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CSV Strategy Aimed at Achieving SDGs

Promoting CSV Strategy

Fujikura Group Clean Tech

The Fujikura Group has thus far responded to the societal challenge of social infrastructure, and contributed to the development of, not just Japan, but countries and regions throughout the world. We see thinking about how to overcome the challenges facing the world through achieving the SDGs, as a great opportunity that will lead to sustainable growth for the Fujikura Group. And we are working to create shared value (CSV) by increasing social value while obtaining economic value through our core business. This time, we would like to share those initiatives related to Clean Tech, an area which has been gaining attention in recent years.

  • What is Clean Tech?
    Products, processes, or services which reduce the burden on the environment through significant improvements in energy efficiency, sustainable use of resources, or environmental conservation activities.

Fujikura Group Optical Fiber Cables which Underpin 5G Society

The demand for optical fiber cables has been growing worldwide as a variety of telecommunication services like 5G and IoT gain popularity. Fujikura has commercialized its Spider Web Ribbon®/Wrapping Tube Cable® (SWR®/WTC®), some of the world’s lightest and highest density optical fiber cables. This technology allows optical fiber networks to be built economically by effectively utilizing existing equipment. In FY2020, we responded to growing global demand for data centers by developing multi-core optical cable using slim optical fibers, and highly fire-resistant optical cable for indoor installation that meets the CPR European construction materials standard. In addition, we achieved practical application of 3,000-core optical fiber cables suited to Japan’s domestic telecommunication environment. It boasts the greatest number of cores of any cable in Japan—1.5 times more than existing cables. Going forward, we plan to develop a revolutionary optical fiber cables based on SWR®/WTC® technology, and contribute to the development of telecommunications networks in countries around the world.

Reducing the Environmental Impact of Production and Transport

SWR®/WTC® also helps to reduce environmental impacts by making possible lighter cables with smaller diameters, reducing production processes, and enabling the use of small-diameter drums.

Contributing to Decreased Total Cost of Ownership (TCO*) for Customers

Our cable distribution solutions business, centered around SWR®/WTC®, also contributes to reduced TCO for customers. Conventional telecommunications construction requires ducts and hand holes in order to support increased fiber capacity. So the cost of earthwork is a large percentage of expenses. However, the thin, lightweight nature of SWR®/WTC® means they can utilize existing equipment. So there is no need for additional earthwork, and customer expenses are significantly decreased.

Synergy with Peripheral Equipment

Cable distribution solutions centered around SWR®/WTC® help to meet client demands and reduce environmental impacts, thanks not only to the cables themselves, but through synergy with peripheral equipment.

Focus Management Resources on Optical Network Solution Business

We have determined that we should focus our management resources on the optical network solution business centered around SWR®/WTC®, and aimed at Europe and America. So, we have positioned this business as one of Fujikura’s core domains. We aim to expand business by creating further differentiated products that can continue to make a good impression on many customers.

Plant Relocation and Expansion, and New Production Lines at Overseas Production Base

Our UK group company, AFL Telecommunications Europe Ltd., has commenced operations at its relocated and expanded its optical cable plant, after installing new production lines. The new production lines manufacture Air Blown Wrapping Tube Cable™ (AB-WTC™)*. This contributes to the construction and development of FTTx and 5G networks in Europe and the UK. By starting local production, the Fujikura Group is able to deliver improved customer service to customers in Europe. It also enables us to further elevate our ability to consistently supply products by strengthening our supply chain. Beginning local production also helps to vitalize the local economy and create new jobs.

Pursuit of CSV

The Fujikura Group is pursuing CSV (Creating Shared Value) as a strategy for solving social issues and contributing to the achievement of SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) while also achieving profit growth for our group. CSV means providing higher value to society through a company’s core business and is defined as activities that provide economic value (earn a profit). The Fujikura Group has always engaged in business activities aimed at solving social issues in the past and we designated 2017 as the first year of CSV in the Fujikura Group as the year in which we began seriously thinking about CSV.

