Green Factories (procurement and production initiatives)
Saving Energy and Preventing Global Warming in Production Operations
Promoting Energy Savings at Production Sites
In line with its Green Factory certification system for comprehensively evaluating environmental activities at production sites, Konica Minolta strives to increase energy productivity and to reduce CO2 emissions from production operations through a variety of measures.
Energy Conservation Support Program
Konica Minolta has implemented an Energy Conservation Support Program in order to promote the reduction of CO2 emissions at production sites. Under this program staff members within the Group who are experts in process design, production equipment design, and energy management visit production sites and conduct inspections of everything from the energy management situation to the status of utilities and production equipment such as air conditioning and boilers, based upon which they recommend measures suited to each site. Using these recommendations, the expert staff and personnel at each site conduct simulations of the energy-saving effects, which help with implementing the measures.
Energy Conservation Support Program
Examples of Main Measures
|Improve productivity||Industrial engineering (IE) work analysis, yield rate improvement, installation of automatic machines, takt time reduction, production space optimization|
|Optimize equipment operation time||Shutdown during downtime, reduction of standby power consumption|
|Reconsider air conditioning operation||Temperature setting optimization, operating time optimization|
|Save energy in lighting||Thinning out lighting, conversion to high-efficiency lighting|
|Save energy in molding machines||Infrared heating, installation of servo motors, cylinder insulation|
|Save energy in compressed air||Installation of inverters, limited number of units, air pressure optimization|
|Reconsider refrigerator operation||Refrigerator integration, reconsideration of exit temperature setting|
|Use waste heat||Heat exchange at exhaust/intake, reduction of steam production by using waste heat from dehumidifiers|
|Reduce heat radiation loss||Steam piping insulation, piping integration, reduction of valve leaks|
Participation in RE100, Which Aims to Run Businesses with 100% Renewable Energy
In January 2019, Konica Minolta joined RE100, a global leadership initiative that brings together businesses committed to sourcing 100% renewable energy for their operations.
Konica Minolta aims to procure 100% of the power used in its own business activities from renewable energy sources by 2050. By doing so, Konica Minolta will accelerate its efforts to achieve Eco Vision 2050 while also helping to reduce global CO2 emissions by expanding the use of renewable energy. As a medium-term step toward achievement of its long-term goal, Konica Minolta set an internal target of sourcing renewable electricity for 30% of its electricity use by 2030. The Group will start reviewing its power procurement contracts one-by-one at production sites and sales sites, starting with countries and regions where renewable electricity is relatively widespread, and begin switching over those sites to renewable electricity where it is possible. In fiscal 2019, the renewable electricity usage ratio*1 was raised to 5.3%.
At Konica Minolta Business Technologies (Wuxi) Co., Ltd., one of Konica Minolta’s MFP production sites in China, 100% of the energy consumed has come from renewable energy sources since 2020. In January 2020, the company installed a solar power generating system (25,000 m2 footprint, 1.7 MW power generating capacity), accounting for about 16%*2 of power usage and, at the same time, it switched the source of the remaining power to power purchased with green power certificates.*3 As a result, the manufacturing site now sources 100% of its energy from renewable sources. It is the second Konica Minolta Business Technologies facility in China to achieve this milestone, following the Dongguan site in January 2019.
Konica Minolta will adopt the optimal method for each world region, starting with manufacturing sites such as the aforementioned site in China, in order to strengthen its efforts to expand energy procurement from renewable sources.
- Ratio of renewable energy-derived electricity to the total purchased electricity of the Konica Minolta
- Achievements from January 2019 to December 2019
- I-REC certification that can be used domestically in China (International Renewable Energy Certificate)
Konica Minolta Business Technologies (Wuxi) Co., Ltd.
Solar power panels installed on the roof
Left: Konica Minolta Business Technologies (Dongguan) Co., Ltd.
Right:Konica Minolta Business Technologies (Wuxi) Co., Ltd.
Examples of Initiatives
Pursuing Energy Savings by Reviewing the Operation of Clean Rooms with High Energy Loads
(Konica Minolta Business Technologies (Dongguan) Co., Ltd.)
Konica Minolta Business Technologies (Dongguan) Co., Ltd. Konica Minolta Business Technologies (Dongguan) Co., Ltd., which manufactures MFPs and other products in Dongguan, Guangdong Province, China, has achieved dramatic energy savings by conducting reviews of the operational status of clean rooms with high energy loads in the factory. Specifically, it took another look at the temperature and humidity conditions while keeping them within product specification requirements, optimized the ventilation frequency while maintaining cleanliness, reduced clean room equipment operating time by installing a timer, and reduced clean room floor space through layout review. The implementation of these measures has saved energy used by cold energy source equipment and ventilation equipment. In addition, in November 2017, full-scale use of renewable energy began, with the installation of photovoltaic equipment on the roof of the plant, and in 2019, the share of electricity consumption from renewable energy sources reached 100%. These measures have greatly contributed to the Excellent Green Factory Certification System, the Konica Minolta accreditation system launched in fiscal 2016.
Energy Savings through Smaller Production Space and Shorter Production Time (Konica Minolta Business Technologies (Wuxi) Co., Ltd.)
