〜Bringing hope for the future for our planet, society and all people〜
Past Initiatives and Achievements
DENSO has grown together with society by constantly providing new value while repeatedly engaging with its stakeholders. This section introduces examples of initiatives we have been engaging in and the results we have achieved with a particular emphasis on “Green” and “Peace of mind.”
Common Rail Systems That Support Cleaner Diesel Engines
A diesel common rail system is a fuel injector system for diesel engines in which highly compressed fuel is stored in an accumulator called a common rail, and then timely sprayed into each cylinder in an appropriate amount at high pressure through electronically controlled injectors. Using high fuel injection pressure atomizes the fuel into finer droplets, which improves fuel ignition and combustion efficiency, resulting in increased fuel economy and cleaner exhaust emissions.
Exhaust emission standards are becoming increasingly stringent around the world, requiring higher precision control of fuel injection quantity, timing, and pressure. Against this backdrop, DENSO announced a new diesel common rail system in June 2013 with the world’s highest* injection pressure of 2,500 bar. The new system can increase fuel efficiency by 3% while also reducing particulate matter by 50% and nitrogen oxides (NOx) by up to 8% compared with DENSO’s previous generation system (maximum value: based on DENSO research). Cars manufactured by Volvo are among some of the vehicles equipped with the 2,500 bar system combined with intelligent-Accuracy Refinement Technology (i-ART), a system that provides optimum control of the fuel injection quantity and the timing of each injector.
Since 2012, the DENSO common rail system has been used in Mazda Motor Corporation’s SKYACTIV technology to support the environmental performance of its diesel-powered models, including the Mazda CX-5, Atenza, and Demio.
* The pressure in a common rail system comprising injectors, a fuel pump, and common rail (as of June 2013, based on DENSO research)
Development of Products for the Next Generation of Eco Cars—Fuel Cell Vehicles
DENSO is moving forward with the development of technologies that contribute to the promotion of vehicles powered by fuel cells, which use hydrogen to generate electricity.
In fiscal 2015, DENSO developed various products for fuel cell vehicles, such as a fuel cell monitoring unit, high-pressure hydrogen sensors, and a hydrogen charging ECU. In addition, DENSO-developed products have been installed in the MIRAI, the fuel cell vehicle manufactured by Toyota Motor Corporation. These products include high-voltage power system components, such as a power control unit and fuel cell boost converter, as well as cooling system parts, such as a radiator and cooling pump, that greatly improve cooling performance.
Going forward, DENSO shall continue to utilize technology developed for hybrid, gasoline, and diesel vehicles in order to provide products that contribute to improving the reliability and performance of fuel cell vehicles while at the same time reducing the cost of such vehicles.
Using Plant-Based Resins in Our Products
With the aim of reducing its environmental burden, DENSO has been engaging in the research and development of resin materials that utilize the molecular structures of plants. We have also applied starch-based bio-polycarbonates and castor oil-based urethane resins in certain products. Plant-based resins do not make use of fossil fuels, making them a renewable resource. In addition, these resins are garnering attention due to the fact that they do not increase total CO2 volumes in the atmosphere even if they undergo thermal recycling. For many years, we have pursued the development of plant-based resins, and in 2009, we developed a castor oil-based radiator tank together with E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company. We are currently working to commercialize these radiator tanks and expand their installation in vehicles.
Utilization of CO2 Absorbing Technologies and Microalgae
Since April 2008, DENSO has been pursing collaborative research with the Institute for Advanced Biosciences of Keio University on a new type of algae, for which the Company has patents, that can absorb CO2 and be used to produce biofuel. This research has focused on Pseudochoricystis, an extremely small microalga that is only five μm (micrometers, equivalent to one two-hundredth of a millimeter). In addition to absorbing CO2 and producing starch through photosynthesis, this microalga is unique for producing an oil containing a diesel component that can be used in diesel engines. Pseudochoricystis also grows quickly and absorbs CO2 more efficiently than trees. In fact, a cultivation area of Pseudochoricystis can absorb up to 10 times more CO2 than a forest of equal size. If our research on Pseudochoricystis leads to its practical application, CO2 emissions from factories could be greatly reduced, as could risks related to the rising price of grain, which is a main component of biofuel. Accordingly, Pseudochoricystis has the potential to significantly contribute to the resolution of energy-related issues and global warming mitigation efforts.
