Material issue Product/process innovations
- ●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
- Engineering divisions
- Engineering Department of New Businesses Promotion Center
- Research laboratories
Coordinating office: Technical Committee (Secretariat: Technology Planning Group of Research Laboratories for Core Technologies)
[Policy/Point of view]
The “Group Code of Conduct” stipulates the preservation of the global environment,
and the “Basic Environmental Policy” aims at saving resources and energy and
reducing wastes and hazardous substances in each of the stages of technology
development, design, procurement, production, sale, and use of products and
services. In addition, we are working to develop high-functional, energy-saving, and
low-environmental impact products meeting market needs based on the guideline on the
core business expansion set forth in the mid-term business plan BF-2.
Guideline 2: Expansion of core business; Development of high-functional, energy-saving, and low-environmental impact products meeting market needs
Ratio of environmentally-friendly products among the total newly marketed products: 50% or more (fiscal 2022)
Products to be developed are checked against the “Environmental Instruction and Design Standards” at the time of proposal, registered as environmentally-friendly products for a development theme by the Technical Committee and monitored for its progress. When the development is completed, the products are reviewed by the Eco-moving Subcommittee of the Technical Committee and registered as environmentally-friendly products to appeal to customers and society.
[Responsible Departments] (Process)
- Manufacturing Technology Development of Manufacturing Planning Center
- Manufacturing technology divisions of business divisions
[Policy/Point of view]
The Group sets forth manufacturing guidelines in the mid-term business plan BF-2 and
works on the innovation of manufacturing as it is essential to grow our core
businesses globally and improve profitability.
Guideline 3: Enhancement and evolution in manufacturing; Development of innovative production methods
Labor productivity: Double Loss: 50% Capital productivity: Double
- Set forth manufacturing guidelines in the mid-term business plan BF-2 and promote development of innovative production methods
Product Innovation: Expand “Environmentally-Friendly Products”
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, and Products with Fewer Hazardous Substances are grouped into the “Environmentally-Friendly Products” category, and we are working to expand it. By fiscal 2022, the final year of BF-2, we aim to increase the ratio of “Environmentally-Friendly Products” to 50% or more of newly marketed products.
Our new environmentally-friendly products launched in fiscal 2019 were “TECHRIA™ EGS-T,” thin polyethylene films that reduce CO2 emissions by approximately 14% compared with the existing products and “BANDO GLANMESSE™ (DEHP-free),” laminate films using DINP plasticizer instead of highly toxic DEHP plasticizer.
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.
The product’s energy loss during use is cut by 15% or more, in comparison with the corresponding reference product.
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: Improve labor productivity and reduce material loss and energy consumption through development of new production method
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 various belts and its mass production.
In fiscal 2019, we comprehensively reviewed the conventional production methods of rubber belts for agricultural machinery and automobile in the Nankai Plant and continued their development. In the production line of rubber belts for agricultural machinery, we improved labor productivity by 2.5 times and developed an environmentally-friendly production method. For automotive belts, we developed a method that reduces loss and improves productivity, achieving the reduction of material loss by more than 60% and the improvement of productivity by 1.3 times as well as the reduction of energy consumption by more than 50% by changing the heating method. In fiscal 2020, we will work to commence mass production in these two lines.
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
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.