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  4. OMRON Receives METI Minister's Prize in Energy Conservation Grand Prix Program - Promoting an eco-conscious initiative for plant diagnostics and optimization through the Andon environmental information system -

OMRON Receives METI Minister's Prize in Energy Conservation Grand Prix Program
- Promoting an eco-conscious initiative for plant diagnostics and optimization through the Andon environmental information system -

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  • January 25, 2013

Kyoto, Japan - OMRON Corporation has received the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Prize (METI Minister's Prize) in the Energy-saving Activities Category of the 2012 Energy Conservation Grand Prix program. This award program was hosted by the Energy Conservation Center, Japan (ECCJ) and supported by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. OMRON was awarded this highest honor for the environmentally-responsible initiative implemented at its Ayabe Plant in Kyoto. The initiative employed the Andon system to conduct diagnoses used to optimize the plant's power usage and other production-related variables.

In October of 2010, the Ayabe Plant launched an initiative to further enhance energy-saving efforts at its production site. Through this initiative to maximize energy efficiency, the Ayabe Plant aimed to cut energy usage in specified areas to half the existing level by the end of fiscal 2013. The ultimate goal is to become the "No. 1 eco-factory in the industry." To this end, the Ayabe Plant has installed a variety of sensors and its own Andon diagnostic system for power usage. This enabled real-time monitoring and diagnoses of events for which no improvements had been possible up till then due to time-consuming examination and analysis processes. This in turn helped facility management staff (suppliers of energy) and factory operators (users of energy) to work collaboratively to promote energy conservation.

As a result of these efforts, the Ayabe Plant was able to reduce power consumed by clean rooms (which require a large amount of electricity) by 50%. At the same time, the amount of air-borne dust was reduced by two-thirds. This is one example of 27 documented improvements that the plant had achieved by June 2012 by cutting power usage while maintaining or enhancing productivity and product quality. As of today, the number of documented improvements has increased to 34.

The Ayabe Plant has been continuously implementing new energy-saving activities in order to increase the number of improvement cases to 50, aiming to attain its initial goal of halving power usage by the end of fiscal 2013. The plant is also active in sharing its improvement efforts by arranging factory inspection tours and holding seminars for manufacturers at home and abroad.

This honor was awarded based on the recognition of a series of initiative implemented at the Ayabe Plant.

OMRON will continue concentrating on eco-conscious initiatives aimed at optimizing energy usage. By leveraging its accumulated in-house expertise and technology, including the Andon system, OMRON is also working to commercialize devices designed for supporting energy conservation and solving environmental issues. OMRON will also help manufacturers and various other customers worldwide to use energy more efficiently, by sharing the know-how that the company has built through its in-house eco-friendly initiatives. By doing so, OMRON hopes to play its part in supporting the manufacturers of the future.

Ayabe Plant staff checking environmental information shown on the Andon system
Ayabe Plant staff checking environmental information shown on the Andon system

About the Energy Conservation Grand Prix

This award program recognizes exemplary energy-saving activities promoted by companies, local governments, educational institutions, and other facilities and advanced energy-efficient products/services resulting from the development of new technologies. In the Energy-saving Activities Category, prize winners are selected by screening business operators who promote energy conservation in factories, offices, etc. based on four major evaluation criteria: (1) innovation and originality; (2) energy efficiency; (3) versatility and influence; and (4) continual improvement.

About the OMRON Andon Environmental Information System

Unlike a conventional system designed to make power consumption visible for energy conservation managers and experts, OMRON's Andon environmental information system is capable of providing diagnostics for power usage conditions. Originally developed by the Ayabe Plant, the Andon system facilitates communication among all production-related staff members regarding energy conservation and environmental improvement.

At the Ayabe Plant, several Andon systems are installed on the factory floor to constantly monitor a variety of sensor-detected information relating to production, such as power usage, temperature/humidity, air flow, and dust particle count, along with production data. By keeping track of various information items and past records together, the Ayabe Plant has promoted efforts to improve energy efficiency in its production process.

About OMRON

Headquartered in Kyoto, Japan, OMRON Corporation is a global leader in the field of automation. Established in 1933, Omron has more than 37,000 employees in over 35 countries working to provide products and services to customers in a variety of fields including industrial automation, electronic components, social systems, healthcare, and the environment. The company has regional head offices in Singapore (Asia Pacific), Beijing (Greater China), Amsterdam (Europe, Africa, and the Middle East), Chicago (the Americas), Gurgaon (India), and Sao Paulo (Brazil). For more information, visit OMRON's website: http://www.omron.com/

Media Inquires
Arlo Cook,
Corporate Communications Department,
OMRON Corporation
Tel: +81-3-6718-3430

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