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The Copper Value Chain

Creating added value by reducing environmental impact at every stage

From manufacturing to product use, the Kobe Steel Group strives to reduce environmental impact at every stage.

In the copper industry we are contributing to reducing the environmental burden through development of products that help reduce the energy consumption rate of electronic goods.

*We are also working to construct value chains that take advantage of the unique characteristics of raw materials in other businesses such as steel and aluminum.

HyAC mini

Manufacturing

We are developing higher tech production facilities, including introduction of cutting-edge software to analyze operating conditions and thoroughly improve energy efficiency.

QlikView platform software from Qlik Technologies, Inc. (USA) was introduced at Copper Rolled Products Plant at our Chofu Works. The software allows us to manage data such as equipment operating conditions, line speed and energy consumption in real time. By continuously grasping line speed per product and employee, the software allows us to improve on productivity and energy consumption rates. In fiscal 2014 we were able to improve the energy consumption rate by over 10 percent in comparison to the previous year.

We have also been steadily pursuing energy conservation initiatives at Group companies, with a focus on on-site improvements. Through efficient operation of facilities and reappraisal of manufacturing conditions we are working to improve energy consumption rates while maintaining product quality.

Manufacturing

Analysis of rolling equipment data helps improve productivity

Distribution

The Group strives for energy-efficient product shipping.

We take meticulous care to reduce the energy consumed during shipping, for instance by redesigning shipping routes in response to the locational conditions of our customers.

Products

Copper's high conductivity makes it indispensable to high-tech industries, contributing to higher performance for automobiles and other products.

As automobiles grow more sophisticated and fuel efficient each year, they also require more electrical components. Our copper strips for terminals are a popular choice for use in automobiles, thanks to their high reliability and durability. In the copper tube sector, Kobe Steel also develops a diverse range of products with excellent thermal conductivity, thus contributing to more compact, better performance air conditioners and other products.

Terminals and connectors

Terminals and connectors

Connectors for wire harnesses

Connectors for wire harnesses

Copper tubes for air conditioner heat exchangers

Copper tubes for air conditioner heat exchangers

Management

Management

Maintaining zero emissions through reuse of waste.

At the Chofu Works, we strive for thorough reuse of waste created during manufacturing processes. In 2005 we achieved zero emissions, and were recognized as an “Eco-Factory” by Yamaguchi Prefecture. We have maintained zero emissions at the Works for the past 10 years.