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Local Communities

Basic Stance/Policy

As a good corporate citizen, our company actively contributes to society. Our activities include:

  • Establishing a basic philosophy of contributing to society through our business activities
  • Identifying areas to prioritize our efforts and using our corporate resources to promote specific contributions based on our corporate philosophy
  • Coordinating and cooperating with various stakeholders, including NPOs, NGOs, local communities, governments, and international institutions
  • Supporting employees' own community contributions and involvement
  • Participating in the social efforts of the industry and business community

Activities and Results

Coexisting with Local Communities

Efforts at Each Facility

TRA St. Catharines
Food Donation

On National Food Bank Day in September, three plastic bins full of food were donated by employees and given to Community Care St. Catharines.

FireFit Championships

The FireFit Championships is a series of twelve competitions across Canada, in which community and industrial firefighters race to complete tasks commonly performed in emergency situations, such as carrying a person out of danger, bringing hoses upstairs, and putting out fires.The top 10 winners compete in a Canada-wide final that includes the best from the United States and Europe.
In 2022, the Southern Ontario competition was held in St. Catharines for the first time, conveniently in the community center beside the THK St. Catharines Plant. THK opened its parking lot to enable more room for participants and spectators.
THK sponsored Brayden Toole, a five-year employee, who is one of twelve in the company's Emergency Response Team (ERT). This was Brayden's first attempt, and although he did not qualify for the Canada-wide competition, Brayden is already training hard to win in 2023!

Mr. Brayden Toole
Mr. Brayden Toole

Supporting Education

THK Education Outreach Program

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 project has been ongoing for over five years and is now in its seventh year. We provide educational opportunities to schools that foster cognitive, decision-making, and presenting skills through manufacturing. The objective is to cultivate talent that can create and develop, thinking about issues with classmates and arriving at solutions for unanswered problems.
In 2022, we added a sorting factor onto the theme of the "a trash can that you want to use" lesson idea that was solicited internally and developed the "making an auto-sorting trash can for recycling" lesson. We defined that as one of our educational materials for exploring manufacturing, recruited trial schools, and have received great feedback from teachers and students. Going forward, we will proceed with distribution to schools as a means to foster problem solving through manufacturing.
The Science Castle Grant THK Prize for children working on research development in manufacturing was also renamed to the "Science Castle THK First Step in Manufacturing Prize" last year. Of the 36 schools that applied, 10 were selected to receive support for their development activities from THK employees acting as engineering mentors over a period of six months. The gathering in December to present everyone's results was a lively and energetic event. The students presented on their research with determined expressions, answered questions from the judges, and listened earnestly to the presentations from the other teams. The program has been growing, with one past winner of the Best Development Prize, Okayama Junior High School, winning a prize at the Japan Student Science Awards and receiving media coverage.
We will continue our outreach program next year and beyond, and in addition to maintaining our THK First Step in Manufacturing Prize, we plan to expand manufacturing education materials designed for middle school engineering and home economics courses throughout all of Japan.
Below is a list of the schools and research projects that have previously received the Science Castle Grant THK Prize for Best Development.

Science Castle Grant THK Prize Winner: Seiko Gakuin High School

We are grateful for the opportunity to present the results of our research at Science Castle. We are also proud that we won the THK Prize for using the LM Guide as the subject of our research to experiment and develop our own solution for a challenge faced by society.
First, we discussed different social challenges the world is facing. We concluded that every problem-energy problems, food shortages, and overpopulation-stems from a lack of land. We focused on effectively using the ocean, which we cannot say has been utilized enough. We felt we could use the ocean for more land to solve the land shortage and showcase Japan's advanced technology to the world.
Our plan is to create artificial islands and install the Curved Guide on the floating structures that surround the island to absorb the rocking from the push and pull of the waves. When we created a small model, placed it in an acrylic pool, and measured the movement caused by the waves we generated, we found that the rocking of the floating surfaces was somewhat absorbed (see photo).
Our experiment is still ongoing. Even if it is not much, we hope to see satisfying results by continuing to go through trial and error and repeated experimentation next year.

