Energy Conservation

The Nisshinbo Group's Contributions to the SDGs

The Nisshinbo Group contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through energy conservation activities.
The Group manages key performance indicators (KPIs) as part of systematic measures to achieve its environmental target of reducing energy use per unit of sales.

Core SDGs Goals and Targets and the activities of the Nisshinbo Group

The Nisshinbo Group is promoting energy conservation activities with SDG 12.2 as a core target, as follows.

  • ①Promoting activities to curb energy consumption through ISO 14001 activities
  • ②Selecting environmentally friendly equipment when renewing equipment and continuously implementing energy conservation measures through improvement activities
  • ③Systematic use of LEDs for lighting
  • ④Pursuit of the introduction of energy-saving equipment in new buildings and warehouses and the reduction of energy consumed by air conditioning
  • 12. Responsible consumption, production

    Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.

  • Targets: 12.2

    By 2030, achieve the sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources.

Energy Use by Type of Fuel

The Nisshinbo Group’s energy usage amounted to 9.95 million GJ, up 2 % year-on-year (YoY). Energy usage per unit of sales was 19.49 GJ per million yen, down 8 % YoY.

With the demand for recovery from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, production increased in many operations, energy use increased during production, while marketing increased and energy use per production unit decreased.

By type of fuel used, purchased electricity accounted for 76 % of the total. Of the total energy used, 14 % was represented by coal used at two Indonesian subsidiaries in the textiles segments (PT. Nikawa Textile Industry and PT. Nisshinbo Indonesia).

Trends in the Amount of Energy Consumed and the Amount of Energy Consumed per Unit of Sales

Trends in the Amount of Energy Consumed and the Amount of Energy Consumed per Unit of Sales

(Million GJ)

  2017 2018
(Reference value after adjustment)
2019 2020 2021
Purchased electricity 7.74 8.27 7.93 7.25 7.58
Coal 1.66 1.51 1.50 1.60 1.41
Town gas 0.77 0.85 0.80 0.73 0.77
Heavy oil 0.06 0.05 0.04 0.05 0.04
Other 0.12 0.25 0.27 0.10 0.15
Energy usage 10.35 10.93 10.54 9.71 9.95
(GJ/million yen)
The Amount of Energy Consumed per Unit of Sales 20.22 21.23 20.68 21.25 19.49

* In 2018, we changed our fiscal year-end from March 31 to December 31. As a result, the consolidated fiscal year, which is a transitional period, is an irregular accounting period. For this reason, the period used for reference to FY2018 is adjusted to the period from April 1, 2018 to March 31, 2019, to match the period of other consolidated fiscal years.

Amount of Energy Consumed by Business

The automobile brakes business accounts for the largest portion of energy consumed, at 3.23 million GJ, followed by the textiles business at 2.64 million GJ.

Amount of Energy Consumed by Business

Amount of Energy Consumed by Business

(Million GJ)

  2017 2018
(Reference value after adjustment)
2019 2020 2021
Electronics 1.89 2.64 -- -- --
Wireless and Communications -- -- 0.48 0.52 0.53
Microdevices -- -- 2.09 2.07 2.13
Automobile Brakes 3.63 3.42 3.29 3.06 3.23
Precision Instruments 1.41 1.43 1.30 1.14 1.18
Chemicals 0.11 0.11 0.10 0.11 0.13
Textiles 3.19 3.20 3.16 2.70 2.64
Others 0.12 0.12 0.12 0.12 0.10
Total 10.35 10.93 10.54 9.71 9.95

*1 In 2018, we changed our fiscal year-end from March 31 to December 31. As a result, the consolidated fiscal year, which is a transitional period, is an irregular accounting period. For this reason, the period used for reference to FY2018 is adjusted to the period from April 1, 2018 to March 31, 2019, to match the period of other consolidated fiscal years.

*2 In fiscal year 2019, the Electronics business was separated into the Wireless and Communications business and the Micro Devices business.

Effect of Introducing LED Lighting

The energy conservation impact of new conversion to LED lighting in fiscal year 2021 was 866 MWh, as indicated in the table below.

