Contribute to society through filtration business


Atsuhiko Yamazaki, Representative Director / President


The hydraulic filters used in construction machinery and the air filters used in buildings and other structures are rarely seen by people. Behind the scenes, however, these are indispensable elements that support the development of society and comfortable lifestyles. YAMASHIN-FILTER commands the highest market share (70% in Japan, 50% overseas*) for hydraulic filters for construction machinery. We have supported customers all over the world through improved performance and the stable supply of products. We’re now standing at the gateway to contributing to reducing impacts on the global environment through further refining our technologies, and to delivering ever greater value to society through entry into new domains.
*Domestic: Survey by Yano Research Institute, Ltd. Overseas: Estimated based on our internal data


Our Commitment to Filter Media

At the core of our filters are filter media that capture various types of dust. Through in-house development, production, and sales of filter media, we have provided customers with products featuring a variety of performance characteristics. Even among manufacturers who specialize in filters, few in the world are able to carry out end-to-end production spanning upstream and downstream processes. We are proud of our uniqueness and strength in this regard.
Glass fibers are currently used worldwide as mainstream filter media in hydraulic filters for construction machinery. In the early years, there were no glass fiber filters that precisely suited our customer’s needs. We have therefore pioneered the in-house development of glass fiber media for our filter products tailored to customers’ needs. Many filter manufacturers buy these filter media for their own products. By reducing the mesh size to one-tenth that of the paper meshes conventionally used and by reducing the resistance to fluid passage, we met the conflicting demands for capturing finer dust in greater amounts while using less suction force. These filter products were expensive early in its development, and customers were difficult to find. Following the oil crisis, however, construction machinery manufacturers increased pressure for efficiency of equipment, and adoption of the filter medium quickly expanded. In addition to aiding energy conservation in construction machinery, this has also contributed to solving social issues by, for example, reducing waste through longer filter life.
In 2017, we succeeded in developing and mass-producing the YAMASHIN NANO FILTER®, a new material that achieves a mesh less than one-tenth the size of glass fiber mesh. This improves performance as a filter while significantly reducing the impact on the environment by tripling the amount of dust trapped and the product life until replacement.


Pioneering the Next Generation: YAMASHIN NANO FILTER®

The features of YAMASHIN NANO FILTER® go beyond removing fine dust. With its sound absorption, heat insulation, and flame retardant characteristics, the product can address applications and functions unmet by conventional filters, making it a viable means of addressing social problems. The filter medium shows promise for use in many fields, including non-woven masks already commercialized as products and as a substitute for feathers in apparel batting, as well as in soundproofing and heat-insulating material for automobiles and houses, heat-insulating sheets for use in agriculture, and high-performance air filters in areas with serious air pollution. As a comprehensive filter manufacturer, we are making use of this new filter medium as a springboard for effecting a paradigm shift into a company that contributes widely to society in the fields of the environment, air quality, and health.
We had not initially planned the production of non-woven masks using the new medium. We made the decision to manufacture the masks upon witnessing shortages of masks under the COVID-19 pandemic and realizing that failing to use the materials we have on hand to help people in need was not an option. About three months later in May 2020, we were able to begin selling masks for general consumers. We were met with concerns over the difficulty of commercialization, given the likelihood of oversupply once mask shortages resolved. Thanks to our customers, however, we have received broad support for these one-of-a-kind, high-performance masks. In addition to masks for consumers, we have begun supplying masks that conform to standards for medical and industrial use (DS2 certification), and we are developing applications with the goal of contributing to the safety of medical practitioners and workers on industrial sites.


Adapting to a Carbon-Neutral Society

As a manufacturing company, it is inevitable that we use energy in production. In response, at our new Yokosuka Innovation Center, whose development site is scheduled for completion in February 2022, we are installing solar panels across the facility roof with the aim of supplying all the electricity used in the building. Our production sites in Saga, Cebu, and elsewhere emit some waste, wastewater, and CO₂. To reduce these environmental impacts, we enforce environmental management and comply with national environmental laws and regulations. We also make use of renewable energy-derived electricity, engage in mangrove forest planting, and actively participate in other environmental conservation activities.
At present, virgin material produced from petroleum is used in raw material pellets for YAMASHIN NANO FILTER®. To curb CO₂ emissions and total energy consumption in raw material production, we plan to gradually replace the raw material with materials recycled from PET bottles and other sources. While virgin materials still maintain a cost advantage, by quickly absorbing know-how for production centered on recycled materials, we aim to contribute to the achievement of a carbon-neutral society and a recycling-oriented society.

Promotion of Human Resource Development and Glocalization

Even when a product is of use to society, it is meaningless if the company producing it is not sound. For this reason, we consider human rights and employee diversity a must, and we enforce compliance with laws and regulations and risk management.
From the standpoint of diversity of human resources, as a company that is expanding worldwide, we engage in management of overseas bases by making optimal use of foreign managerial human resources. Of our six overseas subsidiaries, three are headed by locals of their respective countries. At our site in Cebu, which has the largest number of employees in our group, about half of the employees are full-time employees, and local women are part of the management team. In this way, our employees exhibit diversity in gender, nationality, age, and other aspects. We believe that concentrating the power of these diverse human resources to further develop our business will lead to growth for our company and for our employees.
In the same manner as our sites, the business partners who supply us with raw materials and components are also located in many countries. As these suppliers are our partners in producing better products, we have frequently made visits to them to exchange ideas directly. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has prevented us from doing so for some time. Accordingly, we held an online Partners Meeting in July 2021 to strengthen our solidarity. Looking ahead, we will further nurture relationships of trust with our business partners worldwide, striving for mutual prosperity.
In closing, I would like to thank you for your interest in our sustainability initiatives. It is my hope that this report will aid in building strong bonds of trust with our many stakeholders.