TOKYO—The silicone division of Shin-Etsu Chemical Co. is investing $181 million in upgrading its production facility in Gunma Complex to add capacity and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
As part of the project, the company has earmarked $90 million to strengthen production capacity for "environmentally friendly" products, including modified silicone fluids, silicone rubber for molding and heat-dissipation thermal interface silicone materials.
These include the recently developed millable molding silicone rubber that does not require post-cure in its manufacturing process, Shin-Etsu announced July 1.
According to the company, the product cuts processing time by 90 percent compared to conventional products available on the market.
In addition, the company is increasing production of "low-density" silicone rubbers which can enable lighter-weight rubber molded products for applications such as aerospace, wearable devices and cars.
The two materials, Shin-Etsu said, have been developed and are promoted as part of the company's carbon neutrality pledge, which covers both manufacturing process and environmentally friendly products.
Furthermore, the upgrade at Gunma—the silicone division's main manufacturing plant—will aim to increase the use of electric power at the facility.
The move, said Shin-Etsu, will reduce the plant's greenhouse gas emission volume by 14 percent compared to the current levels.