Resource recycling is an important management issue for manufacturers, and their responsibility to play a role in the shift towards a “recycling-oriented society” is increasing as society becomes more aware of problems related to marine plastics, food loss, clothing loss, and so on.
The Seiko Group uses many resources, including mineral resources and plastics, biological resources such as wood and paper, as well as chemicals and water resources that are employed in the production process. We constantly strive to make more effective use of resources and to reduce waste, not only in production and sales, but also throughout the entire life cycle of our products, from raw material extraction to disposal and recycling.
We reduce resource usage by extending the service life of our products as well as making them smaller and lighter, and we thoroughly recycle by taking advantage of recycled materials and reusing resources.
The Seiko Group's manufacturing companies continued their steady efforts to recycle resources by increasing the number of products derived from previously used materials , downsizing products, and reusing cleaning agents. In office operations, we have promoted a shift to a paperless office environment by introducing a range of electronic systems.
While continuing these activities, we will also promote sustainability in our products, such as by reducing the amount of plastic in individual packaging and digitizing warranty certificates and instruction manuals.
Life Cycle Initiatives
Development and Design
In the product development and design stages, we use computer simulations to examine physical phenomena that cannot be seen with the naked eye, such as the stress applied to component materials and the resin flow in molded parts, in order to verify design and product performance. In addition to simulations for products and parts, we also use 3D analysis that combines a supercomputer and parallel computing software to analyze the flow of liquid ink ejected from the head of an inkjet printer. These analyses not only improve product performance and shorten design time, but also reduce environmental impact by eliminating the need for prototyping, and thus reduce energy and material consumption.
In our manufacturing companies, we are always working on resource recycling based on the 3Rs concept.
Reducing (or substituting), recycling, and reusing chemical substances in the manufacturing process are all routine activities now.
We are also very much aware of the importance of water resources and are working to increase recycling efforts.
Examples of Initiatives
■ SII Printek Inc. has been continuously working to recycle isopropyl alcohol (IPA) using a distillation and regeneration system. Even after the system became fully operational, we conducted special product quality evaluations with the idea of using the equipment in more processes. The IPA recycling rate has now exceeded 50%, resulting in steady declines in both new purchases of IPA and the generation of waste products.
Maintenance and revitalization of production facilities
The Seiko Group conducts regular overhauls of aging production facilities. By repairing and replacing parts, we are able to effectively use resources for longer periods without having to dispose of equipment.
We are also actively engaged in "retrofitting," which is the process of matching modern technology to older production equipment to improve functionality, maintainence, and energy efficiency. A prototype of a retrofitted cam-type automatic lathe, one of our main types of equipment, is expected to reduce energy consumption by up to 20%.
Transportation and Sales
We are working to reduce the size and weight of packaging, curb the use of extruded polystyrene foam materials, increase use of returnable containers, and display labels that facilitate sorting and recycling in accordance with existing laws and regulations.
Collection and Recycling
We collect and recycle used products and consumables through dealers and industry organizations.