What is factor4?

”factor4" was suggested by Amory B. Robbins colleagues in 1995.
factor4 is an ideology that studies the amount of wealth and service which can be produced from a certain amount of resource. It aims to increase the “productivity of resources” by four times by doubling existing wealth while halving resource use.

We shares the sentiment of this idea and undertakes the mission to “achieve factor4 in molding factories” by forming a partnership with plastics molding factories. Our job does not stop with research and development of auxiliary equipment. We would also diagnose factories to give a proposal that fits customers' situations. Furthermore, we provide the support to eliminate resource wastage, and increase added value and productivity in order to raise resource productivity.

Our management philosophy is “MATSUI in search of rapport”. We hope to strike a balance between our environment and the wealth of our customers. Besides achieving “rapport” with our users, we also hope to build a relationship of “rapport” with our environment.

What is Matsui aiming for?

We deeply agree with the idea of factor 4 to double wealth and halve resource use. We hope to fulfill the following mission in molding factories with our customers.

factor4 for molding factory

The main problems of molding factories are ‘Wastage of Energy’, ‘Wastage of Resins’ and ‘Wastage of Water’. To eliminate such wastage, on top of R&D of machinery to enhance productivity, Matsui would also diagnose factories to give a proposal on how to increase productivity. Our job does not stop at manufacturing and selling auxiliary equipment. We would also like to enhance resource productivity in molding factories as one of our main responsibilities. We hope to maintain a balance between our environment and the wealth of our users. Besides achieving ‘rapport’ with our users, we also hope to build a relationship of ‘rapport’ with our environment.

Column "Aiming for factor4 in molding factories"

What is factor4?

Double wealth and half resource use!

"factor4" is to double the affluence in the world and halve the consumption of resources by quadrupling the productivity of resources (how many goods and services can be produced from a certain amount of resources). I'm thinking of trying. This is the idea proposed by Amory B. Robins and others in 1995 as a formal report to the Club of Rome * 1.

The Club of Rome argued in the "First Earth Revolution" (1992) that "without doubling the affluence of the world, we cannot overcome global poverty and global political tensions." .. On the other hand, in "The Limits of Growth" (1972), it is reported that "unless the consumption of natural resources is halved, the ecological equilibrium cannot be restored and the survival base of humankind cannot be secured for a long period of time." It was done.

In response to this, the report "factor4" compiled by Amory B. Robins et al. Makes the following allegations.

In order for the whole world to overcome poverty and maintain a balance between affluence and the global environment, it is necessary to at least quadruple resource productivity (factor4 4). Conversely, if resource productivity can be quadrupled, it will provide a basis for humankind to maintain a balance between affluence and the environment over the long term. Quadruple resource productivity is already technically possible in many areas and is economically sufficient.

Then, in the report, 50 actual cases where factor4 was realized are taken up, and it is explained that factor4 is feasible in various fields and economically feasible.

Note) * 1 Club of Rome

A private sector consisting of 100 scientists, business people, educators, academic experts in various fields, etc., established to deal with global problems such as resources, population, armament expansion, economy, and environmental destruction. think tank.

How much are we wasting resources?

Waste 99% as a matter of course!

The fact that there are so many things that can quadruple resource productivity means that, conversely, our resource productivity is so low now. It means that at least 75% or more of the resources are wasted.

Are we really wasting resources so much? You might think that you wouldn't waste that much.

Now, I would like to give an example here.

Let's take a look at the car, the cutting-edge vehicle of mankind that has revolutionized our lives today.

For the sake of clarity, let's say you drive a car alone with 100 liters of gasoline. 80% (80 liters) of the energy of the gasoline is the heat generated by the engine and the heat of the exhaust gas. In other words, the energy used to Rotation the wheels is at most 20% (20 liters). A person weighs about 5% of the total weight of a car. Therefore, 95% (19 liters) of the energy used to Rotation the wheels is used to move the car body itself. This means that only 5% of 20 liters, or 1 liter, is really consumed for the driver's own movement.

So, roughly speaking, even cars, which are supposed to be the world's most advanced technology aggregates, waste 99 liters of 100 liters of fuel. If 99 liters of waste is reduced to about 96 liters of waste (which is still a huge waste), resource productivity can be quadrupled.

Anyway, it seems that we are not only in this example, but also unknowingly wasting a tremendous amount of resources.

Are molding factory wasting so much resources?

The heat in the molding factory is a symbol of the waste of resources!

In most molding factory, improvement activities are carried out every day to improve efficiency, and waste is thoroughly eliminated. Is there still so much waste in such a molding factory?

For example, consider the ultimate absolute energy requirement for a resin injection molding process. In fact, isn't it really the minimum requirement that "energy to heat the resin at room temperature to the melting temperature" and "energy to inject the molten resin into the mold"? Other than that, it's essentially extra energy in some way. However, if the heat generated when the molten resin is solidified is released outdoors through a Medium such as water, energy for circulating the water and energy for cooling the water again are required separately.

However, in reality, in most cases, many times more energy is wasted than these minimum required energies.

This is symbolized by the fact that the molding factory is considered "hot, it's only natural that it's hot." If the site of the molding factory is hot, it means that that much energy is being wasted.

The spool runner that comes out during molding requires extra energy to melt again, even if it is subsequently used for recycling. If it is not used for recycling, it will be even more wasteful.

You may also see water vapor evaporating from the cooling tower even when it is relatively cold, such as in winter, which also symbolizes tremendous waste. In winter, the water can be cooled without having to do that. There are also places where chillers are used to make colder water than necessary and then heat it according to the conditions in which it is used.

Even at a site like a molding factory that strives to thoroughly eliminate waste, isn't it still a mass of waste from the perspective of resource productivity?

In other words, until now, when it comes to improving factory efficiency, we have mainly aimed to improve labor productivity (how to increase production with a small number of people). However, from now on, I think that the time has come when we must aim not only for that, but perhaps even more for improving resource productivity (how to increase production with less resources).