Sokkia celebrates 100 years of precision

By on 24 June, 2020

Sokkisha 12-inch wye level, circa 1920. Image provided by Position Partners.

Sokkia celebrates 100 years of design and manufacture of survey and precision measurement equipment. 

Founded “Sokkisha” in 1920, the firm’s first product was a 12-inch wye level, the beginning of a reputation for precision and high-end manufacturing processes.

The 1980s was a significant period of innovation for the firm, according to Gary MacPhail, geospatial manager for Position Partners Sokkia’s main Oceania distributor. Sokkisha launched its ETS (electronic total station), RED electronic distance measuring system (EDM) and SDR electronic field book.

“Sokkia was the theodolite of choice in the 1980s and the company was at the forefront of innovation with both optical instrument and field controllers,” Mr. MacPhail said.

“They also made extremely compatible data formats that you could import into most desktop software programs. Often it was easiest to reprogram data into Sokkia’s SDR format because it would work reliably.”

More recently, Sokkia’s development of the RED-Tech reflectorless EDM was a world first in the use of a digitally modulated beam, and continues to form the basis of the company’s total stations, including robotic instruments.

The company’s product line up now spans spans robotic total stations, multi-constellation GNSS, monitoring solutions and field controllers. Sokkia was acquired by Topcon in 2008 and is sold worldwide via a global distribution network.

Sokkia total stations and auto levels purchased in 2020 feature a 100th anniversary graphic to commemorate this milestone year for the brand.

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