Green Products (product initiatives)
Resource Conservation and Recycling of Products
Upgraded Recycling That Increases the Value of Materials (Application of Recycled Materials)
Recycling Used PET Bottles and PC Gallon Bottles into an Outer Casing Material for MFPs
Konica Minolta has been striving to develop innovative technology to recycle PET plastic beverage bottles into plastic material with sufficient strength, flame resistance and usability for the outer casing of MFPs. The company took its chemical processing technology even further and succeeded in developing a new recycled PC/PET plastic, raising the percentage of PCR* to about 70%. The company is expanding its use in outer casings.
- Percentage of post-consumer recycling (PCR): The percentage of material collected from the market that is used in recycled raw materials.
bizhub C368 series using recycled PC/PET
Recycling Used Milk Bottles into Toner Bottles
Konica Minolta recycles milk bottles made out of polyethylene, which are widely distributed in Europe and the U.S., and turns them into toner bottles for MFPs. It developed washing technology that removes the smell of milk and minute cells that would lead to quality degradation and established a mass production system in Mexico and Malaysia. The company has succeeded in raising the percentage of PCR in the raw material used for toner containers to 40% and intends to increase it to 100% in the future.
Toner bottles made from recycled material
Milk Bottle Recycling Process
Recycling ABS Resin from Used Gaming Machines into Inner Casing Material for MFPs
Konica Minolta has developed recycled ABS with enhanced flame retardancy, produced by upgraded recycling of ABS resin obtained from used gaming machines. It plans to start using the material for internal parts of MFPs in fiscal 2016.
Making Office Equipment Smaller and Lighter
Making products smaller and lighter contributes greatly to reducing raw materials use and energy consumption during production as well as environmental impact during disposal. Through technical development leveraging its core technologies, Konica Minolta is working at reducing the size and weight of its office equipment while increasing their performance. It is also actively pursuing the development of new products with low environmental impact.
Example of product with compact design launched in fiscal 2015
bizhub C287 / C227 Space-saving A3 color MFP designed with a small footprint (585mm in width and 660mm in depth)
Conserving Resources with Functional Materials
Making Thinner TAC Films to Protect Liquid Crystal Polarizers
Konica Minolta has drawn on its strengths in film making technology to make increasingly thin TAC film, which protects polarizers in liquid crystal displays. This not only reduces the weight of IT products such as note PCs and smartphones, it also reduces the materials used, thereby contributing to resource conservation.
- TAC: Abbreviation for the substance triacetylcellulose
Dramatically Improving Productivity of Polarizer Manufacturers with Obliquely Oriented QWP Film
Utilizing its proprietary optical design technology and the optical properties of cellulosic materials, Konica Minolta has developed obliquely oriented QWP film, which allows users to see the exact colors of images on display even through polarized sunglasses. Furthermore, the oblique orientation of the optical axis eliminates the necessity of cutting the film into sheets and bonding them obliquely in the production process of polarizers. This enables roll-to-roll production of polarizers, thereby helping polarizer manufacturers to drastically increase productivity. Besides enhancing display visibility when viewed through polarized sunglasses, a piece of QWP film also serves as a polarizer protection film, thus contributing to reducing the thickness of displays and the number of parts required for their production.
The image of the “Display with PET film” is an example of how an image can appear when PET (polyethylene terephthalate) film is applied on a display in place of QWP film.
Making Healthcare Products Lighter
Cassette Digital Radiography Systems
The AeroDR series of cassette digital radiography systems is compact, light, and easy to carry around. These products are contributing to the spread of digital radiography (DR), which reduces patients’ exposure to X-rays compared to film radiography and enables the immediate display of high-precision images. As use increased, so did demand for even lighter models. Accordingly, in August 2015, Konica Minolta launched the AeroDR PREMIUM1417S, which at 2.5kg* is the lightest wireless DR detector in the world. By refining the design of the case and component parts, the company succeeded in reducing the weight by about 10% compared to the conventional AeroDR. The grip was improved so that the panel can be easily held with one hand, and the portable DR is now easier to carry around.
- As of August 1, 2015; in a 14x17 inch wireless portable DR.
Diagnostic Ultrasound Systems
The SONIMAGE series of diagnostic ultrasound systems are used in a wide range of clinical fields, as they enable real-time viewing of images. The SONIMAGE HS1, launched in July 2014, weighs 35 kilograms, which is 45% lighter than the conventional model.*
- Conventional model: SONIMAGE 613
Industrial Inkjet Printers Helping Reduce Use of Natural Resources in Textile Printing Process
Inkjet Textile Printer Reducing Use of Water Resources
The inkjet textile printer does not require the plate making and colored size mixing that is needed with conventional screen-printing. It also contributes to the reduction of resources usage and waste, since it enables on-demand production that uses only the amount of ink and material needed. Compared to conventional screen-printing, it reduces environmental impact significantly, with a 97% reduction in sizing usage, and a 62% reduction in water resources usage.
Nassenger SP-1 inkjet textile printer