Drawing on the knowledge of the Mitsui Chemicals Group, we are taking on the challenge of new possibilities in the New and Next Generation Businesses freshly added to our targeted business domains in the 2025 Long-Term Business Plan. We have already started sowing the seeds to ensure our businesses bear an abundance of fruits in 10 to 20 years’ time.
Fiscal 2025 target
Operating income of ¥25 billion (incl. new businesses in other targeted business domains)
Drawing on the knowledge of the Mitsui Chemicals Group, we are taking on the challenge of new possibilities in the New and Next Generation Businesses freshly added to our targeted business domains in the 2025 Long-Term Business Plan.
Robot materials business
New gel material adopted for use in BIG CLAPPER
The 2020 model of Bye Bye World Inc.’s entertainment robot BIG CLAPPER* features clapping hands developed using one of our new materials. BIG CLAPPER is a clapping robot that brings enjoyment to people using a combination of clapping and sounds. By producing sets of clapping hands with differing hardness and repulsion from a gel material with an altered molecular structure and then conducting sound tests, it was possible to recreate a clapping sound closer to that of humans. This new gel material was also used in a model eyeball that can be mounted in a humanoid eye surgery simulator. Going forward, we intend to expand its application to a variety of products that require a soft texture close to that of human skin, including for service robots and medical uses.
Collaboration with Elephantech Inc.
In October 2019, we agreed to a strategic partnership with Elephantech Inc., a startup company in the printed electronics sector. In an effort toward realizing a sustainable society, Elephantech is pursuing a flexible printed circuit boards (PCBs) production business that uses inkjet printing to manufacture PCBs using just 1/15th the energy and 1/13th the water of conventional processes. Under the partnership, we will make the buildings and plant infrastructure of our Nagoya Works available for Elephantech to use in order to expand the mass production system for this business, while pursuing cooperation in areas of technical development. Through these joint efforts, we aim to expand inkjet-based additive manufacturing and find broader use for it in society.
ICT materials business
Product development with Z-Works Inc.
From March 2020, we began investing in Z-Works Inc., a company which develops IoT devices and provides consulting services to support nursing care sites, and entered a partnership for product development. Z-Works offers LiveConnect, a nursing care support system which utilizes IoT and AI technology to solve a variety of problems faced at nursing care facilities. Our proprietary high-sensitivity PIEZOLA™ sensors have been adopted for use in its vigilant sensing systems for nursing beds. With low-profile vital sign sensors that monitor the sleep condition, heart rate, and breathing of residents and quickly detect when someone is getting out of bed, they help to reduce the workload of care staff and improve operational efficiency. Through continued collaboration with Z-Works, we will focus on solving issues at nursing care sites in our increasingly aging society.
Diagnostics business for solar power generation
We are able to diagnose the overall condition of a solar power generation plant. We do this by accurately forecasting solar panel service life with technology that can predict deterioration in solar panel encapsulants, a product manufactured and sold by Mitsui Chemicals Tohcello, Inc. for more than 25 years. We also draw on our experience in developing and operating the Tahara Solar-Wind™ power generation facility, as well as data accumulated at the prototype power plants located in the Mobara Branch Factory and Sodegaura Center. In recent years, we have worked together with investment funds to share data on the volume of power generated at plants nationwide, which have helped us make even more accurate forecasts. In addition, we can offer our services to solar power generation plants that have installed increasingly popular storage battery facilities and predict changes in electricity sales volume that may result from restricted output. In the fast-growing Indian market, we have opened a solar panel testing and certification lab and are aiming to begin accepting BIS certification* testing during fiscal 2020.
*BIS (Bureau of Indian Standards) certification is comparable to Japan’s JIS certification but obtainable only through accredited organizations in India.
Testing and certification lab in India