14 Cement Innovations from Japan! “The Samurai Company” by LUIS FUENTES
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What country comes to you mind when you say Cement Technology Innovation?Possibly not Japan, because for the majority of the people it has been seen as a worldwide leader in electronic and car industries but few persons know that from 1950 Japan has developed important discoveries and technology in the cement industry! Specifically one company has been the leader in Cement Japanese Technology: Onoda Cement (actual Taiheiyo Cement). In this article I will show:
14 Innovations that revolutionized the cement world and possible you do not know born in Japan at Onoda Cement Company!
First I will give you some data about the Cement Industry history in Japan:
1870.- 1st. cement imported from France, for the piers construction at Yokusaka Port
1873.- The Construction Bureau built the 1st. cement Plant at Fukagawa Tokyo.
1875.- Portland cement is manufactured for 1st. time, the same year that USA.
1881.- Junpachi Kasai founded Onoda Cement the 1st. privately owned cement company at Yamaguchi Prefecture.
1882.- Onoda Cement purchased the government’s pilot plant at Onoda.
Junpachi Kasai an ex-samurai warrior, led a group of samurais who pooled their pensions to capitalize the new company.
During the presidency of Kasai’s son. Shinzo Kasai, 1900-1930, Onoda became the largest cement company in Japan.
Transportation is crucial to profitability in the cement industry because cement is a high bulk low value good. Manufacturers maximize revenues by placing plants near either the final market or a water transportation facility, since water transport is the cheapest mode of bulk carriage. Onoda solely produced cement; it did not have its own sales and distribution network.
This it allows the company focus in the production and innovation.
The first innovation was to establish a joint stock company capitalized by the samurai to serve as the borrower of funds. Investors received shares for its hereditary pension bonds bearing 7% interest.
In the organization of the company Kasai recruited lower class samurais, just like himself, to create a business of, by, and for the samurais.
Kasai’s second innovation was the company did not accept investments in cash; only in the form of national bonds. The investing samurai retained ownership of the bonds. They were simply used as security to borrow the funds and raise capital. In other words the 7% interest paid by the bonds remained as income for the shareholders.
Onoda Cement was indeed a “Samurai company” established with all the pride and spirit of Japan’s warriors.
Tokyo University of Science (former Tokyo Physics Training Institute) and Onoda Cement Company born in 1881.
Mr. Kasai Junpachi was committed to employee education, and founded the Onoda Night Society (later known as Onoda Technical High School).
In 1987 in response to strong request from Onoda City Government to train advanced engineers and scientist open the Tokyo University of Science Yamaguchi Jr. College.
In 2016, starts the Yamaguchi Tokyo University of Science.
In the 60’s, the Suspension Preheater (SP) kiln process was introduced in Japan for Germany companies. Although the SP has good thermal efficiency, soon the industry pushed to reduce more the energy. Then, several cement Japanese companies took the challenge and the New SP (NSP) system equipped with a pre-calciner was developed. More than 90% of raw materials are calcined at the kiln inlet with the NSP system. While with SP system, it was only 20-30%. This reduces heat energy consumption in the rotary kiln for clinker production to approx. 40-50%.
One of the Taiheiyo (former Onoda) main innovations is the Reinforced Suspension Preheater (RSP), an advanced cement process that significantly reduces the amount of energy used, and it has been adopted in many countries and companies. This system is based in a Swirl calciner and Mixing chamber into conventional SP (Suspension Preheater) system.
The O-SEPA separator is an air separation system with a wide world presence. The system developed at the end of the 70’s, reduce the power consumption and improve the particle size distribution.
The success NSP stimulated Japanese engineers to innovate further. The O-SEPA separator, the OK Mill, and the vertical Pre-Grinding are among their inventions since 80’s.
In 1984 the OK Mill was developed by Onoda cement and Kobe Steel. In 1993 this technology continue developing by FLSmidth.
Yoshio Ono developed the method that take his name as part of his research for the doctoral degree at the University of Tokyo under the auspices of Onoda Cementcompany during the early 50’s.
This revolutionary method allow us interpreting the kiln conditions and predict the cement strength, for that reason has been adopted as a “standard practice” in many cement companies around the world.
The Applied Kiln (AK) System uses a waste recycling kiln to biodegrade (ferment) waste from homes and general business waste so that it can be recycled for use as a raw material in ordinary Portland cement.
Pre-grinding system with CKPvertical mill is applied for increasing capacity and reducing power consumption of existing ball mill grinding system.
The Taiheiyo chlorine bypass system is a unique technology that eliminates chlorine contained in raw materials and fuels, which is a main cause of coating trouble at kiln preheater system and allows run the kiln efficiently.
In 2015, Taiheiyo succeeded in develop a new cement that reached the world highest compressive strength, using normal pouring and forming techniques.
The cement achieved a world record 464 N/mm2 with normal pouring into a form vessel.
The shrimp farming is getting attention as future solution for the food crisis, due to its high feed conversion efficiency rate. However the accumulation of shrimp waste degrades the quality of water producing a reduction of the production.
Taiheiyo developed Ceraclean a water stabilizer for use in aquaculture, that consists of calcium silicate hydrate with several pores, that clean the water stimulating the action of plankton.
Onoda city has a very unique tour for the main industry attractions which the center of this is the former Onoda Cement Company, you could see; the old bottle kiln, the cement quarry, a park with equipment used to manufacture the barrels used to transport cement, as well the cement company offices, the statue of the Onoda cement founder, museum donated by Onoda company, and several more points.
Something really so uncommon is the confectionery created in Onoda city with more than 90 years of tradition in which make sweets shaped as cement barrels!!
And other uncommon is the yearly event Sumiyoshi Festival, in which the old and new generations joint to remember the founder of the Onoda cement and all the benefits that it brings to the city.
I am sure the you did not know at least one or two of the innovations presented in this travel to Japan cement industry. I hope you enjoyed this article!
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