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Komatsu's Environmental and Social Activities Enhancing Quality of Life

Mitigating Climate Change  Halving Electricity Usage Project

Power-Saving Activities

Image of Power Reduction at an Assembly Plant

Komatsu has continuously pursued both productivity improvements and energy-saving activities.

After experiencing electric power shortages in the service areas of Tokyo Electric Power Co., Inc. and Tohoku Electric Power Co., Inc. several months after the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011, it was anticipated that electric power shortages would occur in 2012 or later.

By detailed analysis of the use situation of electric power, it has discerned that it is possible to reduce 50% or more of electric power finally.

Our new goal is to cut summertime peak electric power needs by 50% compared to consumption levels in the summer of 2010. We plan to limit consumption to reduce the environmental impact.

Approach to Power-Saving

(1) Reducing waste by realizing lower energy requirements

We construct a system that will automatically tracks power consumption by domestic Komatsu plants, and send this information to the head office, to be made available for company-wide viewing.

In addition we are working on making it possible to visualize in even more detail the power usage of each Komatsu building and facility.

Visualizing where power usage occurs will enable us to discover where power is being wasted, which facilities have poor energy efficiency, and the correlation between power usage and production activity. This will help us move ahead with our power-saving activities more effectively.

In addition, we are promoting our activities to visitors and conducting awareness campaigns to general staff through digital signage in places like the office lobby.

Centralized Monitoring of Power and Facilities

Centralized Monitoring of Power and Facilities

Improving Efficiency by Updating Facilities

Improving Efficiency by Updating Facilities

(2) Production Reform: Reduce power usage by improving processing equipment and manufacturing processes

About 60% of Komatsu production plants' power consumption by processing parts.

Komatsu has several manufacturing processes including machine processing and welding. In each area we are working to reduce power usage by improving equipment, as well as by increasing efficiency in the manufacturing process.

68% power savings
Power Reduction with Production Equipment

We can reduce power used during processing and idling with inverter control and fine-tuned stopping in auxiliary machinery such as pumps and motors.

We can also shorten both processing and idling times by improving processing speed and capacity utilization, machining time.

Improving the Manufacturing Process (Using CAE)

With the development of new production technology, we will reduce processing range and input energy. In addition, we will reduce power consumption by accelerating the updating of facilities with high-efficiency state-of-the-art equipment.

Improving the Manufacturing Process (Using CAE)
(3) Using alternative energy: Getting the most out of sunlight and groundwater

Komatsu has installed solar panels on the rooftop of buildings to generate solar power.

We are also working on finding ways of taking advantage of renewable energy, such as using the stabilized temperature of groundwater to help with air conditioning.

Awazu Development Center

New energy-saving buildings: Updating the buildings using the latest energy-saving technology

While implementing power usage reduction activities company-wide, we found that if we incorporate energy-saving technology in structures being rebuilt, it would be possible to reduce power consumption by about 50% in places such as office buildings and assembly plants, where the primary power consumption is due to lighting and air conditioning. Because over 60% of Komatsu production buildings were built over 40 years ago, there have been cases where the narrow spacing between posts inhibits the construction of efficient production systems.

Therefore, we have decided to move forward with the integrated renewal of production buildings.

In addition to utilizing the latest energy-saving technologies, we are aiming for significant improvement in production efficiency by incorporating production reform (streamlining) and reducing power consumption by decreasing overall square footage of buildings.

Starting with construction on the Awazu Plant in 2013, we are expecting to invest 30-40 billion yen by 2020.

Basic Ideas
  • (1)Use the latest energy-saving technology to achieve 50% reduction in power usage
  • (2)Increase efficiency by production reform, and reduce size of facilities by 30%
  • (3)Construct new buildings that use natural energy (sunlight, groundwater, etc.) more effectively

  • New Awazu Assembly Plant

    New Awazu Assembly Plant

    Reduction in power usage at the newly rebuilt structure (Awazu Plant)

    Reduction in power usage at the newly rebuilt structure (Awazu Plant)