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Renewing the structure and production system of railway vehicles for environmental conservation to promote energy and resource savings.
Kasado Works, Rail Systems Business Unit, Hitachi, located in Kudamatsu City, Yamaguchi Prefecture in Japan, develops and manufactures railway and Shinkansen vehicles that feature lightweight aluminum raw materials. The Division has adopted a joining technology called "Friction Stir Welding" that only softens parts to be joined using friction heat for vehicle assembly. Since this method can be performed without melting aluminum, the required heat value is smaller than that used in conventional welding methods, thus reducing electricity usage per vehicle by 46%. "High-speed 3 dimensional machining technology" is used in the manufacture of Shinkansen's leading vehicle, which features a unique shape to reduce air resistance to the maximum extent. Smoothly machined surfaces have successfully reduced the amount of coating "putty" used to eliminate convex and concave portions on the surface by 89%, and also have drastically reduced the amount of chemical substances contained in the coating. The rate of reused water for the water proof test can be 100%. Furthermore, since FY 2002, it has achieved zero emission* of waste and a final disposal rate of less than 0.1% through various activities.