The Sumitomo Group has a long history that goes back to the 16th century.

Below you can get an overview of its history, philosophy as well as special current focal points, for which we, our parent company and the entire group stand.

The philosophy of the company founder played - and still plays - a central role, to maintain the integrity of the business conduct of the whole group.


SEI in general
  • 1897
    Opened the Sumitomo Copper Rolling Works.
  • 1911
    Established Sumitomo Electric Wire & Cable Works.
  • 1914
    Development of trolley wire.
  • 1922
    Manufactured and installed 21 km of submarine power cable, the world’s longest at that time.
  • 1939
    Company name changed to Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd.
  • 1941
    Opened the Itami Works.
  • 1949
    Started automotive wiring harness business.
  • 1957
    Succeeded in achieving domestic production of television broadcasting antennas.
  • 1961
    Opened the Yokohama Works. Delivered the wiring harness for four-wheel vehicles for the first time in its history.
  • 1962
    Started production of IRRAX™ tube. The Head Office was moved from Osaka's Konohana-ku to the present address in Chuo-ku.
  • 1962
    Started production of Sumitube™.
  • 1969
    Established its first overseas production facility (Siam Electric Industries Co., Ltd.). Started production of flexible printed circuits (FPCs).
  • 1970
    Started production of compound semiconductors.
  • 1974
    Started production of optical fiber cables.
  • 1980
    Started manufacture of parallel wire.
  • 1988
    Sumitomo Electric Europe SA (SEESA) is founded in the United Kingdom to promote SEI products in Europe.
  • 1997
    The 100th anniversary of Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd. SEESA changes its name to Sumitomo Electric Europe Limited (SEEL) and is registered in the United Kingdom. SEI Interconnect Products (UK) Ltd. (SEUK) is established in Wales for the manufacture of flexible flat cabling.
  • 1998
    Developed and started marketing eco-friendly wires and cables.
  • 2006
    Started power transmission via superconducting cable in actual power transmission lines.
  • 2010
    Developed aluminum wiring harnesses.
  • 2012
    Siegrist-Orel Limited (UK) and Heinrich Thulesius GmbH & Co KG (Germany) join the SEPE Group.
  • 2015
    Siegrist-Orel Ltd. changes its name to become SEI Identification Solutions Ltd. (SEID).
  • 2017
    The 120th anniversary of Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd.
SESP with prehistory
  • 1960
    Commissioning of the first electron beam accelerator in Osaka. Start of the business with the irradiation of Polyolefin tubes.
  • 1963
    Start of production of cross linked Polyolefin tubes (in short XL PO, or simple IRRAX™) in Kumatori.
  • 1964
    Start of production of cross linked Polyolefin heat shrinkable tubes (XL PO-H/S in short, or simple Sumitube™).
  • 1978
    First sale of Sumitube™ to Europe and the USA.
  • 1980
    IPD (Irradiated Product Division) became an independent division of Sumitomo Electric Industries (SEI).
  • 1984
    Start saling Sumitube™ in the USA directly through Sumitomo.
  • 1985
    Marketing of Sumitube™ in Europe (Hamburg).
  • 1986
    Integration of SEESA (German Branch) in Hamburg.
  • 1989
    Moving to Norderstedt.
  • 1990
    Opening ceremony of the European distribution center in Norderstedt.
  • 1991-1993
    Foundation of SESP and integration of the former SEESA (German branch).
  • 1992
    Opening ceremony of the SESP production plant.
  • 1999
    SESP becomes ISO 9001 certified.
  • 2002
    Expansion of the automotive business, Purchase of a flattening machine, expansion of production to two shifts.
  • 2005-2009
    SEPE moves from Nuremberg to us in Norderstedt, synergy effects in sales are generated, multiple changes and Expansion of the offices.
  • 2006
    Introduction of a new tube for the automotive industry: CS.
  • 2012
    SESP becomes a pure production location, SEPE also takes over the distribution of shrinking tubes, new mini-cut machine.
  • 2014
    Expansion of production with new machines (High-Speed-Cut, Endcap, Sumiseal), Introduction of a new tube for the automotive industry: SA3 series.
  • 2015
    Purchase of another Expander, expansion of production to three shifts.
  • 2019
    Purchase of additional Endcap machine.
  • 2021
    Purchase of additional Sumiseal machine. Consolidation of all Endcap and Sumiseal machines in one location.


Although Sumitomo Electric Industries Ltd. was founded in 1897, the history of Sumitomo dates back to the seventeenth century and our founder, Masatomo Sumitomo (1585 - 1652). His philosophy for conducting business still serves as the foundation of the "Sumitomo Spirit" and our business principles in the presend days:

  • Banji-nissei
    Do your sincere best, not only in business, but also in every aspect of your life!
  • Shinyo-kakujitsu
    Place importance on integrity and sound management!
  • Fusu-furi
    No immoral business!

Emphasis on using the newest technology and actively developing new technologies has been a driving force in the development of Sumitomo business from its very beginnings to the present day. Sumitomo Electric‘s corporate mission in the 21st century is to serve society by applying technological innovation to the development of tomorrow's products and services.


We - the Sumitomo Group - have developed a clear sustainability strategy aimed at minimizing environmental impact and taking social responsibility.
We have set ourselves the goal of being climate neutral by 2050 and reducing our CO2 emissions to a minimum.
To achive this, we invest in renewable energies and are constantly working on expanding our product portfolio with environmentally friendly technologies.

The Sumitomo Group is committed to social responsibility and is committed to promoting diversity and inclusion. For that we support non-profit organizations and initiatives which are active in the areas of education, health and social justice.

The sustainability of our company remains an ongoing process in which there is always room for improvement. In addition to the measures already taken, we will continue to take further steps to achieve our goals.

Overall, we strive to incorporate sustainable practices into our business and make a positive contribution to society and the environment.

You can find additional Information at


We - the Sumitomo Group - think it is primarily important to establish a society that is sustainable and has less environmental impact.

For this we established an management for environmental preservation activities in order to improve environmental awareness and performance as well as reducing corresponding impacts in the production of environmentally conscious products and services in line with the requirements of our customers.

To comply with this, we set Sumitomo Electric Group's self standards higher than the legal ones and strive to maintain and improve them.

A larger overview of these can be found at

History, informations and pictures: © Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd. - with courtesy of Sumitomo Historical Archives.