurable.
Listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, Prime Market, TOA operates in accordance with the following Basic Management Policy (Three Confidences) to fulfil its various social responsibilities:
- Total confidence of our customers in the use of all products.
- Total confidence of our associates in all business transactions.
- Total confidence of our employees in all their efforts.
They have defined their corporate value as “Smiles for the Public” and contribute to solving social issues by providing solutions that integrate sound equipment as well as network technology.
This insight by Daisuke Imagawa, TOA’s General Manager of Europe, Middle East & Africa Business Department, looks at how the electronics industry has been challenged in recent years and what innovations will be part of the future.
The pandemic has had a significant impact on manufacturing industries. Restrictions imposed on the global workforce caused economic disruption and a shortage of components. There was a decline in demand in the pro audio industry with many retail outlets closed for a considerable time. However, the need for public address and voice alarm systems grew throughout the pandemic.
The construction industry continued to operate and these systems, used in security and safety applications, escaped a significant downturn and have now not only returned to pre-pandemic levels of demand but is exceeding them. The change in client needs is not necessarily attributed to the pandemic, but in line with technological advances, the need for digitalisation, networking and compatibility with other systems has increased.
The trend to move from bell sounding systems to voice alarm in many applications, from transport hubs and airports to office blocks and venues, has caused a substantial change in the industry. As buildings get taller and more multifunctional the ability to deliver clear instruction via voice is essential to the safety of the occupants. Statistics indicate that people respond 75% more to voice instructions than traditional bell sounders.
It is important to be able to operate in zones during an incident and for the situation to be managed with informative instruction to provide a safer way to evacuate if necessary. It also enables occupants to be directed to areas of safety which is not always the obvious exit point. It allows the ability to control crowd movement and for it to be managed whether directing them to the appropriate exit or safe holding points whilst incidents are dealt with.
Developing public address and voice alarm also meets the increasing demand from installers to be able to monitor systems remotely making the required maintenance programmes to be more efficient and cost effective whilst ensuring minimum on-site visits. This is especially important in sensitive applications such as schools and healthcare facilities. Due to the sensitivity and specificity of many applications, products such as voice alarm and life safety systems must adhere to the guidelines to the European Standard EN54 and British Standard BS 5839-8: 2013
TOA have been producing voice alarm systems, systems that protect people's lives, for many years and continue to develop products not only with custom rack builds but the smaller wall-mount solutions that provide projects with limited space the same technology in a compact design.
These public address and voice alarm systems, offer multifunctional options, voice evacuation, public announcements, paging and background music. They will continue to provide applications with the best sound solutions for their needs.
Moving forward development in IP is significant and there is a growing demand for IP network audio products that are compatible with Video Management Systems (VMS) or SIP-based Communication Systems. Based on open standards IP speakers can plug into standard IP networks allowing clear pre-recorded voice messages or live voice announcements. These can be automatically or manually triggered by VoIP (Voice over IP), SIP phone systems, IP camera systems and image sensing or motion detection video systems.
The most significant market need, at the moment, is to ensure we can continue to have a stable supply of goods so our clients can fulfil their orders and projects. TOA manufactures its own developed products in its own factories, this enables us to establish high-quality internal standards and achieve consistent management. We are working on an efficient supply chain by, for example, standardising product components.
In development TOA constantly look at the needs of our clients to create the best products for both good sound and to meet with their environments needs. Across the globe our teams advise on many projects from stadia to arenas and from theatres to concert halls. Whether a modern design or heritage building, which requires special consideration, we look carefully at how our systems can either enhance a project as part of the design or blend in to create the correct ambience.
Within the development of products there is a demand for electronics manufactures to provide more power in space saving products with improved environmental performance. Moving away from analogue to digital ensures that systems are energy efficient, eco-friendly and cost effective. Lighter and more compact they create a better carbon footprint in packaging and transportation and are in line with TOA’s Sustainable Development Goals.
Looking to the future TOA will continue to advance in systems that focus on digitalisation and networking, whilst ensuring that the increasing demands for higher levels of sound quality in video conferencing and emergency broadcasting are met. Providing audio solutions that can convey the meaning of the words clearly.
We will strive with the quality control of the products and the systems and provide additional services to our clients such as technical support, commissioning and training. In the future TOA are planning to use our expert technical resources to expand the service area to provide remote maintenance of these systems, so that life safety is at the forefront of our provision and that every system operates reliably even after installation. This service allows users to use our systems with greater peace of mind for many years to come.
Our outstanding technical teams provide excellent customer project support. From consultation and training to design, build, post-installation commissioning and on-going technical assistance they offer a wealth of expertise to collaborate with our customers on projects around the globe.
To conclude TOA is a manufacturer of high-quality audio solutions that are installed in many applications across the world. We pride ourselves on our client relations and the additional support we offer in technical, product development, marketing and sales to ensure our clients receive the highest quality of product supply and service.