Energy Conservation and Prevention of Global Warming
- Energy Conservation and Prevention of Global Warming
- Resource Conservation and Recycling
- Pollution Prevention
- Conservation of Biodiversity
We are working to reduce our total lifecycle CO2 emissions by 30% from the 2000 level by 2020. We are particularly focused on reducing environmental impact associated with the use of our products by customers, which is the stage of the product life cycle with the largest impact on the environment. At the same time, we are working to reduce CO2 emissions associated with production activities primarily through innovating production processes, aiming at both cost and environmental impact reduction.
Our approaches to reduce environmental impact associated with the use of our products by customers
We develop many energy-efficient products and offer them along with solutions and services that facilitate a new work style with enhanced operational efficiency and lower environmental impact. Through such efforts we help customers reduce environmental impact.
Launching products boasting outstanding energy efficiency performance
imagio MP C5002/C4002/C3302/C2802
Featuring Ricoh's proprietary technologies, including Color QSU1 technology (direct heating (DH) fixing system) and color PxP-EQ toner with a lower melting point, imagio MP C5002/C4002/C3302/C2802(color MFPs released in February 2012) have reduced their typical electricity consumption (TEC)2 substantially and achieved best-in-class environmental performance. We reduced the typical electricity consumption (TEC) of imagio MP C5002 SPF by 22% compared to that of the previous model and also achieved a recovery time of 9.1 seconds3 from the sleep mode.
- *1QSU: Quick Start-Up
- *2Measured according to the guideline set by the International ENERGY STAR Program
- *3In the case of imagio MP C5002: 9.1 seconds; imagio MP C4002: 9.3 seconds; imagio MP C3302/C2802: 7.8 seconds
- *The performance data shown here is for the imagio MP C5002/C4002/C3302/C2802 model MFP available in Japan. The proprietary technology used to achieve these results, Ricoh's Color QSU Technology and PxP-EQ toner using Direct Heating System, are also used in the Aficio MP C5502/C4502/C3502/C3002 model outside of Japan.
Energy-saving technologies (1): Color QSU (Direct Heating (DH) Fixing System)
Efficient heating of fusing rollers
The fusing unit has a substantially lower heat capacity due to the smaller diameter and thinner wall of the fusing roller (belt). The unit also has a higher heat-transfer efficiency since a heater located inside the roller heats the roller (belt) directly.
- *DH:Direct Heating
Energy-saving technologies (2): Color PxP-EQ toner
Lower fusing point and excellent image quality that is more natural and easy to read
The fixation temperature is lower by around 30°C compared to that of the color PxP toner when it was first released in 2004. To achieve a lower fixation temperature as well as stable quality at a higher temperature during storage, the toner is designed to remain unchanged until reaching the fusing temperature, whereupon it immediately melts.
Improved ductility (spreading ease) of the toner has made uniform image formation possible with a small mass of deposit per unit area on the uneven surface of paper fiber, resulting in a more natural and reader-friendly image quality.
New products and solutions to bring innovations to customers' work styles
Today's working styles have changed dramatically with the growing use of cloud computing, smartphones and tablets. Now that it is possible to contact the people you need to anytime and access necessary information wherever you are, the effective use of time and space when working
Ricoh offers various new visual communications products, systems, and solutions to promote customers' shift to a work style with higher operational efficiency and lower environmental impact.
Innovative work style utilizing tablets
Efforts to reduce costs and environmental impact
while improving productivity of sales activities
Increasing the number of business negotiations and meetings as well as orders received, while decreasing environmental impact from traveling sales staff and the printing of brochures
At Ricoh Japan, one of the Ricoh Group's sales subsidiaries in Japan, about 4,500 sales representatives are promoting innovation in sales activity by utilizing tablets and cloud services in order to bolster sales capability. More than 1,000 sales tools, including electronic catalogs and video content, are stored in an electronic cabinet in the cloud. Sales representatives use the proposal support system, "Risonator," to identify customer problems through conversations with them and provide proposals on appropriate solutions. This system also allows sales staff to check email from outside of the office, thus enabling them to respond to customer requests more quickly.
Using these latest tools to accommodate customer interests or issues, sales representatives are able to make proposals or demonstrations anytime they wish and are therefore more likely to seize on new business opportunities. Moreover, as representatives do not have to return to their offices to prepare proposal materials or to check email, productivity increases. Reductions in environmental impact and costs are realized as a result of a significant decrease in the need for printed materials such as catalogs and sales promotion literature.
