Building a Low-Carbon Society
Reducing CO2 emissions by making lighter weight parts for better automobile fuel efficiency, raising productivity, and creating more efficient logistics.
Reducing CO2 emissions
Lighter weight products for better automobile fuel efficiency
In FY2014 we began a working group to make lighter weight products. In FY2015 we established a Product Weight Reduction Project in the Research and Development Headquarters to expand and strengthen the activities of this working group. In FY2016 we focused on balancing lighter weight with high functionality. Reducing product weight contributes to lower CO2 emissions, but it also raises concerns about noise and vibration. Balancing the two is an issue to be solved with materials technology, engineering, and production technology.
We have set the ambitious target of 20?30% weight reductions in plastic parts in instrument panels and interior and exterior parts and rubber products such as weatherstrips and hoses by FY2020.
■Product Weight Reduction Project
Development of pad damper to balance lighter
weight and vibration control in steering wheels
Toyoda Gosei has developed a pad damper that inhibits uncomfortable steering wheel vibration while also contributing to lighter weight vehicles. Previously, steering wheels were fitted with internal steering dampers (weights). This controlled uncomfortable vibration but was counter to weight reduction needs. We therefore devised a structure that gives the airbag module a damping function by adding damping rubber in the horn unit, one of the components in driver-side airbag modules. This enabled us to eliminate the previous steering damper, reduce weight by 20%, and improve damping function fourfold by having the airbag module serve as a damping mass. We plan to extend this approach to similar products.
Reducing CO2 emissions by reducing energy loss
Higher productivity and reduced energy usage results in lower CO2 emissions. Toyoda Gosei has long worked to uncover and take measures against loss through energy-saving measures and visualization of power usage in production processes. In FY2016 we formed an expert team (in-house ESCO) that began searching for ways to reduce energy usage for further reductions in usage. We started a Production Technology Environment Subcommittee to save energy with new equipment and advance the development of more environmentally-friendly production technology. We have made companywide upgrades to air conditioning equipment installed prior to 2000 for greater efficiency, resulting in a 36% reduction in energy usage. External specialists have conducted energy-saving diagnoses at both domestic and international affiliates and we are making improvements. We have expanded these efforts with the target of using renewable energy equivalent to 1% of total peak purchased electricity by FY2017, and begun using solar energy at Toyoda Gosei (Foshan) Auto Parts Co., Ltd. and Tianjin Toyoda Gosei Co., Ltd. in China. We are also taking appropriate measures for Scope 1*1 and Scope 2,*2 which require environmental management such as set forth in the Energy Saving Law in Japan, and disclosing relevant data for Scope 3.*3
- *1 Scope 1: Volume of greenhouse gases directly emitted by corporations themselves (fossil fuel, natural gas, etc.)
- *2 Scope 2: Volume of greenhouse gases indirectly emitted (electric power, etc.)
- *3 Scope 3: Volume of greenhouse gases indirectly emitted by corporations in their supply chains (production, transportation, business trips, commuting, etc.)
Percent decrease in CO2 emissions per sales unit
FY2016 (Compared against FY2012)
- Global, consolidated
- Japan, consolidated*4
- Toyoda Gosei Co., Ltd.*4
Percent decrease in CO2 emissions
FY2016 (Compared against FY2012)
- Toyoda Gosei Co., Ltd.*4
- *4 We have set individual targets for each year to achieve the FY2020 targets, but we did not reach the target for FY2016.
In FY2017 we are trying to achieve further reductions tracking fluctuations in sales.
■CO2 emissions, CO2 emissions per sales unit (index)*5
Toyoda Gosei Co., Ltd.
- *5 Emissions per sales unit (index) is a figure obtained taking FY2012 as 100
- 【CO2 conversion factor】
The CO2 conversion factors used for Japan*6 are the 1990 Keidanren factors.
The CO2 conversion factors used for other countries are from the GHG Protocol (2001).
- *6 Electricity: 0.3707t-CO2/MWh, class A fuel oil: 2.69577t-CO2/kL, LPG: 3.00397 t-CO2/t, town gas: 2.1570 t-CO2/1,000 Nm3, kerosene: 2.53155 t-CO2/kL, LNG: 2.68682 t-CO2/t, gasoline: 2.36063 t-CO2/kL (excluding external factors of gas companies’ town gas heat conversion)
■Solar power generation graph
Boiler fuel switched from fuel oil to LNG
Liquefied natural gas (LNG) was introduced at the Morimachi Plant and the boiler fuel was switched from fuel oil to LNG, saving 2,000 t of CO2 annually. The steam that has been used in production processes to date was generated in boilers that used heavy oil as fuel, but this was converted to LNG. With this change CO2 emissions have been greatly reduced. It has also led to reductions in sulfur oxides (SOX) and nitrous oxides (NOX), which are causes of environmental pollution. A switch to LNG from the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) used in production process furnaces is also planned.