Initiative Aimed at Solving the Community Challenges of Local Governments

Partnership Agreement Concluded with Omachi City in Nagano Prefecture

Fujikura concluded a partnership agreement with the city of Omachi in Nagano Prefecture in October 2018. The goal of the agreement is to launch new services that use ICT and IoT to help improve services for city residents. We launched an initiative in equipping the community with such services while performing testing to verify the technology and the issues faced by the government. We are using open innovation to create a new business from the business of selling products.

Agreement signing ceremony

IoT Verification Testing Aimed at Improving Snow Plow Management Services

One example of verification testing we performed jointly with IoTBASE Inc. involved an initiative aimed at solving the issue of properly evaluating the cost of snow removal work using GPS*1 devices. This initiative began in January 2019.
The city of Omachi is in an area with heavy snowfall where the average snow depth exceeds 50 cm in February. Snow removal services in the winter imposed a heavy cost burden on the city. In addition to working on automatic calculation of operating time by ascertaining the location data on snow plows in real time, this verification testing was performed for the purpose of using the information to optimize snow plow movement plotting and increasing the speed of response to customers inquiries by ascertaining the work area.
This verification testing resulted in an inexpensive method of systematization of snow removal services and confirmed that the city government and subcontractors can expect it to improve estimation work and that residents can expect improved service.
We are aiming to create a product that provides location information solutions to local governments that can be used for snow removal work and other purposes, based on the verification testing performed by Fujikura and IoTBASE Inc.

Contributing to the Realization of a Low-Carbon Society Tthrough Lightweight Aluminum Harnesses for Electric Vehicles (EV)

Fujikura began mass production of EV aluminum harnesses to contribute to the realization of a low-carbon society through the development and manufacture of automotive products.
Market demand for lighter harnesses and reduction in circuit resistance is extremely high from the perspective of improving fuel economy (electricity consumption) in electric vehicles to the same extent as in vehicles with gasoline engines. The growth in the number of devices accompanying electrification is also reducing the space available for routing harnesses in vehicles even more, so the expectations for improving harnesses to make them easier to bend are also increasing.
This harness meets these needs so in addition to switching the cable conductor to aluminum from the conventional copper, we also working to solve the two problems of reduced flexibility accompanying the larger outer circumference of the cable and increased contact resistance from the oxide film on the aluminum surface that arose with the switch to aluminum. We are working to accomplish this by developing a new type of highly flexible thermoplastic elastomer insulation and ultrasonic bonding technology for bonding the aluminum conductor to the copper terminal to achieve improved flexibility compared to conventional annealed copper wire and reduced contact resistance.

Contributing to the Widespread Use of Compact Next-generation MRI Machines That Do Not Use Natural Resources (Liquid Helium) in the Medical Field

Fujikura has succeeded in mass production of rare earth high-temperature superconducting wire with the highest performance in the world, having a critical current density that exceeds 400A/mm2 in a low-temperature magnetic field by 1.5 times that of conventional technology (existing Fujikura technology). We have also begun sales. Superconducting technology is used in MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) machines in the medical field and in lifting equipment for furnaces used to grow silicon crystals in the semiconductor industry, among other uses.
Fujikura has been developing rare earth high-temperature superconducting wire for application in MRI machines since the joint development project with NEDO (New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization) from FY2016 to FY2018. We have already succeeded in obtaining images with a compact MRI machine using high-temperature superconducting wire and have now reached the level of a compact next-generation MRI machine that achieves critical current density of 400A/mm2 in a magnetic field without using natural resources (liquid helium).
Fujikura plans to expand the high-temperature superconductor business by providing rare earth high-temperature superconducting wire and coil products that can meet the greater future growth in demand.

Exterior view of rare earth high-temperature superconducting wire

Exterior view of rare earth
high-temperature superconducting wire
(wire product with a width of 4mm)

Product Comparison of Critical Current Density in a Magnetic Field