September 19, 2003
NTN achieves zero waste at all domestic locations
NTN has achieved the level of zero landfill waste produced at all ten of its domestic production sites, including NTN Group companies, and has achieved a recycling rate of 98 percent, the highest of any company in the bearing industry.
NTN's programs to reduce waste started in 1998. The zero landfill waste at its sites includes NTN Mikumo Company Ltd. and other NTN group companies. This achievement was mainly due to the introduction of grinding-swarf briquetters (see Note), developed by NTN. As a result of the grinding swarf briquetter, NTN was able to make dramatic improvements in the solidification and reuse of swarf generated during the bearing grinding process and also improve recovery and recycling of grinding coolant. It also became possible to properly segregate and recycle waste products in processes that required segregated disposal by steel type and coolant type, because the briquetter can be directly connected to each production line due to its reduced size. NTN also developed a recycling route where solidified swarf (called briquettes) is sold to steel makers, thereby increasing its recycling percentage. In addition to its swarf recycling measures, NTN has further promoted recycling by using sludge generated in the wastewater treatment plant as a roadbed material and through the reuse of used grinding wheels. By putting all kinds of waste products to use, NTN has reached a recycling level of 98 percent.
The next goal is to make overseas production sites zero-waste facilities.
Note: The grinding swarf briquetter solidifies the grinding swarf while also efficiently separating and recovering the grinding coolant. NTN's briquetter has outstanding features. It works with both oil-based and water-based grinding coolant and can be set up to produce solidification conditions to match the state of the swarf. It also does not require additives such as solidifying agents.