Konica Minolta Business Technologies (Wuxi) Co., Ltd., located in Jiangsu Province, China, has adopted industrial engineering (IE) work analysis as a new endeavor aimed at reducing environmental impact through increased productivity. The analysis is based on specialized analytical knowhow cultivated in Japan by Konica Minolta. By thoroughly reconsidering operability and line of flow of production lines, the company reduced production space, shortened production times, and cut energy consumption, including air conditioning and lighting. In addition, all its power now comes from renewable energy sources. This was achieved by installing a solar power generation system in January 2020, and then using green power certificates to meet its remaining electrical needs. The company has become a corporate leader for environmental protection in China, and was certified by the city of Wuxi as a “Clean Manufacturing Company” in 2017.
Konica Minolta Business Technologies (WUXI) Co., Ltd.
Utilizing Waste Heat from Production and Curbing Heat Dissipation to Ensure Energy Conservation (Konica Minolta Supplies Manufacturing Co., Ltd.)
With its head office in Kofu, Yamanashi Prefecture, Konica Minolta Supplies Manufacturing Co., Ltd. makes developers and photosensitive drums for multi-functional peripherals (MFPs). The company has achieved sharp reductions in energy consumption by utilizing the waste heat from the toner production process and curbing the heat dissipation from steam pipes.
Heat exchange with high-temperature water is typically used, but the company actively uses the waste heat from low-temperature water generated in the toner production process through heat exchange and produces heated water to be used in other processes. This significantly reduces the gas consumed to produce heated water.
The company also installed an automated control system to supply steam only when and in amounts needed to prevent heat from dissipating from the pipes.
In addition, outside air is used for drying, but the amount of air required differs significantly depending on fluctuations in the humidity of the outside air. The company controls the dew point of the outside air sucked in constantly, then curbs the blower’s air volume and number of rotations to conserve energy. It has also upgraded from NAS batteries to large-capacity lithium ion rechargeable batteries in order to adapt to momentary power interruptions and power outages. As a result, heaters no longer have to be used, conversion loss has been reduced and efficiency has improved, delivering significant energy conservation.
Kofu head office at Konica Minolta Supplies Manufacturing Co., Ltd.
Pursuing Energy Savings with High-Efficiency Air Conditioning Systems and Other Energy-Saving Measures (Konica Minolta Business Technologies (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd.)
Konica Minolta Business Technologies (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd., which assembles MFPs, has achieved major energy savings by actively employing high-efficiency air conditioning systems.
Since Malaysia is a tropical country where air conditioning use is high, the company has installed a large-temperature-difference air conditioning system and a temperature-stratified air-conditioning system and thus has reduced electricity consumption compared with conventional air conditioning.
In the areas between each factory building, dedicated individual air conditioners had been required, but individual air conditioners were discontinued by supplying surplus cold air from air conditioners in other processes.
Furthermore, in the resin molding process, vented cylinders were installed to remove the moisture and gas contained in resin, during the process. As a result, the drying step that was required before resin could be utilized is no longer necessary, resulting in significant energy savings and improved productivity. In this way, the company has promoted high-efficiency air conditioning operations throughout the plant, along with production process improvements.
Konica Minolta Business Technologies (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd.
TOPIC: Installing a Gas Turbine Cogeneration System That Provides High Energy Efficiency by Effectively Using Exhaust Heat
On February 1, 2017, the Konica Minolta Kobe Site began operating a gas turbine cogeneration system that uses city gas as fuel. This system provides distributed power generation (7,000 kW class power generation output) that generates power in the places where energy is needed. By effectively utilizing exhaust heat generated at that time, it is possible to achieve overall efficiency at a high 80-90% energy efficiency (general thermal power plants are at about 40%), which greatly contributes to energy saving and CO2 emission reduction.
This system is superior from the standpoints of both energy saving and environmental preservation because the fuel uses city gas with high combustion efficiency and low impurity, generates virtually no dust or sulfur oxides, and generates low amounts of nitrogen oxides thanks to the latest low-NOx combustion technology.
Primary Advantage of Installation
CO2 reduction: CO2 reduction of 20% or more compared with previous methods
Peak cut: Leveling of electricity demand: Electric power peak cut rate is 70%
BCP: The system supplies power to the premises critical load in the case of emergency
Subsidies: Subsidy support was received from the Energy Use Rationalization Business Support Program, in recognition of the high energy savings of the installed equipment.
At this site, the company has continued to install energy-saving equipment, streamlined product manufacturing processes. The operation of this system is positioned as the core of the energy saving and CO2 emissions reduction plan in the Medium-Term Environmental Plan 2019.
TOPIC: New Environmentally Friendly Research Building SKT
The new R&D building (SKT) opened in April 2014 at Konica Minolta Tokyo Site Hachioji integrates environmental facilities that will contribute to environmental impact reduction, including solar panels on the roof, an atrium that brings in lots of natural light, daylight sensors to reduce lighting electricity consumption, effective natural ventilation, and use of well water. As a building with excellent environmental friendliness, SKT received the highest certification, “Class S,” in the Comprehensive Assessment System for Built Environment Efficiency (CASBEE), which is an evaluation of the environmental performance of buildings led by Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism. The building also won a fiscal 2014 Good Design Award from the Japan Institute of Design Promotion (JDP).