Fiscal 2022 Highlights and Lowlights (April 1, 2021–March 31, 2022)
DENSO Begins Testing of CO2 Circulation Plant at its Anjo Plant’s Electrification Innovation Center
Aiming for zero CO2 emissions from its plants, DENSO has begun testing a CO2 circulation plant at its Anjo Plant’s Electrification Innovation Center. The plant is a demonstration facility designed to capture and recycle CO2.
The CO2 circulation plant* is primarily designed to capture CO2 generated by the plant and recycle it as an energy source for the facility and other uses. A process is being tested whereby the plant synthesizes methane, which is made from CO2 emitted by gas-fueled equipment, and hydrogen, which is produced by renewable electricity, and reused as a source of energy.
The CO2 recycling cycle established at the demonstration facility will not only be introduced to DENSO’s production facilities but also contribute to carbon neutrality at various manufacturing sites worldwide.
Highlights: Peace of Mind
DENSO Develops Trailer Brake Temperature Monitoring System
In collaboration with NX SHOJI., LTD., DENSO has developed a trailer brake temperature monitoring system that detects and warns drivers of abnormal temperature increases. By detecting brake abnormalities that are difficult to catch during routine inspections based on temperature trends, this system contributes to the maintenance of social infrastructure by ensuring the safety of drivers and avoiding disruptions in logistics. The system was sold by NX SHOJI., LTD., and NIPPON TREX CO., LTD.
The Trailer Brake Temperature Monitoring System was developed to address the fact that many trailer fires are caused by abnormally high increases in brake temperatures. The system has temperature sensors installed on each of the wheel brakes to detect three types of abnormal temperature changes, of which it warns the driver. The three types of abnormal temperature changes are: 1) abnormally high temperatures, 2) sudden temperature increases, and 3) differences in temperature from other brakes. By constantly monitoring brake temperatures and detecting anomalies at an early stage, the system is able to alert drivers before fires or other dangerous issues occur.
DENSO will continue to promote the development of technologies that contribute to the safe and secure operation of not only passenger cars but also commercial vehicles, and it will work to realize safe and free mobility for everyone in the world, starting with drivers and pedestrians.
DENSO Signs Alliance Agreement with Honeywell
DENSO has signed an agreement with Honeywell International, Inc. (headquartered in New Jersey, in the United States; hereinafter referred to as Honeywell), establishing an alliance focused on electric propulsion systems for aircraft. The companies have started a joint venture that will focus on the development, design, production, sales, and after sales of products related to electric propulsion systems for aircraft, initially prioritizing the urban air mobility (UAM) segment with a focus on air taxis and cargo planes. DENSO and Honeywell are already engaged in projects with customers and plan to conduct flight testing of the electric propulsion systems in 2022.
With the recent diversification of mobility due to the development of MaaS, a new type of air mobility—electric aircraft—is attracting attention as a solution to issues such as traffic congestion in urban areas, the CO2 emissions caused by such congestion, and securing transportation networks in rural areas. Not only are electric aircraft quiet and comfortable, they are also a form of environmentally friendly and next-generation mobility that does not emit CO2.
We are strengthening our alliance with Honeywell, with whom we have been engaged in collaborative development since 2019, and are launching a joint venture for electric propulsion systems for aircraft. By combining Honeywell’s track record of more than 100 years in developing technologies for aircraft and DENSO’s advanced technological expertise cultivated over approximately 70 years of developing technologies for automobiles, the two companies are developing electric propulsion units (EPU)* for electric aircrafts. Within this joint venture, DENSO will develop high-power motors using its proprietary magnetic circuits and high-efficiency, high-drive-frequency inverters that use SiC (silicon carbide) produced in house in order to achieve all-important weight reduction in aircraft and contribute to the value of air mobility.
Highlights: Corporate Foundation
DENSO Issues Sustainability Bonds for the First Time
To further promote sustainability management, the DENSO Group has issued its first sustainability bonds, which are bonds issued to finance activities that contribute to both environmental and social sustainability. The bonds were denominated in U.S. dollars.
DENSO intends to allocate the funds raised through the sustainability bonds to a wide range of investments in its electrified product, advanced safety, and automated driving businesses. This first financing for DENSO by issuing U.S. dollar-denominated straight bonds also aims to diversify and reinforce its sources of financing.
