Engineering Plastic Business

Using engineering plastic business for realizing a circular economy

A growing, global movement to establish a circular economy

There is increasing interest worldwide in the circular economy concept, which involves shifting from an economy built on disposable goods to one built on long-lasting goods. The entire social economy, from the supply chain to the consumer, needs to change to realize a circular economy, as shown in the following five. (See (1) to (5) in the figure below)

Impact on society and global environmental preservation

It is expected that transitioning to a circular economy will facilitate slower, more sustained use of raw materials from petroleum resources, including engineering plastic, and materials used for energy, and that this will result in less landfill disposal and incineration without heat recovery, as well as less illegal dumping. In addition, it is predicted that a circular economy would lead to more active adoption of renewable energy and resources, thereby promoting resource and energy efficiency across the entire product life cycle, from manufacturing to consumption to disposal, and this, in turn, would lead to further reductions in greenhouse gas emissions across the life cycle, including manufacturing, with the stated goal of Europe and Japan to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Polyplastics’ comprehensive initiatives

In order to help the Daicel Group in building a more recycling-oriented society through efforts that promote a more sustainable society and expand sustainable business practices, we in Polyplastics are undertaking sustained and active efforts to “do what we can, do what we should” (see (1) to (3) in the figure below) through our Engineering Plastic Business to hasten the establishment of a circular economy.

Polyplastics’ approach to - and initiatives to achieve - a circular economy

Growing demand for TOPAS® COC during the COVID-19 pandemic

The infectious spread of COVID-19 was quickly accompanied by a worldwide shortage of glass vials in the health care industry, which is likely to have a major impact on the development and distribution of vaccines. This situation has drawn attention to TOPAS® COC, which possesses glass-like transparency with high-purity, as a glass alternative that is contributing significantly to the health care industry, particularly in meeting the rapidly growing needs for vaccine packaging and container materials. Vials which use TOPAS have been subjected to numerous tests and are already starting to find their way onto the market. In addition to its transparency, TOPAS is attracting attention worldwide due to the fact that it does not easily react with other chemical substances (highly chemically inert) and does not impede the various analyses. We want to see an end to the COVID-19 pandemic, and we, through our products, are helping the health care industry to do this.

COMMENT

Polyplastics USA, Inc.
Timothy Kneale

Organizer's comments

While cheap borosilicate glass meets the needs of today’s health care industry, there are some new medicines and therapies that are not compatible with glass. TOPAS may play a more important role as the number of active ingredients derived from biotechnology increases. In that sense, and in light of the glass shortage, we are pleased to help with efforts to end the COVID-19 pandemic as quickly as possible. There is much to be excited about Polyplastics’ TOPAS.

Awards from Customers

DENSO CORPORATION
Top Performance Award
HI-LEX CORPORATION
[Overall Award] Prize for Excellence
TOPICS

Applying Polyplastics’ own analysis technology and methods to help customers solve technical problems

In May 2020, we were presented with the Top Performance Award by DENSO CORPORATION, one of Polyplastics' customer. This decision was based in large part on the significant contribution that Polyplastics’ own analysis method - the “Hole-Drilling Method” - has made in solving the technical problems facing DENSO, and it is a great honor to be chosen as “one of DENSO’s most outstanding business partners, providing a balance of quality, cost and supply.” We will continue to work alongside our customers to develop techniques and technology tailored to their needs.

What is the “Hole-Drilling Method” (HDM)?

HDM is our own method for measuring problematic residual stress in resin molded items.
When making molded items, resin is heated up until it melts and is then poured into a mold, after which it cools, hardens and contracts. The cooled and hardened force which pulls the exterior remains inside, and this causes warping and cracking over time (residual stress).
HDM opens a small hole in the molded item using a highly precise drill and detects deformation in the interior with a special gauge. Unlike in cases where there is little deformation (top image), when there is significant deformation (bottom image), this indicates residual uneven deformation in the interior. This method can be used in investigating the cause of molded product warpage and measuring the internal deformation of high-precision parts, as well as investigating thermal shock life and environmental stress cracking behavior.

Example of little deformation
Example of little deformation
Internal deformation is vertically and laterally even
Example of significant deformation
Example of significant deformation
Internal deformation is vertically and laterally uneven

Providing greater technological support on-line for customer product development

We have established a free, on-line technical support service, “WEB@TSC®,” for receiving support 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. In addition to providing various technical information, other product-related inquiries, requests for safety and export-related certificate issuance and other customer needs are meticulously handled. This easily accessible, Web-based service has been well-received among our customers.

Customer Satisfaction Survey Feedback

CUSTOMER’S VOICE

  • Swift issuance of various certifications via a website has been of great help.
  • Thanks to a more user-friendly website, we can easily get the necessary information at any time.
  • For physical properties data not listed on the website, we received a response based on testing data. It helped our product design.

Survey on "Products and Systems of Sales and Technical Services"

  • Survey periodJanuary 1 – 31, 2021
  • RespondentsCustomers (inside and outside Japan)
  • Survey MethodSurvey conducted on-line in eight languages (Japanese, English, Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Thai, Korean, German, Spanish)
  • Valid responses1,575

Driving Polyplastics SCR with SDGs

Employee Comments

Working within the arena of international rule creation to facilitate the realization of a circular economy

Daicel Corporate Sustainability Office
Kazuyuki Akita(Center)
Daicel Innovation and Business Development Headquarters
Kazuhiro Nishida(Left)
Polyplastics Corporate Planning Office
Jun Haruhara(Right)

Even in the world of industry, new ideas and approaches which transcend the boundaries of business sectors and nations are needed for the realization of a circular economy. There is an urgent need to establish a system for collecting information and for evaluating methods, from raw materials to final products and waste, in order to address the following things: whether parts and products which have been in long-term use can be safely reused in the same manner as before, whether recycling of different constituent elements together causes quality degradation, or how much the use of biomass and recycled materials reduces greenhouse gases.
The Polyplastics Corporate Planning Office, Daicel Corporate Sustainability Office, and Daicel Innovation and Business Development Headquarters globally participated in establishing the above system being advanced by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) ahead of times, sharing and utilizing mutual information and promoting activities for realizing a circular economy using Daicel Group's technology.