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Reducing Emissions of VOCs into the Atmosphere by Changing Paint

Hitachi Construction Machinery Co., Ltd.

The Hitachi Construction Machinery Group, which manufactures and sells construction machinery, is working to reduce environmental burden through the chemical substances management. The volatile organic compounds (VOCs)*1 contained in paints and solvents account for a major portion of the chemical substances emissions of the Hitachi Group overall, and the Hitachi Construction Machinery Group has been focusing effort on the control of these emissions.

In fiscal 2019, the entire Hitachi Construction Machinery Group began changing the paint on product painting lines with the aim of reducing VOC emissions and improving weather resistance.*2 The amount of paint used for the main bodies of construction machinery was reduced by switching to paints with higher concealment; the Tsuchiura Works, its mother plant, has set a target of reducing VOC emissions by 5% per unit of painted surface area compared with before the change. The new paint strongly withstands ultraviolet radiation and prevents color fading and deterioration, contributing to higher product quality. At the Banshu Works, the paint used in electrodeposition coating of small parts was changed for one with higher concealment, which reduces the coat thickness. This reduced the amount of paint used by 14% compared with before the change while achieving the same surface coverage.

At Hitachi Construction Machinery (China), the reduction of VOC emissions from our production activities is being accelerated both to meet the stricter regulations on VOCs imposed by the Chinese government and to achieve the long-term environmental targets called Hitachi Environmental Innovation 2050. Systems for the adsorption and condensation of VOCs and other organic compounds and systems that efficiently burn and break down VOCs have been installed, a total of four in all, making it possible to reduce (recover) VOC emissions 75-90% in each production process.

VOCs: One cause of atmospheric pollution (suspended particulate matter such as PM2.5 and photochemical oxidants).
Improved weather resistance: Prevention of color fading or deterioration due to the effects of weather and age when used outdoors.
Main body painting line.
Main body painting line.
VOC treatment unit.
VOC treatment unit.