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Vacuume Technology Kyoritsu Co., Ltd.

Website: Kyoritsu Co., Ltd.External site: a new window will open
Category: Japanese Machinery

Grace under pressure

Supporting both high- and low-technology industries is a unique challenge that Kanagawa Prefecture-based Kyoritsu Group has managed to overcome. Founded in 1956, the first 40 years saw Kyoritsu manufacturing vacuum components for other companies, but declining business after Japan's economic bubble burst forced a rethink of its business model. CEO Satomi Ueno explains that Kyoritsu chose to produce original equipment, putting its expertise in vacuum chamber and pressure technology toward high-tech applications for the automobile, chemical, electronics and optical industries.

Kyoritsu Group's CEO, Satomi Ueno

Kyoritsu conducts research and development on a new application of its vacuum technology

A variety of vacuum technology

Kyoritsu has developed a range of equipment for evaporation coating, drying and purifying materials in a vacuum, like its plasma vacuum coater that creates metallic coatings for car headlights and taillights. The company is the only manufacturer of gas measuring equipment used by the major Japanese automakers. Hiroakira Ueno, board chairman of group company Kyoritsu Industry Co., Ltd., is confident "there is a market overseas as well."

Products for material recycling

Kyoritsu's vacuum technology has found an excellent application in machines that support recycling, including crush and separators, dewatering machines, dryers, carbonizers and an eco-feed solution that recycles food waste into livestock feed.

Another recycling headache is sludge such as leftover liquid concrete. Kyoritsu has created a dewatering machine that uses a combination of pressure and vacuum technology to remove the water from sludge generated at manufacturing facilities, creating dried material that's much easier to dispose of or to be reused as concrete for regular consumers.

Kyoritsu's dewatering machine processes sludge with pressure and vacuum technology

Kyoritsu's crush and separator machine removes over 90 percent of food waste from plastics, metals and bottles

Food disposal can also be a tedious process. Unsold, expired food packages in stores require a significant amount of time for someone to manually open and separate the contents. Kyoritsu's crush and separator machine can accept packaged products as they are-cans, plastics and bottles included-and separate over 90 percent of the food waste, which can then be used for feed or fertilizers.

Thinking outside the box

As Kyoritsu has expanded sales abroad, some customers have found unusual uses for their equipment. Board chairman Ueno says one customer in Thailand used Kyoritsu's machines to process large heaps of garbage. Despite being slightly outside their intended use, the machines performed beautifully-as an added bonus, the recycled food material "made excellent fertilizer for Thailand's nutrient-starved red soil."

In the past, notes Ueno, Japan obtained its environmental technology from European companies who were the industry leaders. That role may be reversing now as evidenced by increasing orders of their equipment from the EU and US. Ultimately, she hopes more industries will come to see waste as a resource.