Environment – Building Systems Group
Business Overview and Environmental Issues for Which Risks and Opportunities Have Been Recognized and Evaluated
Delivering Safe, Secure, and Convenient Products and Solutions That Enhance the Value and Functions of Entire Buildings
The Building Systems Group provides building management systems including everything from elevators and escalators to access control, building management, and surveillance cameras to public and private building owners in over 90 countries. As these are essential components of social infrastructure, it is necessary to deliver and sustain products and services that are safe, secure, and convenient. To this end, we provide full support ranging from initial sales to maintenance services and renewal, as well as new solutions that further enhance the value and functions of entire buildings. As part of this, we are aggressively expanding the sales of energy-efficient, compact, and lightweight elevators and escalators, as well as building management system products that realize attainable energy savings according to building usage conditions by monitoring and controlling the energy usage conditions of building facilities. Doing this will help to reduce CO2 emissions throughout society and enable us to contribute to reducing environmental impact.
Counting the Inazawa Works, the Building Systems Group has manufacturing bases in 11 countries around the world including Thailand and China. Inazawa Works serves as the mother plant developing and manufacturing elevator and escalator components such as traction machines, device components, and control equipment. Environmental initiatives such as reducing CO2 from production, switching over to lead-free solder, and eliminating the use of wood in packaging materials by adopting returnable containers are being expanded from the Inazawa Works to other manufacturing companies as we promote reducing environmental impact globally.
Environmental Issues for Which Risks and Opportunities Have Been Recognized and Evaluated
- Waste reduction and management
- Climate change
- Proper management of chemical substances in design and manufacturing
Message from Building Systems Group
Actively Proposing Building Solutions That Reduce Energy Consumption and Lessen Environmental Impact by Deepening the Coordination among Elevators and Escalators, Building Management Systems and Building Management Services
The Building Systems Group is in charge of manufacturing building systems and the elevators and escalators that provide vertical transportation. We contribute to the creation of a society with more vitality and comfort, proactively carrying out business while placing a priority on user safety and security throughout the product lifecycle, as well as being involved in activities to protect the environment.
This business group develops products with high energy- and resources-saving performance, continues to manufacture products that are becoming ever smaller and lighter, and has introduced some of the latest energy-conscious technologies. In the manufacture of all our products we give due consideration to reducing environmental impact, including emitting less CO2, using fewer hazardous metals and chemical substances, and promoting recycling. When existing facilities are upgraded, we attempt to reduce the volume of waste by using existing equipment where possible, as well as reducing power consumption.
Furthermore, we provide a total building solution that links the equipment inside the building, such as energy management, security and crime prevention systems, elevators and escalators and air conditioning and lighting to achieve improvements in energy conservation, comfort, convenience and efficiency, which also complies with the ZEB* basic energy policy of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.
- ZEB (Zero Energy Building): A building with zero net energy consumption on an annual basis.
Initiatives Contributing to the Environment and Society
The Building Systems Group is contributing to society by providing smaller and lighter elevators and escalators, and building systems that offer higher energy- and resources-saving performance while using fewer hazardous substances. We are also pressing forward to realize even more effective use of resources and greater energy savings through the renewal of existing facilities to make them more efficient.
High-Speed Elevators – NEXCUBE (for Japan) and NexWay (for Overseas)
Compared to other models, high-speed elevators require a large-capacity traction machine with high power consumption. To counter this, through application of its original stator core technology, Mitsubishi Electric has successively introduced traction machines that are more energy efficient, more compact, and lighter than conventional models. For the control devices, we use full-SiC (silicon carbide) in the production of our world-leading power semiconductor modules. Compared to our previous products, power loss is reduced by approximately 65%, and volume is reduced by 40% as a result of restricting heat discharge. Further energy savings (up to 10%) can be achieved by employing an energy-saving elevator group control system that controls the allocation of multiple elevator cars.
AXIEZ Series – Standardized Elevators for the Japan Market
AXIEZ Series elevators greatly reduce power consumption and achieve energy savings of up to 20% compared to conventional models. They accomplish this by using a gearless traction machine equipped with a permanent magnet motor, LED ceiling lighting inside the car, reduced standby power when the elevator is not in operation, and having an optimized balance between the car and counterweight. Further reductions in power consumption can be achieved by using a converter system that stores and uses electricity generated during braking. Furthermore, we have added a large-capacity elevator to the lineup. With a capacity of 17 to 26 passengers, it is ideal for applications where traffic flow is high such as large office buildings, commercial facilities, and hospitals. Compared to conventional models, this model has a more compact traction machine, and elevator car, counterweight, and hoistway structural parts are all lighter.
NEXIEZ Series – Standardized Elevators for International Markets
The NEXIEZ Series, a line of standardized elevators for international markets manufactured in Thailand by Mitsubishi Elevator Asia Co., Ltd., also uses a gearless traction machine equipped with a permanent magnet motor. This results in a more compact, lightweight design and a 20% reduction in power consumption compared to conventional models. Further reductions in power consumption can be achieved by using LED interior lighting and a converter system that stores and uses electricity generated during braking. For Central and South America and India, we have introduced strategic models for each region, and are promoting local production and local procurement as we aim to disseminate our highly energy-efficient products. In August 2016, we launched our NEXIEZ-S Series elevators with a capacity of 4 to 6 passengers, for use in low-rise housing and offices. Even more weight reduction was achieved by the simplification of the structure around the cage, and the reduction in the number of parts by part integration.
