Happy New Year, everyone.
I hope you had a good holiday season.
On New Year's Day, there was a light dusting of snow outside my house, so I took a short walk around the neighborhood.
On January 2nd, there was no snowfall, so I went for an early morning walk in a nearby park.
The temperature was -2 degrees Celsius, but walking at pace warmed me up, and I felt refreshed and thought about how this year should be.
The new year has begun, but the new coronavirus infection is still unpredictable, as the number of infected people seems to be gradually increasing, partly due to the spread of the Omicron strain.
We had hoped to make last year a year of reversal of our business trend, but it was a difficult year as things did not go as planned.
Due to the effects of the new coronavirus pandemic, the production volume of automobiles was significantly lower than originally planned due to the shortage of various parts, including semiconductors.
In addition, the price of raw materials, especially steel, soared, leading to pressure on profits.
On the other hand, once the shortage of semiconductors and other problems are solved, full-scale recovery production will begin, therefore our group has been stepping up the effort of hiring of employees.
Once again, let's make this year a year of reversal offensive by steadily carrying out our respective tasks while taking measures thoroughly against infection so that we can meet the needs of our customers.
In spite of the severe environment, there was some good news.
First, as mentioned above, while the Automotive Products Division struggled due to the harsh external environment, the General Industrial Products Division did very well and we could make business profit black in the consolidated results for the first half.
Actually, we did not expect to achieve such a result in our initial plan for the year, therefore, we were able to feel the underlying strength of our group.
Secondly, the thin-film high heat insulating material " Finesulight ", which we started to develop for use in electric vehicles (EVs), was adopted not only for heat insulation in food delivery boxes, but also in fixed temperature transport boxes for Corona Vaccines.
Also, at a company that manufactures aluminum die castings, we asked them to attach “Finesulight” to the periphery of the holding furnace, and the results showed that the heat emitted from the furnace was reduced while the temperature around the furnace was lowered.
In addition to improving the working environment, this led to energy savings, and we found out that it contributes to carbon neutrality, therefore we are now considering its wider deployment.
The third is a fraility check using our SR sensor, which was developed in Komaki City, where our head office and manufacturing plant are located, based on the results of a demonstration experiment conducted in Itoshima City, Fukuoka Prefecture, together with Kyushu University.
The program aims at the early detection of "frailty," a state of weakness before falling into the state of needing nursing care, and through this frailty check, citizens can check and grasp their numerical values and work toward improvement, thereby contributing to the maintenance of health.
I also participated in this activity and could directly hear the voices of appreciation from the people who actually took their measurements, which made me very happy.
I think it is also worth mentioning that the management of this activity is carried out with the participation of our group's alumni.
I feel that the daily activities of our employees bore fruit and led to this happy news.
We would like to continue to contribute to society through our business activities so that we can be called "An indispensable part of society, the Sumitomo Riko Group”.
Policy for this year
In order to prevent the spread of infection, we have decided not to have everyone gather together to listen to the New Year's greeting this year.
For details, please refer to the January issue of our in-house newsletter "Mitsukumi".
You can also read it in the web-based company newsletter "Mitsukumi 2 "
This year's slogan is the same as last year, "Creating a corporate culture that responds flexibly to change without being bound by past concepts”.
Let's not be satisfied with business as usual, but continue to make improvements to keep up with the times.
This year also, let's continue to do our best in our daily work with the spirit of "Banji-nissei" while adhering to S.E.C.Q. (safety, environment, compliance, quality) and faithfully following the principles of "Shinyo-kakujitsu" and "Fusu-furi”.