Peace of mind
Development of Vision Sensor and Millimeter-wave Radar Sensor That Help Prevent Collisions
The need for safety products such as those that help prevent collisions is rising, and it is anticipated that the use of such products will rapidly become widespread in the future. DENSO has developed a vision sensor and a millimeter-wave radar sensor that can detect not only vehicles but also pedestrians. By combining the functions of these two sensors, the special features of both sensors can be leveraged and objects in front of and behind vehicles can be detected in a more prompt and accurate manner. These sensors are being used in Toyota Safety Sense P, Toyota Motor Corporation’s pre-collision safety package, and have been installed in new Prius and Land Cruiser models.
DENSO aims to expand the scope of collision prevention by developing products that are able to detect bicycles and nighttime pedestrians.
Traceability Services Created from QR Codes and Smartphones
Since Denso Wave Inc. (then DENSO Corporation’s Business Division) first developed QR codes in 1994, these codes have become popular throughout the world and continued to evolve, helping to conserve time and resources for companies in a wide range of industries.
Recently, Denso Wave launched and commenced sales of “Q-revo trace,” a service that visualizes distribution from the producer to the consumer using a tracing function that leverages QR code and cloud technologies. With this service, users can easily confirm via their smartphone who produced a product, when a product was shipped, and how a product was delivered. In doing so, Q-revo trace allows reliable products to be delivered to consumers with peace of mind.
Global Traffic Safety Project—Aiming to Realize a Society without Traffic Accidents
The main causes for the occurrence of traffic accidents are vehicles, infrastructure, and people. Aiming to realize a society without traffic accidents, DENSO offers products that ensure safety. In addition, DENSO also implements traffic safety educational activities, which are carried out by employees, for members of local communities around the world (educational activities commenced in 2015 and, as of fiscal 2018, have been carried out by 55 Group companies in Japan and 19 other countries and regions around the world).
Our employees act as models for practicing traffic safety and work to form connections with local communities. By doing so, we believe we can encourage people around the world to give consideration to the perspective of sustainability.
Promoting the Employment of People with Disabilities—Creating an Environment Where Everyone Can Work with Peace of Mind
Since starting the regular employment of persons with disabilities in 1978, DENSO has actively worked to expand employment and occupational opportunities for people with disabilities.
In 1984, we established DENSO Taiyo Co., Ltd., a special-purpose subsidiary* that primarily hires people with physical disabilities. This company is engaged in the production of such products as vehicle instrument clusters and smart keys. In 2016, we established the new special-purpose subsidiary DENSO Blossom Co., Ltd. This company offers employment opportunities to people with mental and intellectual disabilities and is engaged primarily in clerical work.
At the moment, we employ over 700 people with disabilities on a Groupwide basis that includes our head office and these two subsidiaries.
* A subsidiary established with the aim of promoting the employment of people with disabilities
Efforts with Our Suppliers—Creating an Environment Where Everyone Can Work with Peace of Mind
DENSO views the promotion of employee health as an important management issue. The Company is therefore promoting health management and engaging in a wide variety of activities to support employee health.
In addition, we believe that sustainable growth for DENSO can only be realized through growth across the entire supply chain. Accordingly, we place the same amount of value on having the employees of our suppliers work in a lively and energetic manner as we do with our own employees. At the General Meeting of Suppliers in fiscal 2018, we offered health lectures given by our industrial physicians and provided opportunities for our suppliers to receive health-related measurements. In this way, we have been supporting the health and livelihood of our suppliers.