Elevator Renewal Menu "Elemotion+"
To maintain the safety, security and comfort of elevators, renewal at appropriate times* is essential. The Elemotion+ menu facilitates the renewal of existing rope-type elevators to the latest model equipped with an inverter-controlled system and a gearless traction machine equipped with a permanent magnet motor. This provides safe, secure, smooth and comfortable rides, as well as a reduction in power consumption of up to 60%. Further energy savings are possible by incorporating LED lamps for the ceiling lighting of the elevator cars. Moreover, Elemotion+ offers a variety of replacement equipment, enabling the customer to make decisions based on budget and preferred installation time, and also contributing to reducing the volume of waste. In December 2016 we launched our new product Elemotion+ [ZERO], for zero days of stoppage during renewal work. We are promoting elevator renewals by making it easy for customers to plan renewal work.
- Mitsubishi Electric regards 25 years after completion of a building as an indication for renewal.
We have developed technology for reducing energy consumption while maintaining convenience, so in addition to an automatic operation function that stops the escalator or runs at low speed when there are no passengers, operating speed varies depending on the traffic conditions.
Our S Series escalators also employ a motor that meets the requirements of the Top Runner system established by the Law Concerning the Rational Use of Energy (Energy Conservation Act) as well as a control system that improves motor efficiency under light loads, a regenerative converter to effectively utilize regenerated power, and LED lighting*1. This leads to further reduction in electricity consumption, and the system achieves energy saving of approximately 35%*2.
- All lighting specifications are options.
- Compared to existing product. For SAL model with a step width of 1,000mm, step height of 5,000mm, 100 passengers per hour, and wait time of between 20 to 30 minutes.
Facima Building Automation System
Facima is a building automation system for monitoring and controlling building facilities such as air conditioning, lighting, and access status. The system optimizes demand control by monitoring peak energy demand and stopping the operation of air-conditioning/lighting facilities as required based on a priority order set by the building manager in advance. Facima also automatically controls building facilities according to tenant business hours and holidays, which assists in achieving reductions in power consumption while considering user comfort and convenience. Additionally, Facima collects and analyzes data on the operation of building facilities, visualizes energy use conditions, and proposes energy-saving and cost-reducing options for the entire building.
Initiatives for Reducing Environmental Impact
Rolling out Initiatives from the Mother Factory to Overseas Manufacturing Companies
The Building Systems Group manufactures elevators and escalators at manufacturing companies in 11 countries worldwide, including Japan, Thailand, and China. At the Inazawa Works, the mother factory in Japan, there is a particular aim to improve the energy efficiency of machinery used in processes that consume large amounts of power, such as the production equipment for machining and painting. In the future, as local manufacturing for local consumption increases and the production ratio of our overseas manufacturing companies grows, we will proactively introduce the following initiatives and other measures to overseas manufacturing companies with the aim of reducing environmental impact at the global level.
Promoting Production Equipment Energy Savings and Lower VOC EmissionsClimate changeProper management of chemical substances in design and manufacturing
A wide range of processes are involved in the production of elevators and escalators. One of the processes requiring high power consumption is machining. However, by updating to the latest processing equipment and shortening the processing time, higher productivity has been achieved and power consumption reduced. In painting processes, large amounts of heat energy are used both during the preparation process (parts cleaning) and drying process. With this in mind, the temperature and quality of the processing liquid were reviewed and the temperature was lowered, resulting in a reduction in power consumption. We have also installed a volatile organic compound (VOC) removal device in the painting line to reduce VOCs emitted during the drying process. Additionally, we visualize factory air usage (flow meter at factory entrance) as part of our activities to reduce power consumption from compressor usage.
Introducing Renewable EnergiesClimate changeAir, water and soil pollution due to operations and procurement
Additional photovoltaic module panels were installed at our newly built Training Center (SOLAE Place) and other facilities, bringing the total number installed to 1,613. Their combined output is 383kW and the electricity generated is used to power equipment and air-conditioning inside the factory. Additionally, for all group company buildings constructed in the future, we will promote the utilization of photovoltaic modules and environmentally friendly products (such as LED lighting, water-saving toilets, and recycled materials).
Upgrading Aging Facilities and Introducing LED LightingClimate change
We have updated aging boilers, compressors, transformers, and air conditioners to more efficient equipment, and are switching to the use of LED lighting when replacing lighting equipment, thereby achieving greater energy savings.
Promoting Materials RecyclingClimate changeWaste reduction and management
We are collecting and sorting waste plastic for recycling purposes. To further promote this initiative, we began collecting and sorting electronic component reels, plastic bands, and plastic containers in April 2011. This has enabled us to recycle one ton of materials every month.
Reducing Wooden Packaging Materials and Number of TrucksClimate changeAir, water and soil pollution due to operations and procurementWaste reduction and management
To comply with the increasing demand for zero emissions from construction sites in Japan, we are promoting the use of returnable containers for appearance parts (jamb, elevator car) of not only standard elevators and custom-order elevators, but also the "Elemotion+" renewal model, for which future demand is expected to rise. In this way, we are aiming to eliminate the use of wooden packaging materials and reduce the number of trucks used.
Lead-Free Printed Circuit BoardsClimate changeProper management of chemical substances in design and manufacturing
We are engaged in initiatives to reduce the use of lead in compliance with regulations being enacted around the world, including Europe’s RoHS directive. Elevators are not currently subject to the RoHS directive, but as a voluntary measure, we are steadily changing from eutectic to lead-free solder in the manufacturing of printed circuit boards.