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Hitachi in Japan goes with BOC for nitrogen
17-07-2002: Guildford, UK, July 15 - Osaka Sanso Kogyo (OSK), BOC’s operating company in Japan, has been awarded the contract to build a nitrogen plant to supply Hitachi Powdered Metals Company Limited for its factory in Japan.
The site at Matsudo, which will receive 300 tonnes of nitrogen a month from BOC, manufactures a wide range of structural parts and bearings for transportation, industrial, electrical applications by the powder metallurgy process.
Sintering the compacted metal powder to form the final component is the crucial step in the manufacturing route, requiring the maximum degree of control to meet Hitachi Powdered Metals’ exacting quality standards.
OSK, who originally supplied half of Hitachi’s requirements as liquid nitrogen, were chosen as sole suppliers in recognition of their excellent technical support for the sintering process. Construction of the plant – which will have a nitrogen capacity of 480 m3/h - will start in August and the plant should begin production by the end of February 2003.
Under the Nikkaloy trade name Hitachi manufacture components for automotive systems such as wipers, starters, seats, electrical equipment, injection pumps, air conditioners and sun-roofs. BOC’s lower cost and efficient gas supply assists Hitachi to meet their customers’ requirements through higher production efficiency.
Hitachi implements continuous improvements to fulfil global environmental concerns, based on the international ISO 14001 standard for environmental management systems.
"We believe that legal regulations alone are not enough to resolve such problems and that we should be in working in harmony with the environment," said Tetso Yamada, Hitachi Powdered Metals Products Division department manager. "Each company therefore carries out autonomous and carefully thought-out environmental improvements. As part of these improvements, in 2003 the Matsudo factory expects to replace cracked ammonia as their source of hydrogen for the sintering atmospheres with 1.68 million m3/year of clean and environmentally friendly hydrogen supplied by OSK. This will eliminate the need for toxic ammonia storage on our site and the associated neutraliser facility."
BOC also supplies gases to all Hitachi Powdered Metals companies including STI in the USA and Thai Sintered Products in Thailand.
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