Conserving Energy and Preventing Global Warming

THK’s Medium- and Long-Term Targets for Carbon Neutrality

The world is facing risks driven by climate change from global warming, and in response, the THK Group has established medium- and long-term targets for lowering its emissions of greenhouse gases. (These targets were approved by the Board of Directors in August 2021.)
The entire THK Group will continue to work together to promote effective policies aimed at achieving a carbon-neutral society.
As necessary, updates on these efforts will be released in an appropriate manner.

Medium-Term Target

By 2030, reduce CO2 emissions to 50% of 2018 levels.
Scope: THK Japan and Group companies in Japan
2018 emissions: 106,514 tons
2030 target emissions: 53,257 tons

Long-Term Target

By 2050, achieve net-zero CO2 emissions.*
Scope: Entire THK Group

  • *Net-zero emissions: Achieving a balance between man-made CO2 and greenhouse gas emissions and their removal by carbon sinks such as forests. (Source: Ministry of the Environment’s website)

Energy Conservation Initiatives

Energy Conservation

As exemplified by sustainability, society and corporations generate common value through corporate activities that minimize the negative impacts and strengthen the positive. With this mindset of working for the benefit of all in addition to our individual interests, THK is promoting various initiatives to achieve the creation of a sustainable society.
The world is facing risks driven by climate change from global warming, and in response, the THK Group has established medium- and long-term targets for lowering its emissions of greenhouse gases. (These targets were approved by the Board of Directors in August 2021.)
To minimize our negative impact, we have established the Carbon Neutrality Promotion Project, which is working to further reduce the CO2 emitted through our business activities. Meanwhile, to strengthen our positive impact, we are expanding our offerings of linear motion and other products and services that contribute to energy conservation. We will accelerate our various initiatives in order to achieve these goals.

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Activities and Results

Initiatives for Green Distribution

Policy

  1. Propose shipping methods that minimize CO2 emissions while considering customers’ due dates
  2. Consider load efficiency and labor efficiency in logistics
  3. Reduce CO2 emissions year on year and reduce fuel consumption rate by 1% (per ton-kilometer of shipping)

Distribution departments* are constantly considering shipping methods to reduce CO2 emissions while giving top priority to meeting customer delivery dates. Since June, we have switched some overseas shipping from the conventional air freight to transport by ferry. From the next fiscal year onward, we will actively utilize DX to reduce CO2 emissions through more efficient shipping, such as by using advance understanding of shipment volumes to determine optimal loading on pallets. In addition, we will use AI to review operations and implement initiatives to save labor.

  • * Distribution departments: Two distribution centers (Chubu and Yamaguchi); three factory centers (Yamagata, Kofu, and Mie); and THK NIIGATA
CO2 Emissions and Energy Consumption from Transportation
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  • * Data collection period: January to December
  • * Data includes five production facilities in Japan (Yamagata, Kofu, Gifu, Mie, and Yamaguchi); two distribution centers (Chubu and Yamaguchi); and three factory centers (Yamagata, Kofu, and Mie).

Upgrading to LED Lighting

The details and results of our LED upgrades during 2021 are summarized below.

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Plant Location Time frame Type and number of bulbs Reductions
Electricity used (kWh)
Gifu Plant Stair landings June Fluorescent: 12 858
Yamaguchi Plant Throughout the plant (including distribution center) December Fluorescent: 1,015
Mercury: 606
671,000
THK NIIGATA Plant Factory 3, 2nd floor Assembly/Manufacturing Promotion Unit office July Fluorescent: 74 1,733
Quality Assurance Section office July Fluorescent: 8 212
Employee entrance November Fluorescent: 12 348
THK INTECHS Mishima Plant Factory 1 clean booth line April Fluorescent: 17 628
In front of Factory 2 coating area July Fluorescent: 12 264
Talk Plaza, 2nd and 3rd floors August Fluorescent: 226 7,215
THK RHYTHM
Hamamatsu Plant
Development Building, 1st and 2nd floors (all lighting) July Fluorescent: 116 9,280
Machining/assembly lines in the plant, logistics office, etc. May to July Fluorescent: 214 12,840
THK RHYTHM
Kyushu Plant
Factory 1 machining and assembly lines January to October Fluorescent: 100 5,879
THK America Headquarters office June Fluorescent: 292 38,234
TRA Michigan Throughout the plant January to October Fluorescent: 360
THK Wuxi Transformer substation January to August Fluorescent (36 W): 108
Fluorescent (45 W): 24
18,353

Efforts at Each Production Facility

Yamagata Plant

Effective Use of HVAC Equipment

The new HVAC equipment installed in Factories 4 and 5 has a forced cooling function, and the outside air intake can be at 100%, compared to the roughly 15% possible with regular equipment. Therefore, the plant made use of that ability in the cooler period from late March to mid-June and shut off the air conditioning. As a result, they were able to reduce CO2 emissions by about 5.2 tons per year, or the equivalent of about 10.6 kL of crude oil.

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HVAC equipment with forced cooling function

Central Monitor Used for Demand Control

Between late July and mid-August, a demand agreement was maintained by deciding equipment priorities for all machines and actively utilizing a central monitor (for power, air conditioner status, and device malfunctions) in every area from Factory 1 to Factory 6. As a result, they were able to reduce CO2 emissions by about 1.0 ton per year, or the equivalent of about 0.5 kL of crude oil.

