Kao-Quaker

EXEDY Casting Co., Ltd.

Improved environmental performance through stabilization of recycled sand properties and reduction of waste materials

EXEDY Casting Co., Ltd.

Environmental
Improvement
Quality
Improvement
Productivity
Improvement

kaoquaker_jp_business_case_exedy_01

Fukuchiyama City is a town where various minerals were produced and has always been a hub of commerce and industry. Even today, it has one of the largest inland industrial parks in Japan, which is home to a large number of companies. Established in 1968, Kinugawa Cast Iron Co., Ltd., has mainly produced castings for industrial machinery, and became a subsidiary of EXEDY Co., Ltd., an automotive parts manufacturer, in 2008. At present, the company manufactures transmission cases for industrial vehicles and drain pipes for housing complexes under the name EXEDY Casting Co., Ltd. (Fukuchiyama, Kyoto).Pictured are President,Kazushi Imaru(middle), Director,Hiroki Honjo(right), Gen Kinugawa(left)

Desired quality and introduction of new methods

 In recent years, the production volume of castings in Japan has declined in line with growing competition from overseas companies. Evaporative pattern casting employed by EXEDY Casting, which uses a pattern made from polystyrene foam, is suited to high-mix, low-volume production, and has continued to meet domestic demand in Japan owing to its short lead time.At one point, however, we were faced with the problem of an increasing rate of product defects. It was at this time that Kao-Quaker introduced us to EG Runner. EG Runner is made from recycled pulp instead of ceramic used for conventional runners (tube through which molten metal passes to form the casting).Normally, changes in the manufacturing process place a heavy burden on employees, but EG Runner was particularly popular among our veteran employees because it was easy to cut into different lengths and generated little dust when it was cut. In addition to the enhanced workability, we also made a variety of other improvements and succeeded in significantly reducing our defect rate.

kaoquaker_jp_business_case_exedy_02

kaoquaker_jp_business_case_exedy_03

EG runners are made of pulp. Therefore, it is one of the features that processing is easy.
Even products with a lot of work to change the length can be easily processed with less dust.

Working towards the establishment of more environmentally friendly plants

  In 2015, our new plant, Plant 0 (Zero) commenced operations with aim of reducing defects to zero.   Various efforts are being made to improve the working environment. Plant manager, Kinugawa speaks about how dust collectors within the plant are adjusted to ensure they maintain above-standard performance and how consideration is also given to noise levels. "I would like to make this a no mask plant in the future. Once COVID is over, I would like to see people working in here with no masks," says Plant manager, Kinugawa.

kaoquaker_jp_business_case_exedy_04

In the casting of drainage set kan, which has a uniform basic size, all sand-type manufacturing is automation. Mr. Kinugawa says, "We use a method of decompression without using a binder, so the color of the sand is not black and there is no odor, so we keep the factory clean."

kaoquaker_jp_business_case_exedy_05

Director Honjo said, "After using EG runners, the amount of sand waste was greatly reduced, and the grain size of the sand stabilized, which resulted in improved quality. In addition, I think that there is a large part that can contribute to the social issue of environmental consideration as an exedy casting.”

Contributing to the stabilization of recycled sand

 The vacuum casting method, in which the sand used as the material for the mold is reduced in pressure using a vacuum pump, does not use binders, so no additives are added to the sand and no crushing is required, reducing the amount of gas release from thermal decomposition and waste materials. In the past, when a shell tube was used as the runner, the problem was that debris from the shell tube remained and the particle size of recycled sand became unstable.One measure used to counter this problem was to increase the power of the dust collectors, however this generated a large amount of sand waste. "EG Runner is carbonized after the pour, and is sucked up by the dust collector, leaving little debris in the recycled sand, helping to stabilize the properties of the sand. This has also helped to significantly reduce the amount of waste generated," says Director, Honjo.

kaoquaker_jp_business_case_exedy_06

They produce 12,000 wastewater sets a month.
Plant0 Pouring Line

Commitment to quality improvement

 Because a specific level of permeability can be maintained when the properties of recycled sand are stabilized, we were able to significantly improve product quality. "When using shell tubes, gas was generated when the pour cup was re-melted, resulting in the generation of slag caused by burn-on. Although the products made by EXEDY Casting are not directly visible to consumers, it is better to deliver a product that looks good to customers who actually use the products, even if the performance is the same," says Director, Honjo, who takes onboard customer feedback and pays close attention to product quality.

kaoquaker_jp_business_case_exedy_07

When the product is transferred to processing, it is separated from the residue. EG runners have less waste, and their amount is about 10/1 compared to conventional residues.

Passing on skills and introducing new technologies

 EXEDY Casting currently employs 68 people. This includes 15 Vietnamese trainees who are here to learn more about Japanese technology. While veteran workers from the generation of baby boomers are retiring, the impact of Japan’s declining birthrate is the same for the casting industry. Furthermore, considering the transfer of skills to trainees from overseas, we believe that it is essential to actively introduce mechanization and new technologies to maintain and improve quality.

Product information

Casting runner - EG Runner

Runner made from recycled paper using Kao technologies

  • Compared to ceramic pipes, the weight is 10/1, which is light and easy to handle, so work efficiency is increased.

kaoquaker_en_business_case_exedy_08

kaoquaker_en_business_case_exedy_09

kaoquaker_en_business_case_exedy_10

  • Compared to ceramic pipes, it is easy to cut and easy to handle because there is less dust.

kaoquaker_en_business_case_exedy_11

kaoquaker_en_business_case_exedy_14

  • Waste after casting is reduced to about 6/1 compared to ceramic pipes, and environmental impact can be reduced.

kaoquaker_en_business_case_exedy_12

kaoquaker_en_business_case_exedy_13

Page Top