Special Feature 2021 - Integrated Report 2021
Provide products and services adapted to social change
Pursue product safety and quality
As the world’s leading comprehensive motor manufacturer, Nidec has a duty to contribute to building a safe, secure, and sustainable social infrastructure by providing environment-friendly products. To fulfill this duty, it is necessary to establish a supply chain that enables the continuous reduction of environmentally hazardous substances in each product. As applications of our products are rapidly expanding, our present tasks are to formulate uniform material procurement standards to stabilize the environmental performance of our broad range of products at high levels, and to establish a rating system of environment-friendliness of purchased parts and components based on the standards.
Moreover, now that the automotive products business has developed into a major segment accounting for over 20% of our consolidated net sales, in order to satisfy all the quality needs of car manufacturers, it is important to have globally uniform methods of quality management and quality assurance. To strengthen the cross-departmental management of the automotive business covering all automotive products, we plan to establish an overall quality control organization and system by FY2025.
Meanwhile, risks associated with our automotive-related products have been increasing in line with the expansion of our market presence. The safety of automotive products is a matter of the highest priority with respect to human lives. We will conduct strict safety assessments of finished and in-process products (mainly newly developed products) to prevent the quality failure of any of the automotive products Nidec provides from having a significant impact.
Respond to changes in the technological environment and the industrial structure
The COVID-19 pandemic has been accelerating the pace of changes in technologies, while the powerful trend toward carbon neutrality is dramatically transforming the industrial structure. Nidec expects new Five Big Waves in society and recognizes the importance of advancing product development and improving the business portfolio in response to the new waves. While actively promoting the development of new products adapting to the Five Big Waves, we will also continue to pursue the high efficiency and miniaturization of motors that contribute to energy and resource saving in line with the globally accelerating movement toward decarbonization.
Research and development to support the sustainable growth of the company
To promote active product development in the fields of the Five Big Waves, a major market trend based on social issues, and achieve the sustainable development of the company, technological collaboration among R&D organizations is necessary to link the social needs to the sustainable development of the company. Nidec’s research and development centers are the functions to conduct such broad and integrated R&D activities. The Nidec Research and Development Center, Japan and the Nidec Research and Development Center, Taiwan are company-wide organizations transcending the boundaries of Business Units, and engage in research on elemental technologies for motors in general. The Nidec Center for Industrial Science established in 2018 conducts research and development focusing on advanced production technolo-gies beyond the existing framework of manufacturing, with the aim of strengthening the manufacturing foundation and creating globally useful technologies through networking with universities, research institutions and companies.
All these research centers are headed in the common directions of miniaturization and high efficiency and energy saving, which are also the major approaches to the Five Big Waves. For example, for the decarbonization wave, the EV traction motor system E-Axle, which supports the dissemination of EVs, will be the driving force, while HDD motors and cooling devices (vapor chambers, etc.) will play key roles in the waves of digital data explosion and 5G & thermal solutions. Further reduction of the size and weight of these strategic products will contribute significantly to improving the energy efficiency of the final products of our customers in which these components will be installed, and reducing the amounts of resources used in them.
Furthermore, we will formulate a roadmap to continuously launch new products in an effective manner and visualize the amount of social contribution of each product. Through these efforts, we will solidify the base of development that supports Nidec’s sustainable growth.
Protect and utilize intellectual properties
Nidec aims to contribute to businesses through the creation of intellectual added value, and endeavors to improve the value of its intellectual properties by establishing and reinforcing a professional IP organization and an internationally competitive IP portfolio. We believe that effective patents can be achieved through the integrated three-party system based on close collaboration among the business, R&D and intellectual property departments under a management policy of carefully cultivating individual invention ideas. To encourage the “work smart”, one of our Three Essential Attitudes, by engineers to create ideas and know-how for new technologies, Nidec has an awarding system to recognize efforts to develop inventions and contributions to business. At the same time, Nidec respects the intellectual property rights of other companies, receiving licenses or technologies from them as necessary or allowing them to use our intellectual property rights, thereby promoting multiple utilizations of intellectual properties.
At present, Nidec’s target consolidated net sales in FY2025 are 4 trillion yen. To achieve this target, we must enter new markets. To this end, our group companies are engaged in cross-departmental research and development activities in line with the new medium-term strategic goal Vision 2025, creating new technologies adapted to upcoming social and business changes, such as decarbonization, power saving and manpower saving. And to protect these technologies and maintain competitive advantages, we will develop an IP portfolio suited to our future businesses and advance the portfolio transformation by continuously evaluating the value of our intellectual properties. Based on this approach, we will set KPIs and conduct IP-related activities.