Special Features 2015

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Renovating NGK SPARK PLUG 1

Providing New Value to People Worldwide through New Products and New Businesses

The NGK SPARK PLUG's GROUP will provide new value in diverse fields in order to realize our corporate philosophy.

New Products : Developing Intake Oxygen Sensors to Prevent Global Warming and Atmospheric Pollution

NGK SPARK PLUG CO., LTD. decided to develop and commercialize the intake oxygen sensor ahead of others in the industry, applying the technology which has been extensively used in many automotive sensors. The intake oxygen sensor will contribute greatly to further reducing NOx generated in diesel engines and CO2 produced by gasoline engines by precisely controlling the EGR system that recirculates exhaust gas. In near future, we will make preparations for mass production and aim to expand deployment.

New Business : Promoting the Fuel Cell Business to Contribute to Solving Environmental Problems

The commercialization of fuel cells as a next technology of power generation for business and industry is approaching. In 2014, NGK SPARK PLUG CO., LTD. and Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems, Ltd. formed a business tie-up targeting mass production of cylindrical cell stacks, the power generating elements used in solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC). Combining our technologies, the two companies are working to construct a production line in order to contribute to the realization of a low carbon society.

New Products : Reducing the workload of the Medical Frontline

Bone prosthesis in paste-form is used when bone transplant is necessary for bone loss or fracture. Cerapaste is a paste-form bone prosthesis developed by NGK SPARK PLUG CO., LTD.. Conventional products were prepared by mixing with a mixing rod, but it was tough. In order to solve this problem, NGK SPARK PLUG CO., LTD. has developed new cerapaste, which can be mixed easily. This Product contributes to reduce workload of medical frontline.

New Products : Developing Even Safer and More Reliable Oxygen Concentrators for Medical Use KM5 5Touch (Sales Name: O2 Fresh 5G)

An oxygen concentrator for medical use is a medical device used by patients with respiratory disorders such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) for domiciliary oxygen therapy. The device increases oxygen concentration by causing the absorption of nitrogen into ceramic zeolites from air compressed by a compressor. The spread of oxygen concentrators for medical use has made it possible for many patients with respiratory disorders to be treated at home without being hospitalized.

On the other hand, with the spread of oxygen concentrators, accidents involving fires caused by the ignition of the apparatus by cigarettes and other fire sources have also been increasing year by year, developing into a problem for society. NGK SPARK PLUG CO., LTD. has applied the sensor technology cultivated in relation to automobiles to develop a new product fitted with a function to attract the attention of the people around when it detects smoke with the aim of reducing the accidents involving fires that have become a serious problem.

Pursuing the DNA Project: an Engine to Promote New Businesses

The DNA (Dynamic New Approach) Project is an engine to promote new businesses launched in 2009. It is a new company-wide initiative to create new businesses separately from the conventional approach in research and development departments.
The 4th series of DNA initiated in spring 2014 brought together about 30 passionate volunteers with diverse skills and ideas, ranging from young employees through to veterans. They met up about once a week to pursue in-house and external investigations by each of the teams that were formed on a voluntary basis and pieced together proposals for new businesses.

Following a final review in spring 2015, a number of proposals are now progressing through investigation into commercialization. It is expected to produce rapid progress as a project to drive the future of the NGK SPARK PLUG's GROUP, not only in the creation of new businesses, which was the original objective, but also in the development of human resources and organizational culture.

Voice of Our Project Member

What I got out of the activities was huge

Sensor Engineering Dept. II, Sensor Division
Tahira

I am very grateful to get the opportunity to actually shape the ideas that I want to try.
I think that experiencing the flow of a business proposal that cannot be experienced in the normal course of business, such as the difficulty of making a business materialize, interviews with potential customers following detailed study, and making a proposal to management, will be a great asset for me in tackling my work in the future.

Voice of Our Project Member' Boss

Sensor Engineering Dept. II, Sensor Division
Ito

Despite not having discovered any seeds for new businesses, I think that significant results were achieved in human resource development.
I think that being involved in work related to marketing and planning, which are not part of his work in the normal course of business, was beneficial for career advancement.
I also think that he was able to accumulate a lot of the experience needed as a leader in a condensed period of time by actively taking leadership.
Although regular duties took a blow due to participation in the program, I believe it was a good investment if I think about how much the individual involved grew.

Voice of Our Project Member

New Business Strategy Dept., New Business Advancement Group
Inoue

“I want to create something new. Hard work is fun if that is what it is for.”
I took part in the 3rd series of DNA based on this idea. It was my first experience of planning new businesses, so I struggled continually. However, the project I proposed with my encouraging teammates was adopted, and it was decided to carry out a business feasibility study.
I myself was transferred to my current department and explore possibilities for commercialization every day. There are difficulties, but I find it rewarding to think through how to overcome obstacles.

Voice of Our Project Member

Development and Planning Dept., New Business Advancement Group
Goto

Under the DNA Project, employees who are motivated to create new businesses work independently to plan new businesses, irrespective of age, gender, type of occupation, and department.
This program works because of the understanding of the members’ bosses, including officers, and co-workers, and we get a sense for the broadmindedness of NGK SPARK PLUG CO., LTD.
In the secretariat, we will also grow while providing full support for the project members to pave the way to even better proposals.


*Position and job title are as of fiscal year 2014.