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Super-engineered plastics for high-performance applications

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Article - October 10, 2023

Leveraging the power of synergy and collaboration – internally, externally and as part of the Ichimiya Group – Nissen Chemitec produces high-performance plastics for ever-evolving applications and is also engaged in the recycling of industrial plastic waste.

DOOR TRIM

“We’ve got to continue to forge and polish the power of innovation.”

Toru Ichimiya,  President, Nissen Chemitec Corporation

As we veer towards a sustainable, carbon-neutral world, the recycling of industrial plastic waste and the shift towards vehicle electrification (two major aspects of the environmental movement) are having a direct influence on the business direction of Nissen Chemitec Corporation, a leading manufacturer of high-performance plastic parts for the automotive and other industries.

Fortunately thanks to its long-cultivated know-how and collaborative synergies among the many divisions of the group, and as part of the wider Ichimiya Group, Nissen Chemitec is well positioned to support both movements, with its focus areas being recycling, automotive parts, and highly functional plastic components.

Nissen Chemitec is also 25% owned by Sumitomo Chemical, with whom it is collaborating on initiatives to convert plastic scraps of automotive origin back into automobile parts, creating a so-called "car-to-car recycling cycle". "In addition to producing new (virgin) plastic raw materials, we are also working to create new businesses, areas and opportunities by recycling and reusing plastics," says president Toru Ichimiya.

As a company whose main business is the supply of exterior and interior automotive parts, adapting to the emerging CASE (connected, autonomous, shared, electric) era is both a major challenge and opportunity for Nissen Chemitec. "We believe that the functions required will change significantly in the future due to automated driving and vehicle network connectivity," adds Mr. Ichimiya. "This means providing the entire interior environment, including lighting and entertainment systems, as a package. It is very difficult for a company of our size to cover such equipment on its own, so we are collaborating with external partners to fulfill our customers' requirements."

Nissen Chemitec already manufactures parts for oil pipes for transmissions in hybrid vehicles and by leveraging its expertise in resins and various manufacturing techniques, the company aims to expand into areas such as batteries and motors for electric vehicles (EVs).

Launched in 2019, the super engineering plastics division is the latest Nissen Chemitec business pillar, targeting the highly functional parts sector. This division is working with raw material manufacturers and other companies on various initiatives in the areas of raw materials, development and manufacturing, with its first success being a super-engineered plastic oil pipe used in transmissions for Toyota's hybrid vehicles. In recognition of this world-first technology, Toyota handed Nissen Chemitec a technical award in 2020.

The semiconductor industry is another important focus area for Nissen Chemitec, which has a trading division for semiconductor products and display materials. Mr. Ichimiya says the semiconductor industry in particular holds great business opportunities for the company in the future, particularly in Japan with the new fab established by Sony and TSMC in Kumamoto. ”We would like to expand our business with regard to the new TSMC plant,” he adds.

As it adapts to a new era in the automotive industry and beyond, Mr. Ichimiya stresses the ongoing importance of synergies, collaboration and knowledge sharing. "The expansion of EVs and automated driving will undoubtedly change the automotive industry. Demands on suppliers will also change significantly, and it will be difficult for us to meet all of these demands on our own. In the future, we will naturally continue to hone our own technological capabilities, but we will also continue to cooperate with external partners as necessary. This applies not only to the automotive parts business, but also to other business areas, such as the recycling raw materials business, semiconductor and the super engineering plastics business."

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