We established a manufacturing system in about a year and a half thanks to quick decision-making

Yohei Shinohara,
Digital Workplace Business Headquarters

I majored in the global environment at university. Using that knowledge, I plan to work on “Recycle,” which is one of the 3Rs, as an environmental strategy in production technology. This led to my involvement in the launch of recycled plastic.

During the initial launch, there was only a production site (a large warehouse). Specific conditions for the introduction of equipment, manufacturing conditions for equipment, and methods of process management had yet to be decided at that point, so a manufacturing system had to be established from scratch. I went on-site, which was in a foreign country and where I was the only Konica Minolta employee, to first verify the hypothesis that manufacturing would be possible in accordance with actual site conditions. I promptly checked quality and productivity, and that same day I decided what we should do next to start mass production. The rapidity of this decision-making and the teamwork of a small group of employees, each with different areas of expertise, are the reasons why we were able to start production in about a year and a half.
In the future, we hope to save the Earth by further promoting the use of materials with a low environmental impact and to expand our business as one of Konica Minolta’s core businesses.

Implementing Overall Design Including Production Process

Yasuharu Saita,
Chemical Products Business Unit

I majored in chemical engineering at university. After joining the company, I was involved in the design of toner formulations and examining production technologies. Using my knowledge, I was involved in the development of recycled plastic and a plant start-up.

Recycled plastic has to have the same or better quality, cost performance, and availability as petroleum-based virgin plastic as well as a high level of environmental performance, making the design of formulations extremely difficult. Material design, analysis, and evaluation technology is one of our core technologies. Making full use of this technology, we achieved our goals through overall design that includes the production process.
I am currently refining this technology and these materials further, and I am examining that technology and those materials to make Konica Minolta a leading company in environmental solutions.

Initiatives for Local Production in Collaboration with Local Companies

Naoto Yoneda,
Chemical Products Business Unit

We are working to further enhance our environmental and business value by locally producing recycled materials and by performing molding processes locally to package our toners in line with the concept of filling toner in the place where it will be used.

Local production in our situation involves the use of materials recycled in an open loop. This requires technical know-how and process management to remove contamination (foreign matter in molded products) in order to meet our quality requirements. Therefore, cooperation with local companies is essential, but removal of contamination is a crucial part of production, and companies seldom wish to discuss it. We have established cooperative relationships by actually going to local companies and conveying our enthusiasm to them and informing them of the technologies we have developed. Growing with those companies and meeting our quality requirements have given me a sense of accomplishment.
In the future, we don't want to simply produce our own products locally. Instead, we want to promote local production of our customers' products as well.

Inquiries about our recycled plastic