A rise in the number of business negotiations and meetings as well as in the amount of orders received was confirmed by a productivity survey conducted in December 2011 that targeted salespeople who began using the new smart devices in advance.
Reducing environmental impact from production processes
To minimize the environmental impact of our production processes, we continuously engage in environmental impact reduction efforts, adopting three major approaches—innovation in manufacturing processes, introduction of natural energy and introduction of high-efficiency equipment.
Innovation in manufacturing processes brings about compact production lines that will not only contribute to energy savings on the production lines themselves but also to energy savings from ancillary equipment, thus enabling us to significantly reduce energy consumption and production costs.
Introduction of high-efficient equipment
Reduction of CO2 emissions by 20% across the plant
Ricoh Fukui Plant carried out a fuel switch from kerosene to natural gas and introduced a gas-engine-type cogeneration system, which has been in operation since July 2005. Subsidies from the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) System were used to introduce the system. The system was launched in November 2004 and led to about a 5,000-ton reduction in CO2 annually, including the amount reduced by the fuel switch, which translates into a 20% reduction in the Fukui Plant's total emissions.
Introduction of natural energy
Solar power generation system
Using Californian sunshine to reduce costs and
Ricoh Electronics Inc. (REI), a manufacturing subsidiary in the U.S., has completed the installation of a rooftop solar power generation system that will annually supply up to 10% (about 350,000 kWh) of electricity used by the headquarters facility. Using this system, the company will be able to reduce its CO2 emissions by 98.1 tons and its electricity cost by at least 56,000 dollars per year.
REI is located in sunny Southern California, a highly suitable place for the installation of a solar power generation system. On the rooftop of the headquarters, about 1,000 panels have so far been installed.
Construction of an environmentally-friendly plant
Annual reduction of CO2 emissions by more than 250 tons
The production plant of Ricoh Manufacturing (Thailand) Ltd., which started operations in September 2009, boasts a number of environmentally friendly designs and facilities in various parts of the building. Examples of the green equipment installed include natural lighting and ventilation systems, a highly efficient air-conditioning system utilizing water-cooling freezers, an insulated roof, heat-reflective glass panels, highly efficient ballast for HF lamps, and occupancy sensors. Through these efforts, we can achieve an annual reduction in CO2 emissions of more than 250 tons.
Innovations in manufacturing processes
Cart production line
An eco-friendly production system that can respond flexibly to production volume and equipment model changes
In this system, multiple carts are lined up in a row and powered by air cylinders. The carts move along the production line carrying products. Because huge, high-energy consuming conveyors are not required, this system has brought large reductions in environmental impact and energy costs;* moreover, because the layout can be freely changed, the formation can be rearranged on a case-by-case basis to suit equipment models and production volumes. In-process inventory, lead time, space, and maintenance are all reduced by 70–80%. In addition, because of the reduction in space, reductions in air-conditioning and lighting costs are also achieved.
- * Air cylinders are used to move the carts, enabling a reduction in electricity consumption of 99% compared with conventional conveyor line motors.
On-Demand Toner Filling Machine
Small and portable toner-filling machine
To cope with limited production of a wide range of toner products, Ricoh has developed an "On-Demand Toner Filling Machine" based on conventional machines that is designed to fill a large amount of toner at high speed. Compared with the conventional toner filler systems, the new machine takes only 1/40 of the time to switch between product types, requires 1/40 of the installation space, and uses 1/4 of the electricity. Introducing this toner filling machine into toner production bases and also into logistics bases and sales companies allows toner cartridges to be manufactured at and shipped from sites closer to customers in the same manner as at plants. This has resulted in a reduction in environmental impact from the transportation of cartridges collected from the market for reuse and a shorter lead time.
Downsized production lines for a photoconductor
Substantial reduction in air-conditioned clean room space
Production of photoconductors, a component of MFPs and printers, must be conducted in a clean space containing no dust. Traditional large production lines required large air purifying and conditioning systems, which inevitably entailed big financial and environmental impacts. To address this issue, we have developed a new production line system where one or two units are manufactured at a time and air purifying and conditioning systems are used in that small area, instead of putting several dozen units on a pallet. The new system requires only about 1/6 of the production line length, 1/16 of the equipment installation space*, 1/92 of the clean, air-conditioned area, and 1/3 of the capital investment of the conventional lines.
- *Ratio of facility area to per-unit production capacity