Heat measures for 2nd floor
of Building 3, Morimachi Plant
Heat measures taken for the second floor of Building 3 at the Morimachi Plant lowered the summertime room temperature by 7°C. This floor has a lot of equipment that generates heat, which combined with the sunlight on the roof made the increased temperature in summer an issue. Fans were installed to discharge the heat that accumulated in the upper air layer and to generate air flows in the lower layer (below human height) to circulate air. A roof cover with insulating material was also installed to lower the room temperature, cutting the energy used for air conditioning 30%. The improved work environment also contributed to productivity. Next up are plans to do the same thing for the second floor of Building 2.
Switch to inflator pressure test with an
induction heating system to reduce
In previous pressure tests for airbag inflators, which are filled with high pressure gas, the inflator was put in a high temperature tank that uses an electric heater. As the tank is heated, the pressure of the gas inside the inflator increases to check its pressure capacity, but this heating took a long time. With adoption into the heating system of induction heating that incorporates new conditions (coil shape, diameter, etc.) that can efficiently and uniformly heat the inflator body, electric furnace heat-up time could be shortened significantly, reducing the energy needed for heating 80%. The equipment is also smaller, so space is also saved.
Reductions in 6 greenhouse gases*8
Activities have continued for the reduction of three greenhouse gases that are used at Toyoda Gosei Co., Ltd. Substitution of both the cleaning gas used in LED chip production and the shield gas used in the production of steering wheel core metal was completed by FY2015. The result has been a 67% decrease in greenhouse gases compared with FY2012. We will continue efforts for further reductions.
Percent decrease in greenhouse gas emissions
FY2016 (Compared against FY2012)
- Toyoda Gosei Co., Ltd.
■Trend in greenhouse gas (6 gases) emissions
- *8 Hydrofluorocarbon (HFC), perfluorocarbon (PFC), sulfur hexafluoride (SF6), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), nitrogen trifluoride (NF3)
Development and spread of LED products
The focus in LED products for many years was development of highly efficient LEDs, but in FY2014 we began putting more emphasis on attractiveness. We recently developed a sunlight LED, in which we sought natural color close to that of sunlight that show things such as human skin and commercial products more naturally and beautifully. We attempted to improve the quality of light, moving from simple visibility to light that is beautiful.
To promote the spread of LEDs, we have participated in lighting exhibitions and events in many countries to increase the recognition of our LED technology and the attractiveness of our products. In FY2016 we exhibited our LED products at shows in Thailand, India, and Indonesia, focusing on the ASEAN area where LEDs are expected to come into wider use. This also let to cooperation with a Thai lighting manufacturer.
We have been switching to LED lighting at Toyoda Gosei Group companies in the Americas, China and Europe, and will next begin doing this in the ASEAN area as well to contribute to the global environment.
At Toyoda Gosei Co., Ltd. we began switching to LED lighting in 2011, and by 2012 had replaced about 70,000 fluorescent lights with LEDs. In FY2016, we began using LEDs for high-ceiling lights in our Bisai and Haruhi Plants, replacing a total of 2,300 lights with LED lighting.
- Sunlight LEDs
- Glass-encapsulated LEDs
- LED Expo New Delhi 2016
- Lighting Fair 2017
Development of LEDs similar to sunlight
Toyoda Gosei has developed LEDs with a natural color close to that of sunlight. In FY20126, we focused on sunlight LEDs that have better light quality in addition to brightness and efficiency. By optimally mixing the red, green, and blue phosphors that create color and applying them to a purple LED, we achieved a spectrum close to that of sunlight. A joint evaluation with Chiba University demonstrated that these LEDs were the best at reproducing the way objects look under sunlight. These sunlight LEDs are promising for inspection processes and museums where the way things look is very important, and for hospitals and day care facilities that need a pleasant lighting atmosphere.
Development of LED packages for headlamps
Toyoda Gosei Co., Ltd. has for the first time developed LED packages for headlamps. These products have little color variation and are bright and highly efficient. They consume less than half the energy consumed with halogen headlights. The heat dissipation component of the product could be made smaller by increasing heat dissipation with technology to connect the LED element and substrate with the surface, contributing to smaller overall light size and greater reliability.
We will continue to develop LED packages that are even smaller and more energy efficient, contributing to improved headlamp designability and lighter weight.
Development of LED illumination for cup holders that emit ring-shaped light
Using a single LED light source and ring-shaped light guiding lens, we developed LED illumination that indirectly lights the inside of cup holders. The same luminescent state as in an actual automobile was virtually reproduced with optical analysis of the light, and we used these findings in the design. A uniform ring-shaped light emission was achieved by optimizing the light guide, reflection, and diffusion methods. This increases the convenience of cup holders at night and also contributes to the vehicle cabin mood with a sense of luxury. We will continue working to raise the product appeal of automobile interior lighting.