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The TDK Ugo Corporation Ouchi Plant is a leading energy-saving factory for the entire TDK Group. We make energy visible and introduce energy-saving measures from the design stage. However, since the Great East Japan Earthquake, the need to save even more electricity has increased. So we decided to work with external specialists to incorporate energy-saving into everything, including our production conditions for products.
The first step was energy-saving diagnosis. Panasonic energy-saving specialists from around the world checked for electricity, heat, and air waste in manufacturing and other equipment. Problems are identified, and improvements are proposed. A representative of the TDK Ugo Corporation Ouchi Plant says, “Panasonic offered a practical approach where we could gradually change our manufacturing environment without interrupting our 24-hour, 365-day operations. The TDK Ugo Corporation Ouchi Plant, our Head Office Safety and Environment Office, and Panasonic worked together to promote solid energy-saving measures.”
Our energy-saving improvement proposals range from strong immediate effects through simple setting changes to mid to long-term ideas involving equipment investment. The first solution we pursued was energy-saving tuning of the clean room. We installed thermometers and hygrometers to constantly check the air environment and tuned the temperature and ventilation for maximum energy-saving while maintaining the necessary cleanliness for manufacturing.
In FY2011, simply changing the settings in the clean room reduced energy consumption by approx. 3% without any equipment investment. The impact on the manufacturing processes was carefully checked with every setting change. A factory representative claims that “Our manufacturing, quality assurance, production technology, and facility staff shared progress details, and everyone in the factory pulled together with Panasonic toward our shared objectives.”
Now that the energy-saving results in the clean room have deepened our relationship, we are proposing further energy-saving measures to offer even greater return on future equipment investment. One such idea is to replace the aging package air-conditioner outdoor unit with an air handling unit. Another is to use an inverter-type freezer cooling water pump to allow for even more precise tuning of the temperature and ventilation settings in the existing buildings and even greater energy-saving effects combined with the replacement of air-conditioning system using cooling water in factory.
“The manufacturing environment is still a trade-off between generating heat and cooling, and so much potential remains for saving energy. Can you suggest new ideas and new technologies?” To meet the needs of the Ouchi Plant, we will continue to present mid-to-long-term energy-saving solutions, even incorporating the production equipment. Panasonic offers a package of solutions covering all types of factory environment improvements from energy to water, air, soil, and resources recycling. Our aim is to start with energy-saving ideas and ultimately supply comprehensive solutions to solve all of our customers’ problems.
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