Seiko Gakuin High School team members
The R Guide protects the island by absorbing wave motion

Higashi-Katsushika High School: Winner of the Science Castle Grant THK Prize for Best Development

In October 2018, we participated in a work-study program at a general hospital near our school, and we saw many patients going through physical therapy. In response to the future aging of our society, we thought we could reduce healthcare costs if patients would be able to comfortably recuperate at home, so we challenged ourselves to come up with our own walking rehabilitation device. To motivate people to do their exercises by showing them pleasant scenery so they are not just walking in place, we took inspiration from old movies, especially memorable Spielberg films, and decided to use VR.
Our initial concept was to use the motion of the LM Guide to achieve movement in all four directions as well as rotary motion, but we were not successful. We intended to present a device that supports the waist at our school festival in September 2019, but even though we only put up a poster, there was a big response. That gave us the confidence to develop a new device, and we settled on our current mechanism (see photo). An LM Guide is installed on the support columns for both arms, which are used for squatting motions. When the user crouches, the elasticity of the rubber returns them to their original position. The LM Guide enables the bar to move smoothly, which drastically reduces the stress on the hips and knees.
Development is still ongoing as we work to accurately link the user's movements with the VR. We are considering the design from the patient's point of view to investigate ways to make this device more pleasant to use.

VR-equipped rehabilitation device
Higashi-Katsushika High School winners of the Best VR-equipped rehabilitation device Development Prize (Director Teramachi on left)

Winner of the Science Castle Grant THK Prize for Best Development: Okayama Junior High School (Okayama City)

Seeing the 2018 floods damage our friends' houses and watching the rescue teams saving people from the widespread flooding downtown after the levees collapsed made us realize our limitations. That is how we came up with the concept of creating a disaster prevention robot to minimize damage immediately after a levee collapses.
We named it the Megaslime 39. First, it uses an air pump to cause balloons to float, then an electromagnetic valve is used to release the air so the balloons can be filled with water. After that, a submersible pump adds the water so the balloons will sink from the weight of the liquid. The six water-filled balloons then plug the space where the river has broken its bank. The current robot is a miniature, indoor model. Because the battery runs out quickly and it cannot be used outside of the remote control range, it is 70% complete. However, we should make a breakthrough if we can come up with solutions like adding a solar cell to keep it from losing power or putting a cellphone inside the robot to operate it remotely by using the electric current from when the phone produces sound.
When we started on this project, we were unsure if we would be successful, but our advisor supported us over those six months and gave us very reassuring advice whenever we ran into trouble. Because of the pandemic, we ran into issues with the audio and frozen screens when meeting online, but we ended up with an amazing creation. There are big challenges ahead, but we hope to see this disaster prevention robot in action.

Okayama Junior High School students who developed the disaster prevention robot
Megaslime stopping the breach

Rakusei Senior High School (Kyoto): Winner of the Science Castle Grant THK Prize for Best Development

Project to Develop a Desktop Circuit Board Manufacturing Device

As part of the 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 engineering mentor 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.

Desktop circuit board "Alnilam"
Ikenoue next to the circuit board he developed

Charitable Contributions

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.

Date Purpose Recipient
  • 2022/2/1
  • Japan Science Foundation support/membership dues (2022)
  • Japan Science Foundation
  • 2022/3/1
  • Ukraine humanitarian crisis relief fund
  • Japanese Red Cross
  • 2022/5/1
  • Ukraine humanitarian crisis relief fund
  • People in Need (a Czech humanitarian, development, education and human rights organization)
  • 2022/8/1
  • Activity funds
  • Japanese Red Cross
  • 2022/10/1
  • Central Community Chest of Japan fundraising
  • Central Community Chest of Japan, Tokyo branch
  • 2022/12/1
  • Year-end charity campaign
  • Minato Council of Social Welfare