State-of-the-Art HONEYCERAM Production Line to be Added at Ishikawa Plant
December 12, 2013
NGK INSULATORS, LTD. (President: Taro Kato; Headquarters: Nagoya, Japan) has decided to add a new production line at its Ishikawa Plant (Nomi City, Ishikawa Prefecture), which produces HONEYCERAM substrates for automobile catalytic converters. The new line will be a state-of-the-art facility with high productivity and low environmental impact.
The Ishikawa Plant started operations in 2011 as a second production base in Japan after the Head Office Plant (Nagoya City), to meet growing demand for HONEYCERAM substrates. The plant currently has a production capacity of 8 million pieces per year, and assists with the launch of mass production for new products and the development of new technologies. It also plays a vital role in ensuring stable supplies of products in the event of unforeseen events such as natural disasters.
The currently decided new additions will include an integrated production line within the existing structure with a production capacity of 5 million pieces per year, as well as a new on-site structure for warehousing and dispatch operations. NGK will invest approximately ¥3 billion in the new additions, which are scheduled to begin operation in July 2015.
The newly constructed facility will feature state-of-the-art production technology developed to save space, personnel, and energy. It will achieve high productivity and low environmental impact, with production volume per area approximately double that of conventional facilities and CO2 emissions reduced by around 30% (2,700 tons per year).
NGK has been working to achieve "structural innovation in manufacturing" since fiscal 2009 to maintain its competitive edge in the international marketplace. These efforts have yielded advanced production technologies that will be incorporated in the Ishikawa Plant, and will help to maintain ongoing production and employment in Japan. The Ishikawa Plant will also function as a mother plant for developing advanced production technologies for use in overseas production sites, thereby helping NGK to secure its competitive capabilities in emerging countries and the rest of the global market.
HONEYCERAM is a porous, honey-comb structured ceramic for holding a catalyst that reacts chemically with harmful substances in vehicle exhaust gas to render them harmless. NGK has been focusing on the development and commercialization of high-performance products in response to the strengthening of vehicle exhaust regulations around the world. NGK supplies HONEYCERAM to most of the world's major automakers through its global production framework spanning eight countries, and has produced over 1 billion pieces since commencing mass production in 1976.
Investment amount: Approx. ¥3 billion
Additional structure area: 4,300 m² (Warehousing and dispatch area)
Production capacity: 5 million pieces/year
Construction start: May 2014
Operation start: July 2015
New hires: Approx. 30 people
Design drawing of the completed Ishikawa Plant
HONEYCERAM® substrates for automobile catalytic converters