Reduction in Electricity Consumption

Business Category Reduced Consumption(MWh)
Wireless and Communications 181
Microdevices 304
Automobile Brakes 132
Precision Instruments 134
Chemicals 102
Textiles 13
Real Estate 13
Textiles 866

* In fiscal year 2019, the Electronics business was separated into the Wireless and Communications business and the Micro Devices business.

Examples of the Nisshinbo Group Activities

Promotion of energy-saving Activities

At Nisshinbo Micro Devices Inc., Kawagoe Plant, four measures were developed in 2021 to reduce the use of power. Reducing power consumption also helped to reduce CO2 emissions.

First, the turbo chillers, which are air-conditioning equipment for clean rooms, became obsolete, so they were replaced with high-efficiency inverters and non-CFC models in January. As a result, Nisshinbo Micro Devices reduced electricity consumption by an 277 MWh per year (137.3 t-CO2) by reducing operating losses during periods when the impact on air-conditioning equipment is low (March-June, October-November). The non-CFC type also eliminated the use of refrigerants, which are the cause of ozone layer depletion.

Second, the filters installed to remove impurities from the air compressor facilities used at the plant were refurbished in January to reduce pressure loss and reduce excessive operation, thereby reducing electricity consumption by approximately 140MWh per year (69.5 t-CO2).

Third, the Kawagoe Plant replaced the fluorescent lamps in clean rooms, which operate 24 hours a day, with LED-based lights (462 units) in stages, reducing electricity consumption by 96 MWh (CO2 emissions by 47.5 t-CO2) per year.

Fourth, the Kawagoe Plant reduced electricity consumption by 28 MWh (CO2 emissions by 14.0 t-CO2) per year by replacing obsolete commercial air conditioners with high-efficiency units (nine).

These four measures were effective in reducing electricity consumption by an annual 542 MWh (268.3 t-CO2) and 7.6 million yen per year for the entire Kawagoe Plant.

Renewed chillers
Renewed chillers

Reduction in energy consumption by changing cold-water conveyor control for the cold water supply system

Nisshinbo Micro Devices Inc., Yashiro Plant, delivers chilled water to the air conditioners for the clean rooms to maintain the clean room environment where semiconductors are manufactured.

Before the improvement, the company operated a pump to deliver chilled water using a constant pressure control system that adjusted the opening of the two-way valve at the pump outlet so that the water supply pressure reached the set pressure.

As an improvement measure, the Yashiro Plant introduced the set pressure fluctuation and rotational speed control to connect the pump and the control system, calculate the optimum water supply pressure by water supply flow rate, and implement inverter-controls for the rotational speed of the pump, thereby realizing the operation of the pump with the minimum required power. (There is no effect of air conditioner control because the set pressure and flow rate fluctuate within the range where the two-way valve of the end air conditioner operates.)

As a result of these efforts, the company was able to reduce electricity consumption by 65 MWh per year.

Chilled water supply control system
Chilled water supply control system

Reduction of energy consumption by renewal of equipment

Nisshinbo Micro Devices AT Co., Ltd., promotes energy-saving conversion of the lights on the premises to LEDs. In the office, individual switches are provided for each lighting fixture. In addition to an on/off switch for each area, an on/off switch for the fixture alone helps to raise awareness of energy conservation. Reducing power consumption through the use of LEDs in offices (145 fluorescent lamps) and gymnasiums (24 mercury-vapor lamps) resulted in savings of 42 MWh per year.

In the production process, a large volume of air (compressed air) is used to drive equipment and convey products. When replacing an air compressor due to aging, the company selected high-efficiency models and reduced the number of units in operation by increasing the size of the compressor, thereby reducing electric power consumption. Specifically, the renewal of low-pressure compressors required two 160 kW units before, but by introducing equipment (275 kW) with twice the existing capacity, Nisshinbo Micro Devices AT was able to cover it with one unit, enabling efficient control of the number of units in operation. For the renewal of dryers, inverter controllers were introduced, and for the renewal of high-pressure compressors, a device capable of reducing electric power by 7% with energy-saving logic that cuts unnecessary boosting was introduced.

Through these efforts, the company was able to reduce annual power consumption by 96 MWh per year.

