Product/process innovations

Material issue Product/process innovations

  • Targets/Vision
  • The ratio of Environmentally-Friendly Products and Products with Fewer Hazardous Substances among the total newly marketed products: 50% or more (fiscal 2022)
  • Labor productivity: Double Loss: 50% Capital productivity: Double

Product innovation: Expand “Environmentally-Friendly Products” and “Products with Fewer Hazardous Substances”

We have focused on developing belt products for automotive and other industries for years and refined our energy-saving related technologies by sincerely addressing needs of customers and society.

Currently, our private brand of environmentally-friendly products “eco moving” and products that satisfy at least 50% of the baseline values for key Environmental Claims that define this brand are grouped into the “Environmentally-Friendly Products” category, and we are working to expand it along with “Products with Fewer Hazardous Substances.” By fiscal 2022, the final year of BF-2, we aim to increase the ratio of “Environmentally-Friendly Products” and “Products with Fewer Hazardous Substances” to 50% or more of newly marketed products.

In fiscal 2018, we launched new “eco moving” products: “POWER ACETM Aramid Single 5VK/8VK,” an industrial belt which reduces waste by over 30% compared to our existing products, and “Aramid Hybrid RIB ACETM,” an automotive belt which reduces raw materials used by 14% and waste by 66% compared to our existing products. In fiscal 2019, we set and work on at least five product development themes for “Environmentally-Friendly Products” and “Products with Fewer Hazardous Substances.”

Expand Environmentally-Friendly Products

Our customers, and society as a whole, have welcomed the added value provided by our “eco moving” brand of environmentally-friendly products.

[Other Environmentally-Friendly Products]

Environmental consideration at the time of disposal Transmission belts using non-chlorinated synthetic rubber.

Environmental Claims

1.Saving energy

The product’s energy loss during use is cut by 15% or more, in comparison with the corresponding reference product.

2.Saving resources

The raw materials used for the product are reduced by 10% or more by mass, in comparison with the corresponding reference product.

3. Reduction in quantity of waste

Product-related waste during use is reduced by 10% or more by mass, in comparison with the corresponding reference product.

4. Using recycled materials

The product uses 20% or more recycled materials by weight.

5. Using eco materials

The product uses 80% or more eco materials by weight (recycled materials as well as non-petrochemical natural resources and materials).

6. Reduction of CO2 emissions

The product reduces CO2 emissions by 10% or more during its lifecycle, in comparison with the corresponding reference product. Or, the product reduces CO2 emissions by 15% or more during any stage of its lifecycle (material procurement, production, transportation, use, disposal).

7. Carbon offset

The product is certified by the carbon offset certification system (third party institution), and the appropriate carbon offset activities have been implemented.

Process Innovation : Development of new production methods for urethane belts

With “Enhancement and Evolution in Manufacturing” set as one of the guidelines in the mid-term business plan BF-2, the Company promotes development of innovative production methods for main power transmission belt products and is working on establishment of new production methods for urethane belts and its mass production. In fiscal 2018, we reviewed the compounding design of urethane materials in the urethane belt production line in the Ashikaga Plant and worked to shorten a crosslinking (reaction that changes physical and chemical properties of polymers by linking them) process. As a result, we were able to double labor productivity and reduce material loss by almost 20% and energy consumption by 80% compared to the conventional production methods. In fiscal 2019, we plan to work on automation and labor saving by introducing robots as well as shortening of processes by changing compounding design of materials in the rubber belt production line in the Nankai Plant, with an aim to significantly improve labor and capital productivity and establish a new production method enabling to reduce material loss.

Contributing to reduction of industrial waste and energy consumption

The establishment of a new production method for urethane belts also enables to reduce industrial waste through reduction of urethane material loss and also reduce energy consumption resulting from shortened crosslinking time and a change of the heating method.

TOPICSPursue further potential of urethane materials through
a new production method

In order to establish a new production method, we utilized urethane material technology, one of our core technologies, and designed unique compounding of urethane materials which will be the base. As the handling of the urethane materials with new compounding was difficult, we fundamentally reviewed the manufacturing and design conditions of the belt itself. After a number of trial and error, we finally established manufacturing conditions and solved various technical issues, and consequently, we successfully developed a production method enabling to improve labor and capital productivity and reduce material loss.
The belts made of urethane materials with new compounding exhibit the durability three times higher than that of conventional products and are also more cost-efficient as they require a fewer number of molds to manufacture. We will continue to work on “Enhancement and Evolution in Manufacturing” mainly with our main power transmission belt products and pursue further potential.