As a good corporate citizen, our company actively contributes to society. Our activities include:
On three occasions in the spring, summer, and fall, THK NIIGATA staff members worked as traffic safety guards at an intersection near the front gate and the back of the parking lot. When directing traffic, the traffic mirrors were dirty and the road markings were faded, so the facility petitioned the Agano city government and police department and had the mirrors replaced and road repainted.
THK NIIGATA also provided its facilities as a coronavirus vaccination site in July and August, which was utilized by 1,091 people, including employees and their families, temporary staff, and neighboring companies.
On five occasions in November, DALIAN THK provided space for a coronavirus PCR testing site aimed at dormitory residents and the surrounding community (nearby companies and citizens), and a total of 5,480 people made use of the testing. Five remote workers also volunteered to combat the pandemic by administering PCR tests, transporting goods, and disinfecting in the areas where they live.
Monitoring Expressway Traffic Conditions
As coronavirus infections increased in April, 15 staff members monitored the traffic conditions on Huning Expressway for 14 days based on a request by the Yijia volunteer association.
Cleaning Up a Nursing Home
Out of a desire to ensure residents can enjoy a pleasant-looking environment, 10 staff members go each month to perform cleaning tasks at the nearby Ankang nursing home.
Organizing Books at the Changzhou Library
Eight staff members go to help organize books at the nearby Changzhou Library each month to make it easier for patrons to find things on the shelves.
In December, the St. Catharines plant held a sale where employees could purchase uniform jackets, T-shirts, and polo shirts with the THK logo. Five Canadian dollars from each purchase were donated to the Community Care of St. Catharines & Thorold charity organization for a total of 7,000 CAD.
TRA Michigan supported and contributed funds for the city of Portland's Riverfront Park Revitalization project. The park will serve as a recreational space for the community, including playground equipment, a rubberized play surface, and Splash Park.
The groundbreaking ceremony was held in July, with staff members Sheila and Bailey participating as representatives of THK. In October, the brand-new Splash Park facilities opened. The park also features plaques for each of the corporate sponsors of this project.
Now in its fifth year, the THK Education Outreach Program began in 2017 as a special project in anticipation of our 50th anniversary in 2021 and with the desire to introduce children to the joy of manufacturing. The objective is to use manufacturing education to foster talent that can create and develop, thinking about issues with classmates and arriving at solutions.
For the second year in a row, the pandemic forced us to suspend the lessons our employees would conduct at middle schools. However, we did develop new educational materials that could be used in technical classes at middle schools. We solicited new lesson ideas internally and selected “a trash can that you want to use” as the theme, creating a lesson module in which students add a sorting element that automatically separates trash that can be recycled. This program was designed so many schools can adopt it as long as they have the materials. This year, we recruited schools for a trial, and the official release will be next year. Materials will be distributed to schools as a means to foster problem solving through manufacturing.
For students who are conducting manufacturing-related R&D, we hosted our 5th Science Castle Grant THK Prize. Out of 28 school entries, we provided development support to 10 teams for six months, which included a technical mentorship with a THK employee. For the first time in two years, we held our annual gathering at the end of December to present everyone’s results in person. In addition to presentations from the schools selected in 2021, we also invited past participants to share their activities after receiving their awards. Our project office was thrilled to see that these students were continuing their research and their passion for manufacturing was as strong as ever.
We will continue our outreach program next year and beyond, and in addition to maintaining our THK Prize, we plan to release manufacturing education materials designed for middle school engineering and home economics courses.
Project to Develop a Desktop Circuit Board Manufacturing Device
As part of my high school robot research club, I research
engineering topics that I am interested in, which includes
creating robots and programs. In June 2021, I participated
in RoboCupJunior Worldwide and won in the Rescue
League, which is a contest of accuracy and speed as autonomous
robots search for victims inside a maze that simulates
a disaster site. The process of making printed circuit
boards for the tournament was inconvenient, so when I
was working on developing a device that could make them
more easily, I wanted to get a professional engineer’s feedback
on the design, so I applied for a Science Castle grant.
Normally, you use an etching solution to dissolve the copper plating on a circuit board and make the circuit, but that produces liquid waste, so I went with a method where you cut the circuit board with the copper plate attached and you do not have to do any waste liquid treatment. The device uses a dental drill that is moved in all directions by LM Guide units. I am very close to being able to process one side of the circuit board, but I want to be able to create two-sided circuit boards for robots. An engineer from THK gave me advice about controlling systems with actuators and other tips.
In the future, I want to study engineering and do research that will solve the problems people face in their daily lives. I have not narrowed down exactly what I want to do yet, but I hope that my research will get more people involved in manufacturing and help contribute to the development of industry in Japan.
As part of our contributions to society, we provide financial assistance in times of natural disasters and donate money to organizations devoted to the advancement of science and the future development of manufacturing in Japan.
|February 2021||Support/membership dues||Japan Science Foundation|
|March 2021||Special member fee||Japan Philharmonic Orchestra|
|July 2021||Activity funds||Japanese Red Cross|
|Throughout 2021||Activity funds||City of Dačice|
|December 2021||Food and toys||St. Catharines and Thorold|