Offices equipped with individual switches for lighting
Offices equipped with individual switches for lighting

Various Energy-Saving Initiatives

Nisshinbo Micro Devices Fukuoka Co., Ltd., implemented the following energy conservation measures:

① Introduction of eco-pumps for water pumps
For the purpose of spiral-type pumps and motor aging, an eco-pump unit incorporating a premium-efficiency motor (IE3) into a highly efficient eco- pump was introduced for normal-temperature cooling water (two units) and hot water (two units). The use of eco-pumps for cold water (37 kW) resulted in a reduction of 45 MWh per year, while the use of eco-pumps for hot water (15 kW) resulted in a reduction of 11 MWh per year.

② L23 system 200V system transformer with high efficiency
Thirty-three-year-old transformers (750 kVA × 2 transformers) were operated in parallel with two systems. However, considering the load situation and the absence of previous failure history, the company replaced them with single high-efficiency transformers (1,000 kVA × 1 transformer) to reduce consumption by 19 MWh per year.

③ Emergency lamp lighting LED
LEDs for general lighting (1564 lights) were installed by fiscal year 2019, and 85 were installed by fiscal year 2020 under the promotion of LEDs for emergency lighting (223 lights) the same year. Eighteen LEDs were installed in fiscal year 2021 to reduce annual energy use by 5 MWh per year. Nisshinbo Micro Devices Fukuoka will continue to switch the remaining 120 emergency lights to LEDs.

As for power reduction, in fiscal year 2021, the production burden increased by 22.0% compared to the previous year, and the use of electric power worsened by 7.3% (2,166 MWh) compared to the previous year. In fiscal year 2022, Nisshinbo Micro Devices Fukuoka will implement measures to upgrade the low-voltage distribution pane L24 system (200 V system), which was completed in January, to improve the efficiency (reduce 18.8 MWh per year), introduce inverters for pure water MF (precision filtration), use heat-shielding paint for the roofs of the factory buildings, and install LEDs for emergency lighting, which are scheduled to be completed in May. In addition, two non-CFC inverter turbo freezers (R-1 and R-2) were installed in advance (scheduled to be completed in April) from December 2021.

Eco-pump unit for hot water
Eco-pump unit for hot water

Energy Conservation Activities at Overseas Sites

Nisshinbo Micro Devices (Thailand) Co., Ltd., actively promotes energy conservation activities.

1. Whole-company switch to LED lamps
Since 2017, the company has been working to convert fluorescent lights to LED lamps. In fiscal year 2021, Nisshinbo Micro Devices (Thailand) considered converting all remaining fluorescent lights to LED lamps. LED lamps are characterized not only by low power consumption but also by a large amount of light, and the fluorescent lamps can be substituted with fewer LED lamps. In fiscal year 2021, the company replaced 1,493 fluorescent lamps with 1,200 LED lamps in June, July, and December, reducing use by 16.4 kW, 144 MWh per year, and 86.1 t-CO2 per year.

2. Application of inverter to main exhaust fan
In July 2021, NIsshinbo Micro Devices (Thailand) introduced invertors into the main exhaust fans in the molding process. The molding process seals wire-bonded ICs and lead frames with resin. In the past, dampers were used to adjust the amount of exhaust gas from the mold equipment. With the introduction of this inverter, the company was able to reduce power consumption by 74% (5.3 kW reduction) from 7.2 kW to 1.9 kW and 46 MWh per year and 27.8 t-CO2 per year.

Switching to LED lamps
Switching to LED lamps

Energy saving in plate processing process

Nisshinbo Automotive Manufacturing Inc. in the United States produces brake disc pads.

The company planned and implemented efforts to reduce power use by reviewing the temperature control of the preheated dryer in the plate processing process of disc pads.

Based on the results of verification experiments, the company calculated the minimum required energy for primer drying, and as a result of lowering the temperature of the preheating drying furnace than before, the company was able to reduce power consumption by 79.2 kWh. This effort resulted in power savings of 665 MWh per year.

Reduction of power by participating in Demand Response business

Saeron Automotive Corporation (SAC) in the Republic of Korea participated in the Demand Response project to reduce power consumption in response to power demand since December 2020. Demand response is used to control the power on the user side to balance the demand (consumption) and supply (generation) of electricity. In advance, SAC concluded a contract with a power company to save power in response to a request from a power company when power supply and demand are tight. In addition, the company bid the amount of power surplus to a power company and sold the dispensed volume to a power trade office. SAC utilized this mechanism, and in 2021, 119 MWh power was sold through successful bids.

