NGK to Bolster Production Capacity of NOx Sensor Elements Decision to Construct a New Element Production Plant at the Ishikawa Plant

April 13, 2015

NGK INSULATORS, LTD. (President Taku Oshima; Headquarters: Nagoya, Japan) announced today that it has decided to construct a NOx sensor element production plant for its manufacturing subsidiary, NGK CERAMIC DEVICE CO., LTD., at its Ishikawa Plant (Nomi City, Ishikawa Prefecture) to cope with increasing demand for precision in-vehicle NOx sensors, used for measuring the concentration of nitrogen oxides in automobile emissions. The new plant is scheduled to start production in April 2017, and will enhance NGK's production capacity of the element, which is the core component of NOx sensors.

Demand for NOx sensors is growing, driven by global tightening of diesel engine vehicle exhaust gas regulations, and by an increase in the ratio of vehicles mounted with the sensors, as well as the number of sensors mounted in vehicles in Europe. Production capacity of NOx sensors at NGK is in the process of being ramped up from 7 million units a year to more than 10 million units a year by October 2015. However, this capacity is forecast to be eclipsed as demand continues to grow.

NOx Sensor
NOx Sensor

NOx sensor elements are now being produced at NGK CERAMIC DEVICE (Komaki City, Aichi Prefecture) for assembly as NOx sensors at NGK's Nagoya site and Polish manufacturing subsidiary, NGK CERAMICS POLSKA SP. Z O.O. Because the elements are core components of NOx sensors, the policy is to produce them in Japan. The new plant for NGK CERAMIC DEVICE will be built within the grounds of NGK's Ishikawa Plant from the standpoint of the Company's business continuity plan (BCP), in which production bases are dispersed to provide protection against natural disasters and other contingencies and ensure stable supply. Capital investment will be approximately 8.3 billion yen for an annual production capacity of approximately 7 million units. Production is scheduled to start from April 2017.

NOx sensors are mounted in the exhaust pipes of automobiles. They can measure the NOx concentrations in vehicle exhaust emissions in real time with high precision at the ppm (parts per million) level. The detected values of NOx concentration in the exhaust emission are then used for control and fault diagnosis of exhaust gas purification equipment. Automobile exhaust gas regulations are being strengthened worldwide. With regard to diesel vehicles in particular, the regulations for NOx emissions, in addition to particulate matter (PM) emissions, are being strengthened further. The number of NOx sensors mounted in a vehicle is expected to increase as stricter exhaust gas regulations drive up the precision required of the systems for treating exhaust gas.

As a leading company in the field of NOx sensors, NGK will establish supply capabilities for coping with continued expansion in demand, thereby contributing to the preservation of the atmospheric environment.

Overview of the New Production Plant
Name: NGK CERAMIC DEVICE Ishikawa Plant (provisional)
Location: 1 Nomi, Nomi City, Ishikawa Prefecture (within the grounds of NGK's Ishikawa Plant)
Site area: Approx. 30,000 m2
Floor area: Approx. 18,300 m2
Production item: NOx sensor elements
Production capacity: Approx. 7 million units/year
Investment: Approx: 8.3 billion yen
Start of construction: September 2015 (planned)
Start of production: April 2017 (planned)
Employees: Approx. 100 at start of production (approx. 170 at full production)

Headquarters: 434-3, Gotanda, Shimozue, Komaki City, Aichi Prefecture
Representative: Keiji Kawasaki, President
Business: Production of ceramics for the electronics industry
Paid-in capital: 90 million yen (100% from NGK INSULATORS, LTD.)
Establishment: August 1994
Employees: 566 (as of March 2015)
Plants: Komaki City, Aichi Prefecture and Tsuru City, Yamanashi Prefecture

Conceptual Drawing of the Completed Plant
Conceptual Drawing of the Completed Plant

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