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KOA supporting electric and autonomous vehicles with resistors

Article - September 4, 2023

With more than 80 years of history, KOA is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of resistors, which are essential components for electronic circuits.


KOA was founded by Kazuto Mukaiyama in 1940. Two years later, Kazuto set up a factory in his hometown in the Ina Valley of Nagano Prefecture. He then started his journey toward the ideal of supporting farmers in his hometown by combining agriculture and industry, which later was named “Farming and Manufacturing in Unison”. Having overcome some difficulties, the Ina Valley, surrounded by the mountains of the Japanese Alps, is still KOA’s main production base. KOA, which has become one of the world’s top manufacturers of resistors, supplies customers around the world with a variety of resistors with high precision and high reliability. The spirit “Farming and Manufacturing in Unison” and the management policy “Trust” have become a foundation of a new industry in the region and are still being passed on as the DNA of the company.

KOA products are mostly used for automobiles, which account for about 40% of sales. Resistors are in great demand worldwide due to the long-term trend of electrification of automobiles. According to the company’s research, the number of resistors installed in a typical EV is approximately 1.6 times that of a gasoline-engine vehicle, and the number is expected to increase further as autonomous driving and other technologies continue to develop in the future. What is required for electronic components in this application is high precision and high reliability that never causes errors. Since the early 2000s, KOA has been making a company-wide effort to improve quality with the aim of making a full-scale entry into the in-vehicle segment. As a result, the company is now recognized by customers in areas that require high precision and reliability. KOA will continue this activity to further strengthen its relationship of trust with customers and business partners.

Ina Valley

In addition, as a leading company, KOA is persuading international authorities to update a standard related to thermal design in an effort to make electronic components safer. “So far, a technical report ‘IEC TR 63091, Study for the derating curve of surface mount fixed resistors – Derating curves based on terminal part temperature’ has been issued by International Electromechanical Commission in anticipation of standard renewal,” says president Tadao Hanagata. “By applying the forthcoming standard to thermal design, surface mount components can be used more safely without overheating.”