Hitachi Metals Announces New Amorphous Alloy Production Facilities Established in Japan

Hitachi Metals, Ltd. has announced the establishment of new amorphous alloy production facilities in Japan. Facilities are in addition to its existing U.S. production site and reinforce Hitachi Metals’ global supply structure.

As the issue of greenhouse gas emissions is addressed globally, amorphous alloys are capturing attention worldwide for their ability to contribute to energy conservation and reduce carbon dioxide emissions. As a result, the demand for amorphous alloys has been rapidly increasing, especially in Asia.

Hitachi Metals is enhancing its production facilities both in Japan and the United States to respond to this demand increase while contributing to environmental conservation.

In addition to Europe, the U.S and Japan, many Asian regions are achieving rapid economic growth. Unfortunately, a tandem increase in CO2 emissions has accompanied this development of industrial systems. Consequently, rising levels of atmospheric CO2 have heightened global warming concerns.

Global measures to restrict CO2 emissionsin line with prescribed international standards and targets, such as those outlined in the Kyoto Protocol Treaty to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, have created the need to develop environmentally conscious technology and products.

Movements Within Japan
In an effort to achieve the numerical targets outlined in the Kyoto Protocol Treaty, the Top Runner Program was introduced in Japan. Within this program, transformers have been identified as one of key energy conservation product categories. Transformers with cores made of amorphous alloys (hereafter “amorphous transformers”) have more than met Top Runner Program standards. Accordingly, a rise in the future demand for amorphous alloys is expected.

Global Movements
In India, where electric power infrastructure developments continue, these energy-saving transformers have already achieved high adoption rates; accordingly, growth in demand for amorphous alloys persists. In China, robust economic development is also driving rapid infrastructure expansion. As a result, signs of the use of more efficient, cutting-edge energy-saving transformers are emerging. Advanced economic nations are also aware of the growing necessity of further energy conservation. Given these circumstances, demand for amorphous alloys is expected to rise globally.

Transformers and Amorphous Alloys
Electricity is distributed from power plants to factories, buildings, houses and other locations via substations.In this distribution process, electricity is consumed in pole-mounted distribution transformers and industrial distribution transformers even while the power is not used.This electricity consumption is called standby electricity.In terms of electrical energy conservation, a reduction of standby electricity has become a substantial factor to reduce overall energy consumption.

Electricity consumption in a transformer is largely influenced by the characteristics of its core, a transformer’s main component. When amorphous alloy, which is one of soft magnetic materials, is used to make cores, standby electricity is significantly reduced, thereby contributing to energy conservation.

As a result, increasing demand for amorphous transformers is expected around the world, and thus an expansion in demand for amorphous alloys as energy-efficient core materials is also expected. Hitachi Metals, therefore, decided to establish a new production facility in Japan, in addition to its facility in Metglas, Inc., the U.S production site, to expand the production capacity.Establishing a production site in close proximity to Asia will meet the forecast of rapid increase in demand.

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