The Ricoh Numazu Plant and Ricoh Industry Tohoku Plant have started closed-loop recycling of solvents used for producing polymerized toners (PxP toners).
Previously, solvents used in manufacturing our toners were recycled through entrusted services and used to manufacture new products. Seeking to enhance the on-site recycling model for the used solvents, we have worked to improve toner material formulas and manufacturing technologies that are more recycling-friendly. Conventional solvents, which are made from several different chemicals, are difficult to recycle. After intensive research, we successfully developed a new technology replacing conventional mixed-type solvents with a single-chemical type.
This new technology allows us to recycle solvents used across the entire manufacturing process (except for that used in washing the line equipment, which is required before switching to production of a different type of toner). As a result, the volume of discharged matter has been considerably reduced, and solvent consumption has shrunk by 90%, saving associated costs.
Additionally, we have established a technology to produce recycled solvents based on materials recovered from used solvents. Owing to these efforts, recycled solvents are now adopted to meet almost all needs relating to our normal line operations.