Aisin AW is working to design production processes with the goal of achieving innovative manufacturing.
We are exploring the possibilities for techniques, equipment, production systems, and quality through a "three-in-one" organization consisting of design and development, manufacturing technology, and production divisions. Through this approach we seek to apply the results of the research and development of innovative technologies to improving the environment.
The Monozukuri Center provides a place for the pursuit of activities that move beyond divisional boundaries and conventional thinking. The facility is increasing the speed of innovation in manufacturing by grouping teams of professionals to address and explore various manufacturing research themes.
Innovative Manufacturing Framework
This section details Aisin AW’s efforts to reduce CO₂ emissions and packaging material use in product distribution.
Initiatives to Reduce CO₂ Emissions
We in the Production Systems & Logistics Planning Department consider environmental conservation to be our mission, and as a result we are working to achieve environmentally friendly distribution. This year, in addition to continuing our stubborn commitment to this program of activities with a focus on our ongoing effort to apply measures horizontally across our organization, we embraced a number of new initiatives.
We are planning to introduce biodiesel fuel (*1) as an alternative to diesel for use as a truck fuel, and we are working with other Aisin Group companies to prepare for a trial introduction (*2) this fiscal year, for example by modifying vehicles and securing fueling locations.
We expect to reduce CO2 emissions by 60 tons annually (*3) through this initiative.
In addition to working to further expand our trial introduction next year, we will continue to pursue the goal of environmentally friendly distribution, including by embracing the challenge of pioneering new improvements.
*1: Under the revised Act on the Rational Use of Energy, biodiesel is considered to have zero carbon emissions since absorption of CO2 by the plants from which it is produced cancels out CO2 emissions from driving.
*2: On a route with a one-way distance of 43 km.
*3: Equivalent to the CO2 emissions from 350 round trips between Tokyo and Osaka using a passenger car.
Initiatives to reduce packaging material use
We have been using plastic returnable shipping containers, which are environmentally friendly since they can be reused, to ship production parts to overseas plants from the perspective of the 3Rs (reduce, reuse, and recycle). However, in the past we’ve had to use one way cardboard packaging for large, heavy parts due to constraints on the dimensions and strength of such containers.
Last year, we developed a new container that can accommodate large, heavy parts while working to ensure that it would be easy to handle, both for workers responsible packaging the parts and or workers at the destination facility. This year, we expect to reduce annual packaging material use by 158 tons by stubbornly applying that approach to new parts that will be introduced next year.
Going forward, we will continue to strive to achieve environmentally friendly distribution by embracing the challenge of making new improvements.
One way cardboard packaging
Plastic returnable shipping containers and packaging
What is Remanufacturing?
In a word, it's the automatic transmission recycling business. Aisin AW provides recycled automatic transmissions at an inexpensive price point for use in repair and replacement of models already in service. The company is contributing to global environmental conservation through its remanufacturing program, reducing waste products and effectively using resources.
Three facilities-AWQUIS JAPAN (Aichi Prefecture), AW Transmission Engineering U.S.A., Inc. (North America), and the AW Europe Service Center (Europe) recover automatic transmissions from the market and disassemble and repair them, guaranteeing proper functionality.
Aisin AW's Commitment to Energy Efficiency
Our basic approach to energy consumption is focused on improving environmental performance, achieving greater cost effectiveness, and ensuring a stable energy supply. These three concepts add up to a balanced use of energy. Collectively we call this the "BEST MIX" of energy use. We also believe that it is important to precisely target energy delivery to reflect the locations, times, and quantities that characterize demand.
Aisin AW sees the prevention of global warming as consisting of the suppression of CO2 emissions by promoting energy conservation initiatives. The Energy Subcommittee lies at the center of the company's efforts in this regard, which reflect the internal slogan, "Protecting the global environment is a job for everyone." Aisin AW has come together to focus on energy conservation.
Reducing Waste Products and Encouraging Zero Emissions
The Waste and Recycling Subcommittee is responsible for setting waste reduction targets and determining the overall direction of related activities. As of 2005, we had achieved the first three waste reduction steps—reducing waste product processing by outside companies, eliminating landfilled waste, and reducing incinerated waste. Fluctuations in production volume have made it challenging to achieve the fourth step of reducing total waste product volume, but we have nonetheless achieved annual targets for the subsequent five years. We began the fifth step of reducing waste product volume per unit of production in 2011, and we will work to recycle waste plastic this year in an effort to achieve the associated targets.
Waste Reductions Activities
Reducing total emissions (waste products)
We have continued to work to reduce waste volume per unit of production (Step 6) since FY2016. We will determine specific reduction targets based on a consideration of production volume forecasts. Our specific approach, which will be shaped by the 3Rs, will include recycling waste oil for use as a raw material in the production of remanufactured fuel oil and as a fuel for incinerators.