The Daikin Group strives to use resources as effectively as possible by carrying out the 3Rs-reducing, reusing, and recycling-along with repairing under its 3R & Repair initiative.
This initiative plays a key role in our product design and development. Based on product assessment, we design and develop products that are smaller and lighter, and that use materials and construction that make them easy to maintain, separate, and recycle.
3R & Repair: Approach
|Reduce||Make products smaller and lighter, Use recycled materials|
|Reuse||Use parts from end-of-life products|
Design products that are easy to separate and recycle
|After use||Recycle end-of-life products|
|Repair||Development||Design products that are easy to maintain|
|After disposal||Have a repair support system that contributes to long-lasting products|
3R & Repair: Effective Use of Resources
Product design stresses 3R & Repair based on product assessment. Since 1997, we have designed products so that their construction makes them easy to disassemble.
Making products smaller and lighter means they will use fewer resources. When making air conditioners, we set weight reduction targets for both the entire product and its components. However, it is technically difficult to achieve this without sacrificing energy efficiency. If making it smaller and lighter means that it consumes more energy, then the product's environmental performance throughout the entire lifecycle has not yet been improved.
When the Daikin Group develops new products, we establish weight reduction targets for each product on the condition that the APF (annual performance factor) does not decrease. For example, the Eco-ZEAS 80, released in May 2012, is approximately 26% lighter than our previous model thanks to innovations such as an all-aluminum heat exchanger, the first for a heat-pump-type air conditioner, and more compact electronic components.
We set a target of reducing the amount of packaging for air conditioning products by 6% in fiscal 2010 compared to fiscal 2005.
In fiscal 2011, our distribution and design divisions worked together to make our new models stronger and develop a new structure for packaging to reduce the amount of packaging. As a result, we achieved our goal of a 1% reduction in packaging weight compared to fiscal 2010.
We are currently developing new packaging material to reach our fiscal 2012 goal of reducing packaging weight by 2% compared to fiscal 2010.
Amount of Packaging per Product (wood, cardboard, styrofoam, etc.)
Because the phenomenon of products dropping happens at such a high speed, it is difficult to understand exactly where the force of impact is concentrated on the packaging material.
That's why Daikin decided to adopt simulation technology to make it easier to decide what shape of packaging shape would provide optimal protection against the force of impact at high velocity. Simulations allowed Daikin to reduce packaging material by 15% on the bottom of packages for exterior units for commercial air conditioners.
Conventionally, the top of products had protruding parts (an air outlet grille), which required packaging material to prevent these from getting damaged.
Daikin's design division solved this problem by giving the product's top a flat surface and eliminating the need for protective packaging material. This allowed us to use 5% less packaging material for the exterior unit of building air conditioners.
In the Service Division, conventional wooden containers used to ship service parts overseas are gradually being replaced by returnable steel containers that can be used repeatedly.
In fiscal 2007, we began using these in Europe, and Thailand started the following year. Currently about 60% of products being shipped used these returnable containers, and this has saved us about 330 tons of wood.
In the Distribution Division, the import and transport of compressors and other distributed parts uses returnable palettes, and in the near future Europe and China bases will switch to returnable packaging.
At the end of fiscal 2010, Daikin Europe N.V. switched from cardboard boxes to foldable plastic boxes for product packaging. The company now disposes of no packaging waste—where it used to throw away 44,000 kg—and it can fit more packages into delivery trucks. The result has been CO2 emission reductions of 8,500kg.
In the Daikin Group, we try to use resources efficiently. We take parts that have already been replaced and that contain multiple components, such as printed circuit boards, and we repair any malfunctions or replace the worn-out components. These parts (the printed circuit board, for example) are then tested for quality by ensuring that they are functioning properly and, with the customer's permission, are used as replacement parts when performing repair on a product.
Making products that last longer means that fewer resources are used. To this end, the Daikin Group is strengthening its repair system by establishing service outlets around the world to take customer repair requests and questions and enquiries regarding products.
In Japan, the Daikin Contact Center is open 24 hours a day, every day of the year to take inquiries, while 55 service outlets across the nation carry out product repair and maintenance. We will continue to strive for even greater customer satisfaction by improving the technical expertise and etiquette of our service engineers.
With Daikin picking up the pace of its overseas expansion in recent years, it is crucial that we strengthen our service network in each country. We have added service bases in countries like Spain, Singapore, and Italy through the integration of the service system of O.Y.L. Industries Bhd, which Daikin acquired in 2006. In North America and China, Daikin is working with O.Y.L company McQuay International to exchange employees and utilize networks so as to improve the service system.
Daikin Service Network
The Home Appliance Recycling Law obligates manufacturers to recycle at least 70% of the material from their own air conditioners as well as recover and then reuse or destroy refrigerants.
In fiscal 2011, we recovered about 200,000 products totaling 9,017 tons. The recycling ratio was 86% and the amount of refrigerants recovered was 128 tons.
Recycling of Residential Air Conditioners in FY2011 (Japan)