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Central monitor

Heat Source Improvement Work

From January to July, work was done to replace the type of fuel used for the heat source in the Factory 2 power building, switching from an oil-fired chiller-heater to an electric turbo chiller and gas-fired heater. As a result, they were able to reduce CO2 emissions by about 608.0 tons per year, or the equivalent of about 228.0 kL of crude oil.

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Improved heat source equipment

Kofu Plant

Cooling Tower Upgrade

The building lease for the Sanwa Factory used by Manufacturing Section I was signed, and the cooling tower was upgraded in July. As a result, they were able to reduce CO2 emissions by about 6.3 tons per year, or the equivalent of about 3.6 kL of crude oil.

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Upgraded cooling tower

Insulating Ceramic Coating

Along with conducting a repair of the aging exterior walls of Factory 3 and Factory 4, an insulating coating was applied beginning in September. With the project scheduled for completion in December, the effect has been limited, but it has reduced CO2 emissions by about 7.1 tons per year, or the equivalent of 3.1 kL of crude oil.

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Western exterior wall of Factory 3 treated with the insulating coating

Yamaguchi Plant

Upgrading Compressors

In June, two compressors in the grinding area of Factory 3 were upgraded to increase the discharge rate and make them high-efficiency units. As a result, they were able to reduce CO2 emissions by about 97.5 tons per year, or the equivalent of about 44.7 kL of crude oil.

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New compressor

Pursuing Energy-Saving Operations

Since November, the coolant air supply area in Factory 3 in Zone B has been running in energy-saving mode by using the optimal pressure for days the plant is not in operation. As a result, they were able to reduce CO2 emissions by about 4.0 tons per year, or the equivalent of about 1.9 kL of crude oil.

THK NIIGATA

Updating HVAC Equipment

A total of eight pieces of aging HVAC equipment were replaced with new units in July, including five in the break rooms of Factories 1, 2, and 3; one in an office on the production floor; one in the Manufacturing Promotion Unit office; and one in the Quality Assurance office. As a result, they were able to reduce CO2 emissions by about 0.4 tons per year, or the equivalent of about 0.2 kL of crude oil.

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New air conditioning unit in a break room

Preventative Maintenance Activity

Air leak patrols were conducted monthly, so air leaks were repaired and aging components were replaced. As a result, they were able to reduce CO2 emissions by about 8.8 tons per year, or the equivalent of about 4.2 kL of crude oil. In addition, as part of their preventative maintenance, the polycarbonate air regulator caps were gradually replaced with steel caps that will not deteriorate.

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New steel regulator

Floor-Mounted Packaged Air Conditioner

The air conditioner used in the miniature nut machining process in Factory 1 was an old unit containing R22 refrigerant,* so it was replaced with a floor-mounted packaged air conditioner in August. As a result, they were able to reduce CO2 emissions by about 2.5 tons per year, or the equivalent of about 1.2 kL of crude oil.

  • * R22 refrigerant: The manufacture of this substance was completely phased out on January 1, 2020, in accordance with the Montreal Protocol and the Ozone Layer Protection Law. The air conditioner was replaced to prevent rising repair costs, lengthen the time between servicing, and avoid the risk of the unit becoming unrepairable.
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New packaged air conditioner

THK INTECHS Mishima Plant

The Mishima plant ran a generator as an auxiliary power source for the compressors from early December 2020 to the end of March 2021 and again from early July to late September, during the times of the year with the heaviest power consumption due to heating and cooling. As a result, they were able to reduce CO2 emissions by about 15.99 tons per year, or the equivalent of about 5.9 kL of crude oil.

THK RHYTHM Hamamatsu Plant

Roof Replacement

The roof of the machining and assembly factory, made of large slate roof tiles and wood wool cement board, was replaced with ribbed Galvalume steel and Phenovaboard in September, which improved the roof’s insulating capability by a factor of about 5. As a result, they were able to reduce CO2 emissions by about 4.5 tons per year, or the equivalent of about 2.0 kL of crude oil.

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New roofing

Compressor Upgrade

An aging compressor was replaced in December. As a result, they were able to reduce CO2 emissions by about 11.7 tons per year, or the equivalent of about 7.1 kL of crude oil.

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New compressor

Consolidating Machines

The production lines were revised in November to improve efficiency. A concentrated layout was created for the (rack and pinion type) steering tie rod socket machining process by removing four NC lathes and two thread checkers from the line. As a result, they were able to reduce CO2 emissions by about 2.5 tons per year, or the equivalent of about 1.5 kL of crude oil.

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Layout drawing: Before (top) and after (bottom)

THK RHYTHM Kyushu Plant

Dry Machining (Eliminating Coolant)

The use of coolant was eliminated from the ball stud machining line starting in November in order to reduce waste and decrease the cost of purchasing cutting oil. As a result, they were able to reduce CO2 emissions by about 8.0 tons per year, or the equivalent of about 6.2 kL of crude oil.

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Dry machining

Reducing Loss from Rolling Machine Idling

From January to September, an energy-saving timer was installed on nine rolling machines to reduce the loss from idling. As a result, they were able to reduce CO2 emissions by about 8.5 tons per year, or the equivalent of about 6.2 kL of crude oil. The remaining three machines were scheduled to be completed by December.

TRA Michigan

In March, fourteen windows in the cafeteria were replaced with insulated glass and twenty were replaced with aluminum foam panels.

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Before
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After
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