Solving Social Issues by Using Opto-electronics Technologies
Reason for Priority
Companies are considered public institutions and have a responsibility to develop in partnership with society through transparent and fair activities. Moreover, in recent years, amid the emergence of global level social issues, companies are required to solve these issues through business and contribute to the realization of a sustainable society.
Nikon celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2017 and established its vision to "Unlock the future with the power of light." Based on this determination, we aim to solve social issues and achieve further growth for Nikon Group by improving core technologies with a focus on opto-electronics and precision technologies, which has so far produced cameras and lithography systems. In addition, we will establish systems that can respond promptly to precise needs and continue expanding the areas in which we can contribute to society by diversifying the utilization of opto-electronics and precision technologies as in the commercialization of materials processing and components.
Contributing to the Achievement of the SDGs
By further strengthening our core competencies focused around opto-electronics technologies and precision technologies, the Nikon Group aims to contribute to the achievement of Goal 9 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), "Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization, and foster innovation." Moreover, using Goal 9 as a leverage point, we will enhance our contributions to the SDGs as a whole.
The following presents some case studies of Nikon products and services that help to achieve the Goal 9.
Optical processing machines contributing to monodzukuri (manufacturing) innovation
In April 2019, Nikon announced the release of the optical processing machines "Lasermeister 100A," which performs a variety of metal processing with simple operation.
Nikon has long been involved in the development, manufacturing and sales of semiconductor lithography systems known to be the "most precise machinery in history." By drawing on the technology cultivated for lithography systems, Nikon realized a high quality, smaller sized and less expensive optical processing machines.
In recent years, manufacturing sites have been required to implement automation and mass customization against the background of labor shortages caused by the return of production to developed countries and a diversification in individual values. The optical processing machines, which meets the diverse metal processing needs of customers, is a product that can contribute to solving these problems. Nikon Group has indicated a policy of focusing on the material processing business, including optical processing machines, in our Medium-Term Management Plan. Furthermore, we will continue contributing to industrial development over the long term by expanding the digital manufacturing area, including the material processing business.
Encoders that support the evolution of robots
The encoder is a key part that is mainly embedded in the joint of the moving part of the robot arm to support the precise movement of the robot. The miniaturization and slimming of encoders has brought about the evolution of robots to achieve more complex movements.
Using robots in industry raises production efficiency and quality and is also paving the way to the achievement of the smart factory and the eco factory. Moreover, if robots evolve and people are able to work safely even in the same space as robots, robots will be able to make up for labor shortages and take over dangerous work. Using its original technology, Nikon has made miniaturization and high reliability of encoders compatible. Nikon boasts the top share of the global market for encoders for use in robots*. The many Nikon encoders are contributing to the development of people- and environment-friendly production.
- *Based on Nikon research
Contract Cell Manufacturing Aiming for the Early Development of Regenerative Medicine
Regenerative medicine regenerates organs and cells to restore lost functions. The use of somatic stem cells as well as iPS cells, promises medical breakthroughs, including treatments for intractable diseases for which a cure is yet to be found. However, commercialization requires creation of quality and safety evaluation standards and establishment of management procedures in manufacturing processes.
Nikon has been selling cell culture observation systems since 2007, providing solutions that support quality evaluation for iPS cells. In 2015, we also concluded a strategic business alliance agreement in Japan with Lonza, the world's largest contract manufacturer for regenerative medicine, and Nikon CeLL innovation Co., Ltd. has been providing contract cell manufacturing services.
Nikon will contribute to the commercialization of regenerative medicine in Japan through the expansion of our contract cell manufacturing business leveraging our own technology while incorporating Lonza's know-how in the area of high quality cell manufacturing technology. Furthermore, Nikon is developing the requisite equipment and consumables for the optimization of high quality cell manufacturing in preparation for major advances in the regenerative medicine market using iPS cells. We will provide total solutions, including hardware and software, from Japan to the world.
Nikon Sustainability Report
For more details, please see the Nikon Sustainability Report.