Highlights: Peace of Mind
Universities and DENSO Develop Biosensor to Detect SARS-CoV-2
Tokai University, Toyohashi University of Technology, Chubu University, and DENSO CORPORATION have been developing testing equipment to detect SARS-CoV-2 with support from the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED), and have succeeded in developing a biosensor based on a new mechanism and detecting SARS-CoV-2. Going forward, the group will accelerate the development toward practical application to contribute to the early diagnosis of infectious diseases.
The jointly developed biosensor is targeted for use as a clinical testing instrument for highly sensitive and quick quantitative detection of viral infectivity. Unlike PCR tests and antigen tests, the biosensor detects spike proteins *1 on the virus surface, which trigger infection, by using a semiconductor sensor and aptamer. *2 The group has succeeded in developing highly sensitive detection of SARS-CoV-2 by using this technique for the first time in the world. *3
The semiconductor sensor can quantitively measure the viral load by using electrical signals. Thus, it is expected to be used to determine the status of infection and confirm the efficacy of treatment with high accuracy. An aptamer is small in size and binds selectively to various types of protein. It is also easy to design and can be mass-produced quickly, and so the aptamers can be used to detect unknown viruses.
DENSO’s Anjo Plant Wins Director-General of the Chubu Bureau of Economy, Trade and Industry Award in the 2022 Excellent Greening Factory Awards
In recognition of its efforts to enhance its green spaces, DENSO’s Anjo Plant was awarded the Director-General of the Chubu Bureau of Economy, Trade and Industry Award in the Excellent Greening Factory Awards. These awards recognize factories, organizations, and individuals that have had remarkable success in promoting greening efforts at factories and improving both the internal and external factory environment. Depending on the status of greening efforts, the awards are given in three stages: the Japan Greenery Research and Development Center Chairman’s award, the Director-General of the Chubu Bureau of Economy, Trade and Industry Award, and the METI Minister’s award.
In June 2020, operation of the Electrification Innovation Center began at the Anjo Plant with a view to enhancing the development and manufacturing of electrified products. By promoting the widespread use throughout the world of electrified products produced at environmentally friendly plants and actively promoting greening efforts at its plants, DENSO will reduce CO2 emissions and contribute to the realization of a sustainable society.
DENSO Develops SiC Power Semiconductors, Contributing to a Decarbonized Society
DENSO has been contributing to spreading the use of electric vehicles, extending their mileage, and reducing CO2 emissions from vehicles by developing SiC (silicon carbide) power semiconductors, which incorporate DENSO’s proprietary structures and processing technologies, and using them in its in-vehicle products.
Typical power semiconductors used in in-vehicle products are made from silicon (Si). In comparison, SiC offers superior performance in high-temperature, high-frequency, and high-voltage environments, and helps significantly reduce the power loss, size, and weight of inverters. Thus, SiC devices have attracted attention because they accelerate the electrification of vehicles.
For example, a booster power module, which incorporates DENSO’s SiC power semiconductor, is about 30% smaller in volume with 70% less power loss than a conventional product with a Si power semiconductor. As a result, products have been made smaller and vehicle fuel efficiency has improved.
DENSO calls these SiC technologies “REVOSIC,” conveying the idea of making changes in society through innovative technologies. The Company has been developing a comprehensive range of technologies from wafers to power modules, and it will continue R&D into REVOSIC SiC technologies and spreading their use in electric vehicles to help realize a decarbonized society.
Highlights: Peace of Mind
DENSO Improves Performance and Functionality of the World’s Smallest Stereo Vision Sensor
DENSO has improved the performance and functionality of its Compact Stereo Vision Sensor, a device that contributes to the safety of minicars. The Compact Stereo Vision Sensor was first commercialized in 2016 and is now in its second generation due to continued improvements since being incorporated into Daihatsu’s Tanto minicar. To spread the use of safety products in minicars, it is essential that products are developed to be low cost and compact.
The Compact Stereo Vision Sensor continues to be the smallest of its kind in the world and maintains its original price while offering improved performance and functionality. The adoption of an additional monocular recognition IC with high discrimination capability along with the change to a more sensitive imager has increased response speeds in the collision avoidance assisted braking function, enhanced capability to detect pedestrians at night, and improved functions, including sign recognition support.
