Bando was a pioneer in producing energy-saving V-belts, with the sale of highly-efficient “Energy Saving Red” since the 1990s. At the time of the product launch, Japan was in the midst of a "bubble" economy and it received little attention. However, in the late 1990s, when environmental awareness increased, the energy efficiency of "Energy Saving Red" started to be highly evaluated in the market. Environmental awareness grew even more in the 2000s, and society looked for a more innovative product that achieved higher energy efficiency. We then undertook development of HFD System.
Boldly choosing a difficult path
In the concept phase, we realized that using an identical V belt would impose limitations if we were to achieve power-saving effects that surpassed those of the Energy Saving Red. So instead we focused on the flat belt, which has a flat cross section, allowing the use of small pulleys, and has the highest transmission efficiency among belt drives. At times, there were differences of opinion within the company about how to address the flat belt's weak points of "snaking" and "tension loss." But ultimately, we decided to bravely take on the challenge of using a flat belt, no matter how difficult, and so we began development.
A five-year development period
We spent around five years in development through continuous trial and error. To deal with the "snaking" problem, we developed a snaking control device with a pulley at its core and ultimately solved this problem through autonomously controlling the belt and pulley. We solved the "tension loss" problem by installing a tension-control mechanism (automatic tensioner) using springs. Finally in 2008, we launched the HFD System (Hyper Flat Drive System) that combined a flat belt, a snaking control device, and an automatic tensioner.
Greatly reduced power consumption, significant potential demand
As of April 2013, HFD System has been installed in approximately 1,200 units of equipment, resulting in expected annual energy savings of around 130 million yen (1,200 units × 1 kwh × 12 yen/kwh × 24 hours × 365 days). If HFD System were installed in 100,000 blowers in Japan, we anticipate that it would realize an enormous power-reduction effect equivalent to around 10.5 billion yen a year. HFD System has been highly evaluated for its high energy saving performance and was awarded the "Grand Prize for Excellence in Energy Efficiency" and the "Director-General's Prize, the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy." Currently, HFD System is largely used in the replacement and OEM markets for air conditioners and blowers, which is where Energy Saving Red is mostly used. In the future, we are targeting replacement needs in fields where there is considerable demand for V belts, such as for compressors and cooling towers, and we are aiming for horizontal market expansion.