A Message from the General Manager of the Production Management Unit
We are working to help achieve the goals of
DIC Vision 2030 in the production arena.
Underpinning Everything: Safe Operations and Quality Assurance
The DIC Group manufactures a wide range of chemicals and related products in 63 countries and territories around the world and provides
these products to customers through a global sales network. As its name indicates, the Production Management Unit, of which I am in charge,
oversees the Group’s core manufacturing activities. We place a priority on care for the environment, safety and health through Responsible Care
initiatives and on ensuring compliance with the aim of supporting the operation of safe and secure production sites.
The Production Management Unit is also responsible for supporting production from the perspective of quality control and quality assurance. We view our mission as being to ensure that the quality of the products we provide meets the requirements of our customers and the market. Despite this, in fiscal year 2021 serious quality-related issues were discovered. These included improprieties in type testing of a foam fire extinguishing agent that resulted in approval of the product being rescinded and the suspension of Underwriters Laboratories’ certification of LC polymers, both of which were disclosed publicly. We sincerely regret these incidents and, not satisfied with simply identifying causes and implementing measures to prevent recurrence, we continue working to transform awareness and improve product quality.
The Launch of DIC Vision 2030
The key to attaining the goals of DIC Vision 2030 is ensuring that everyone involved in production grasps the plan’s content and direction and that each individual is committed to pressing forward steadily, exerting originality and ingenuity every day, with efforts that will bring the plan’s goals to fruition. To this end, it is important to provide clear, concrete explanations of key policies and the plan’s main points and promote the implementation of critical measures. We have already inaugurated a number of measures. For example, making bold investments with the goal of, among others, realizing mass production of new products developed in the five priority business areas outlined in DIC Vision 2030, responding to increasingly sophisticated quality requirements, and strengthening human capital by passing down technologies and providing support for digitalization. To create work environments conducive to job satisfaction for all employees, we are also promoting “ho-ren-so” and “o-hi-ta-shi”*—mnemonics used widely in management in Japan, with “ho-ren-so” standing for “hokoku” (“report”), “renraku” (“inform”) and “sodan” (“consult”), and “o-hi-ta-shi” for “okoranai” (“do not get angry”), “hitei shinai” (“do not negate”), “tasukeru” (“help”) and “shiji” (“instruct”)—as well as one-on-one meetings. I want employees to feel that the production team is helping drive DIC’s efforts to address challenges and at the same time to feel happy and proud of being part of that team and of contribution to the implementation of DIC Vision 2030’s strategies.
- “Ho-ren-so” and “o-hi-ta-shi” are also a homonym of horenso (spinach) and “ohitashi,” a side dish of blanched vegetables steeped in a savory broth.
Climate Change Cannot Wait: Achieving Carbon Neutrality
The Production Management Unit also has a key role to play in meeting DIC’s revised target for the reduction of CO₂ emissions, announced in fiscal year 2021, which calls for the Company to achieve carbon neutrality by fiscal year 2050 and reducing CO₂ emissions (Scope 1 and 2) 50% from the fiscal year 2013 level by fiscal year 2030.* Thanks to efforts to date, which have focused on energy-saving initiatives and environmental investments, Groupwide CO₂ emissions in fiscal year 2021, at 546,304 tonnes, were down 24.4% from approximately 722,955 tonnes in fiscal year 2013. Going forward, growing the Group, including by expanding production volume, while at the same time lowering CO₂ emissions will require more ambitious measures. To this end, in addition to advancing our own environmental investments, we will further expand our use of green power in Japan and actively employ clean energy globally. Revamping production processes will also be crucial to the Group’s ability to curb its CO₂ emissions. Together with introducing an internal carbon pricing system, we will formulate and implement concrete, region-specificaction plans. Such initiatives will be funded from the ¥70 billion budgeted for investments in infrastructure building.
- For more information, please see “Strategies for Reducing CO₂ Emissions” on page 115.
Building Smart Factories and Applying Cutting-Edge Technologies
As stated in a press release published in Japanese in December 2021, we are currently collaborating with Hitachi, Ltd., to promote the practical application of digital twin technology to automate batch processing in plastics production. This involves using a high-precision reaction prediction model to digitalize operating status in cyber (virtual) space, together with process informatics* to determine optimal operating conditions and provide feedback to the physical (real) world. This will make it possible to, among others, shorten production times, stabilize quality, improve equipment operators’ work efficiency and hasten the commercialization of new products, thereby improving productivity and in so doing helping reduce CO₂ emissions. In fiscal year 2022, we will conduct verification testing using a prototype reaction prediction model to determine optimal operating conditions. Ultimately, we aim to realize the practical application of digital technologies that facilitate automation of the entire production process.
- Process informatics applies statistical analysis and other informatics techniques to optimize conditions for production, among others.