DENSO Awarded Prize of the Chairman of the Energy Conservation Center at Energy Conservation Grand Prize Awards
In fiscal 2022, DENSO received the Energy Conservation Center Chairman’s Prize in the Examples of Energy Conservation Division of the Energy Conservation Center, Japan (ECCJ)’s Award Program in recognition of the Kota Plant Semiconductor Manufacturing Division 2’s efforts in taking on the challenge of reducing the volume of pure water used for steam heating by 50% through the reuse of plant waste heat.
Sponsored by the Energy Conservation Center, Japan, the Energy Conservation Grand Prize Awards recognize the outstanding conservation efforts of companies and governments as well as advanced energy conservation products created through technological developments. At this year’s Energy Conservation Grand Prize Awards, the Kota Plant Semiconductor Manufacturing Division 2 received the Energy Conservation Center Chairman’s Prize in recognition of the Company’s efforts to reduce the amount of steam used to heat pure water for the cleaning of semiconductors by 67%, equivalent to a 491.5kL reduction in crude oil a year, through the reuse of plant waste heat.
This marks the 12th consecutive year that DENSO has received prizes at the Energy Conservation Grand Prize Awards.
Highlights: Peace of Mind
DENSO Develops Global Safety Package 3
DENSO has developed Global Safety 3 *1, an active safety system designed to improve the safety of vehicles by giving them high sensing capability of their surroundings. The Global Safety Package uses the combined performance of a millimeter-wave radar sensor and vision sensor to assist the driver in controlling the vehicle safely. The millimeter-wave radar sensor detects the shapes of vehicles and roads, under the concept of balancing the expansion of preventive safety and driver assistance scenarios with compactness and low cost.
DENSO’s millimeter-wave radar sensors help vehicles avoid collisions at intersections, such as with oncoming vehicles when turning right, or with pedestrians crossing the street when turning left or right, thanks to a wider angle and longer distance of object detection, and improvements in the speed of analysis functions. *2 With the aim of installing these radar sensors in a variety of vehicles, DENSO is working to improve detection performance and make the radar sensor more compact and lightweight, thereby lowering the hurdles to installing the sensors in vehicles.
DENSO’s vision sensors help vehicles avoid collisions in intersections thanks to a wider horizontal view angle. This wider angle of view also enhances cruise control functions that maintain distances with the vehicle in front and when changing lanes, while increasing the distance a vehicle can detect objects. DENSO is improving object detection capabilities with AI in a bid to expand functions such as vehicle distance maintenance and traffic sign recognition.
Highlights: Corporate Foundation
DENSO Recognized by the Certified Health & Productivity Management Outstanding Organizations Recognition Program (White 500) for Sixth Consecutive Year
DENSO CORPORATION has been recognized under the Certified Health & Productivity Management Outstanding Organizations Recognition Program, which is jointly promoted by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and the Nippon Kenko Kaigi (Japan Health Council), in the large enterprise category (White 500) for the sixth consecutive year. In addition, eight of DENSO’s Group companies were recognized under the Certified Health & Productivity Management Outstanding Organizations Recognition Program in the large enterprise category (White 500), and three Group companies were recognized in the small and medium-sized enterprise category (Bright 500).
Furthermore, DENSO was selected for the third consecutive year as a Sports Yell Company by the Japan Sports Agency, in initiative in which companies are recognized for actively promoting sporting activities to improve employees’ health. As with DENSO’s recognition by the Superior Health and Productivity Companies Program, the Company was praised for its initiatives to encourage exercise among its employees during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lowlights: Corporate Foundation
DENSO Confirms Group Company in Germany Was Illegally Accessed by Third Party
DENSO confirmed that its Group company in Germany was illegally accessed by a third party on March 10, 2022. After detecting the unauthorized access, DENSO promptly cut off the network connection of all devices that received unauthorized access and confirmed that there was no impact on other DENSO facilities.
In response to this incident, DENSO is once again strengthening its security measures, and is working to prevent a recurrence by providing thorough re-education and training to ensure employees are compliant with basic rules of conduct, strengthening global detection and monitoring systems through the use of the latest AI technologies, conducting thorough examinations of important servers and equipment, and implementing double checks performed by an external organization.