The Hosokawa Micron Group's management philosophy is to meet the diverse needs of our customers with economical and superior technology to obtain their satisfaction, to contribute to society, and to protect the natural environment for future generations through activities based on ethical guidelines.
1. Contributing to the SDGs through our business
Contributions to society
Secondary Battery Electrode Materials
Solar Panel Materials
We provide micronization/enhancement technologies for raw materials essential to the manufacturing process of secondary batteries and motors, which are essential for electric vehicles (HV/PHEV/EV/FCV), the market for which is expanding towards carbon neutrality, graphite crucibles, which are necessary to produce silicon solar panels, permanent magnets for offshore wind turbines, which are becoming increasingly popular, especially in Europe, and secondary batteries for energy storage.
Multilayer ceramic capacitor raw materials
Powder technology is also essential for the manufacture of ceramic capacitors used in communication-related applications such as 5G and in-vehicle technologies such as automated driving.
Alternative meat/insect food production process
Powder technology is used in the production process of proteins of plant and insect origin to replace those derived from livestock, poultry and fish. Dried and powdered insects can be used to feed livestock and farmed fish.
Used equipment business
Through our maintenance service and our used equipment sales business, you can be sure of a long service life for our equipment.
Since the 1970s, we have been selling dust collectors that prevent air pollution and contribute to the protection of the natural environment.
We have commercialised powder coating, which does not use organic solvents and is health/environmentally friendly. We have also introduced powder coating to some of our products.
We contribute to the reuse of resources through the recycling of PET bottles, plastic films and even cables. We also recycle materials such as okara (bean curd) and shochu lees, which would otherwise be disposed of as industrial waste, into health supplements.
2. Addressing the SDGs in business operations
Photovoltaic system installed on the roof of the factory
On the roof of the main plant in Japan, 1680 solar panels (275 W each, 462 kW in total) have been installed, and the electricity generated is used in the plant and test centre.
The German group company Hosokawa-Alpine has installed a system with a solar panel area of 4,574 m2 and a peak output of 490 kW.
Energy saving and environmental protection at the same time
The roof of the main factory in Japan is double-layered for thermal insulation and partly covered with rooftop greenery.
At the main factory in Japan in Japan, we have an activated carbon system to absorb solvents from the painting process and our own dust collector to collect buffing dust so that it does not leave the factory.
The commissioning room is also soundproofed and air-conditioned to improve the working environment.
The German group company Hosokawa-Alpine has replaced all halogen bulbs in its office buildings with LED lamps in its factory buildings. This has reduced electricity consumption and improved working conditions.
We also only purchase electricity from renewable sources (hydroelectricity).
Sales of organic solvent-free painting systems
In 1996, we established a joint venture (Hosokawa Micron Wagner Co., Ltd.) with J.Wagner GmbH of Germany for the sale of powder coating equipment. In contrast to liquid paints, paints that do not hit the object during spray coating can be collected and reused without waste.
Powder coating has been adopted for the particle image analyser, the Parshe Analyzer (PAS). We plan to spread the use of powder coating, mainly for measuring machines.
Contribution to the Air Pollution Control Act
In 1970, soot and dust regulations came into force throughout Japan, requiring that exhaust air from waste incineration plants and factories be filtered and discharged as clean air. Prior to the amendment of this law, we had entered into a cross-licence agreement with Pulverizing Machinery Co. to introduce a dust collector which collects dust on the outside of a cylindrical filter and periodically removes it using compressed air.
The installation of this equipment for air pollution control, together with its high dust collection efficiency, has drastically reduced the number of times the dust collector has to be stopped for filter changes compared to conventional equipment, improving production efficiency and reducing maintenance time.
For the safe incineration of plastics, PVC, rubber and other materials, it is necessary to avoid as much as possible the emission of dioxins in the fly ash. For this reason we have developed and marketed the Dynax system, an incineration plant that complies with the construction and maintenance standards of the Ministry of Health and Welfare. It is capable of reducing dioxin emissions to below 0.1 ng-TEQ/m3N(*). This system has dioxin suppression capacity comparable to that of the latest continuous large-scale furnaces, and has been adopted by various customers.
ng: nano gram, 1ng is 1/1,000,000,000 of a gram.
TEQ: Toxicity Equivalency Quantity.