Promote energy saving by modifying the circulation pump of the cooling tower

Nisshinbo Mechatronics Inc., Miai machinery Plant, uses 19 molding machines. Cold water facilities are used to cool the molds. The chilled water facility has a total of three chillers: two 15 kW and one 11 kW. For cooling the three chillers, cooling water is circulated using a 3.7 kW circulation pump with a cooling tower. Until the modification, this cooling tower circulation pump had operated 24 hours a day, irrespective of water temperature and season, which wasted electricity.

This time, Nisshinbo Mechatronics Inc., Miai machinery Plant examined the use of inverters for cooling tower circulation pumps from in-house production, installed temperature sensors at the inlet of the chillers, and modified them to obtain the proper flow rate by controlling the pump revolutions at a water temperature setting of 20°C.

This modification reduced annual electric energy consumption of the cooling tower circulation pump by 42% and conserved 11 MWh of energy and 4 t-CO2.

Circulation pump mounting inverter
Circulation pump mounting inverter

Promote energy conservation through improved Activities

Nisshinbo Mechatronics Inc., Hamakita Plant, is implements improved activities to promote energy conservation.

Exhaust fans (0.52 kW × 8 units) in the rooftop air-conditioning machine room of the factory building had operated intermittently by thermos-control at the maximum load for the commercial frequency (60 Hz), but the capacity became excessive because of the temperature, which resulted in wasteful use of electricity. Therefore, the company changed the intermittent thermo-control operation to inverter control and set it to 55 Hz when the room temperature was 32°C or higher, 20 to 50 Hz when it was 18°C to 32°C, and stopped the unit when it was 18°C or lower. This resulted in an annual energy savings of 16 MWh.

In addition, air-cooled chillers for air conditioning in the factory building sometimes run under high loads that exceed the rated currents in summer due to the thermal load. Therefore, the Hamakita Plant set up a water sprinkler nozzle to spray water when the outside air temperature reached 27°C or higher. Water sprinkling lowers the ambient temperature of the facility and reduces the burden on the air chiller, thereby reducing the current rating, further reducing annual energy consumption by 10 MWh.

Water spraying nozzle installation equipment
Water spraying nozzle installation equipment

Promote energy conservation by introducing central mist filter equipment

In response to increasing environmental awareness in China, Nisshinbo Continental Precision Machining (Yangzhou) Co., Ltd., has become possible to recover the solvent mists generated from each plant facility more efficiently by changing from conventional individual mist filter equipment to central mist filter equipment. In China, Nisshinbo Continental Precision Machining (Yangzhou) also realized a significant reduction in the amount of used filter waste discarded as dangerous substances.

Furthermore, in the conventional method, exhaust gas processed by individual mist filters installed at the top of each facility and set of equipment was collected in VOC* facilities, but in the central mist filter facility, the system was changed to a system where the pipes of each facility and VOC facility are directly connected to process mist in an integrated manner, thereby efficiently covering it with a single large motor instead of an individual motor drive, which resulted in a drastic reduction in power consumption and a reduction in electricity use of approximately 147 MWh per year.

*VOC: Volatile Organic Compounds

Reduction of electric power and fuel consumption by changing the reactor temperature control system

Nisshinbo Chemical Inc., Tokushima Plant, manufactures CARBODILITE ®, a resin additive, in a reaction vessel. Heat cooling in the reaction process is adjusted by the volume of 190°C hot medium and 5°C cold heat medium injected. In 2021, the company tackled two themes as energy conservation measures.

①The miniaturized valves that control the hyperthermic medium, allowing fine injection flow adjustments, eliminated wasted heat medium injection, and the reduced temperature irregularities reduced the load on heating and cooling devices.

②When reaction vessel temperature regulation was not required, the reaction vessel warm conditioning pump continued to run with a bypass line that did not supply heat medium to the reaction vessel, but a program to stop the reaction vessel warm conditioning pump was introduced, and the power of the pump decreased.

As a result of the above measures, the company was able to reduce annual power consumption by 58 MWh, kerosene fuel consumption by 2.7 kL, and carbon dioxide emissions by 40 t-CO2 per year.