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DIC Corporation is the largest manufacturer of printing ink (ink for the printing industry) in the world. When the Great East Japan Earthquake led to shortages of electric power, DIC’s Kashima Plant turned the adversity into an opportunity to install a system to visualize consumption of power and energy. The system allows all plant employees to see information about their energy consumption at any time. It is steadily raising employees’ consciousness about energy conservation, helping to reduce costs through the visualization of per-unit energy consumption, and prompting employees to think about quality improvement.

Post-earthquake shortages seen as an opportunity, underscoring the need to save energy every day

DIC Corporation was founded in 1908 for the production and sale of printing inks. Committed to its management vision, “Color & Comfort by Chemistry,” the company delivers color and pleasantness to people in their daily lives through its four core business operations. Printing Inks is DIC's mainstay business since its establishment. As a global market leader, DIC boasts an extensive product portfolio ranging from publishing inks to inks and adhesives for packaging, enabling it to respond to the needs of customers worldwide. Starting with the organic pigments and synthetic resins that are the principal raw materials for Printing Inks, the company expanded to supply the Fine Chemicals used as raw materials in digital printing equipment, and through its Polymers business offers synthetic resins and related products for a wide range of industrial fields. In addition, the company combines various fundamental technologies to create and offer application products through its Application Materials business.

The Kashima Plant is DIC’s main factory. It manufactures primarily organic pigments, offset inks, additives, and PPS (polyphenylene sulfide) resin. This plant has been actively addressing energy conservation for many years by utilizing woody biomass*1 power generation and wind power generation, for example.

“Energy conservation is an important issue for us not only in response to society’s demand to reduce the burden on the environment, but also to decrease manufacturing costs,” explains General Manager Toshikazu Adachi. “Our plant consumes large amounts of energy for producing products. Faced with critical shortages of electric power in the summer of 2011 in the wake of the Great East Japan Earthquake, we came to a fresh realization of the importance of understanding our daily energy consumption and furthering our energy conservation efforts.”

*Within this article, as of March 2014, products and services that are sold only in Japan is included.

This case study was published in the 2014 Vol.2 issue of the azbil Group's corporate magazine, azbil.