Dioxins are a mixture of several substances. Therefore, the most toxic substance is used as the standard, the toxicity of other substances is evaluated, and the total of all dioxins is expressed as TEQ.
m3N: Industrially, this unit is often expressed as Nm3, where N stands for Normal, which is the volume in the standard chemical state (0 degC, 1013hPa).
Reducing CO2 emissions through modal shift
The logistics centre built within the freight distribution centre in Augsburg, Germany, where Hosokawa-Alpine is located, takes advantage of the location's suitability for rail distribution and allows products to be transported not only by truck but also by rail. This will enable us to reduce our annual CO2 emissions by approximately 640 tonnes.
Cosmetics and hair growth products free of microplastics
The key technology behind the cosmetics and hair-growth products developed by our company and marketed by our group company Hosokawa Micron Cosmetics is the use of PLGA (a copolymer of lactic and glycolic acids). This material is a safe base material that is bio-degradable and absorbable (biocompatible). It is an environmentally friendly hydrolysable material that does not suffer from the problems of ocean dumping (pollution) of microplastics, which have been used extensively in cosmetics.
Contributing to the circular economy by adapting to a monomaterial economy
Plastic film is widely used for food and detergent containers, but it is difficult to recycle because it is made from different types of plastic. In Europe and the USA, however, the use of monomaterials is becoming increasingly popular, in which a single type of plastic is used to create a film with different properties using a variety of technologies, and then combined into a single material.
In Europe and the US, there is also a shift to biodegradable films. Hosokawa ALPINE is working with manufacturers of these films and end products.
Contributing to QoL (Quality of Life)
Our particle design equipment can dry coat particles from a few microns to 300 microns with another ultra-fine particle. This technology can be used in pharmaceuticals to reduce bitterness in coatings (reducing pain in treatment), to control dissolution and to control tablet hardness, thus contributing to improved QoL.
We also develop and market instruments to measure the flowability of powders and the permeability of water, which have a significant impact on the handling of such processed powders.
In order to minimise our impact on the environment, our products help to reduce energy consumption. This benefits our customers above all. Crushers and dryers, in particular, are very energy-intensive devices, and even the smallest improvement can make a significant contribution to your energy savings and help you to create an environmentally friendly system.
Development of energy-efficient fine grinding mills (10-50 μm)
In 2005, we started to develop energy-saving systems by improving the efficiency of our powder equipment, and our Glacis pulverizer received the Japan Machinery Federation President's Award for energy-saving equipment. It is used to produce toner for printers and photocopiers, and powdered tea for confectionery.
The ACM Pulverizer with integrated classifier (ACM-H) has succeeded in increasing the product capacity by 1.5 to 2 times by increasing the speed of the rotor and optimising the structure. The energy consumption of the ACM-H can be reduced by 30-50%, thus contributing to a reduction in the environmental impact and operating costs. The mill is used to grind a very large number of raw materials, such as chemicals and foodstuffs, but more recently it has also been used to grind ceramics, a material used in lithium-ion batteries and electronic components.
Development of energy-efficient ultra-fine grinding mills (submicron to a few microns)
Metal oxides used in electronic materials and catalysts need to be ground as fine as possible. However, the energy required to produce sub-micron products in impact mills and jet mills is prohibitive. On the other hand, media agitation mills, such as ball mills, are energy efficient and can produce sub-micron products, but the resulting products have a wide particle size distribution and large particles need to be removed. In order to solve these problems, we have developed and marketed the Pulvis (PV), a media agitation mill with a built-in high performance classifier, which enables the continuous production of sub-micron particles.
Development of energy-efficient dryers
The Direct Heating Airflow Dryer Drymeister (DMR-H), which dries inorganic powders containing liquids such as water and food powders such as okara into powders, is capable of drying operations at an inlet temperature of 600°C and can save 50-70% energy compared to the widely used spray dryers and rotary dryers.
The use of IIoT to achieve optimal driving
HOSOKAWA GEN4(R) RM provides an environment for storing, accumulating and remotely monitoring the operational data of powder processing systems. Furthermore, we are continuing our research and development to analyze the accumulated big data and to realize the optimum operation of powder processing systems.
We contribute to energy reduction by increasing production efficiency, reducing power consumption of equipment and also by avoiding wastage of raw materials.