Koganei Corp., headquarted in Tokyo, has long been an advocate of green engineering principles, from their building grounds to their manufacturing lines to their products.
When the company expanded its main manufacturing facility in Komagane, Japan, the so-called “E Building,” in 2011, the idea was hatched to add solar panels to the roof. Two years after the addition opened, 1,330 panels were brought fully online, providing 330,000 kw/hours annually—even more power than was expected from the design.
Within the plant, the company has seven dual arm NEXTAGE robots installed to assemble special valves. The company, which manufactures the end of arm portion of the robot, is using motors that are below 80 watts, so the speed is a little slower than human motion. But they can work 24 hours a day, and they have remarkably improved production, which has a near zero rejection rate.
William Miller, Sales Manager for the company’s U.S. subsidiary, Koganei International America, noted that just like in any company, there is differentiation that makes each manufacturer unique.
“With Koganei, even back as far as the 1960s, everything that they’ve done, they’ve said, was that our niche and competitive advantage is going to be that we are going to make high quality parts—but we are going to make everything with more time spent in engineering. We’re going to make the product physically smaller, use less power, have a longer life cycle. In this way, we can achieve more environmentally friendly products.”
Globally, the company was one of the first to make all of its 512,000 products RoHS compliant—a directive that aims to reduce the amount of hazardous materials in electronics manufacturing and therefore minimize toxic waste. Miller said Koganei’s compliance program was unique, in terms of environmental metal use, as a manufacturer.
“Now everybody is pushing to have RoHS compliance,” he said.
The company follows an action plan in achieving environmental improvements, including focusing on environmentally design; promoting reduce, reuse and recycle initiatives in its plants; and educating its workforce on pollution prevention and conservation.
“Koganei has been making such environmental efforts because of our corporate environmental policy,” said Kenji Kuroo, President of Koganei International America. “As a global company and manufacturer, we believe that it is our responsibility to meet the world’s environmental requirements.”
Koganei International America Inc.