In the previous article on "Murata's Value Creation through SDGs," we introduced Murata's approach and management strategy with respect to SDGs, including the 11 materialities (key issues) in line with the ESG goals set by Murata.
Now, how are SDG initiatives advancing on the actual front lines? This time, we focused on MLCCs, which are core Murata products, and spoke with Kinya Aoki from Product Engineering Department, Yukio Sanada from Business Innovation Department, and Toshiyuki Miyoshi from Materials Technology Development Department.
The strengths of our MLCCs, which boast the No. 1 global share
Founded in 1944, Murata has put its corporate philosophy of contributing to cultural development into practice and has a history of supporting people’s prosperous lives.
Since the company began mass production of Japan's first barium titanate ceramic capacitor in 1949, MLCCs have truly continued to evolve together with social and cultural development from radio in the 1940s, TV from the 1950s to the 1960s, audio-visual equipment from the 1970s to the 1980s, and PCs and mobile telephones that became widespread in the 1990s as Murata developed a wide variety of products.
Aoki: "In the history of MLCCs, which extends for more than half a century, the shift to high-functionality smartphones in the 2000s had a significant impact. This is because the number of capacitors used in devices dramatically increased. With the arrival of the 5G and 6G era in recent years, technologies including electric vehicles and automated driving are also evolving, and the demand for MLCCs is also steadily growing.
The share of Murata's MLCCs in the global market is No. 1 in the world at about 40%. The factors behind that success are considered as follows.
Aoki: "I think that one factor is Murata's previously cultivated history, high technical capability, and the company image of 'when it comes to capacitors, think Murata.' Because automotive MLCCs, etc. are products that affect human life, absolute trust and security are extremely important. Moreover, I am in charge of the task of introducing MLCC specifications to customers, so I think that exhaustively interviewing customers about their changing needs, anticipating new needs, and the ability to respond by developing products is also a factor."
Miyoshi: "Good electronic devices come from good electronic components, and good electronic components come from good materials. This is the approach that Murata has passed down in an unbroken manner. Speaking from a materials development perspective based on that approach, I believe that the fact that Murata develops the materials to make MLCCs on its own from scratch is also a strength. Because we also build our own production facilities, this enables swift and daily work efficiency as well as production technology improvements. Such cost reduction measures ensure our superiority over competing companies."
A long history of putting environmental load reduction into practice based on light, thin, short, and small features
Affected by changing needs such as the shift to high-functionality smartphones, Murata developed the 0.25 × 0.125 mm MLCCs in 2012. Currently, these products have been scaled down to the point where they are difficult to see with the naked eye. Murata's core competencies of "light, thin, short, and small" introduced in the article on "Value Creation through SDGs" reside in such products.
Aoki: "The history of MLCCs, which has pursued miniaturization to offer convenience and provide products to a wide range of markets, could also be described in a different way as a history of tackling the challenges of light, thin, short, and small characteristics. And Murata is also proud of advancing miniaturization ahead of the industry."
Sanada: "I coordinate with other divisions while supervising work site improvements centered on the environment and sustainability. As phrases such as "SDGs" and "ESG" permeate society and corporate activities, MLCCs with their accumulated history of realizing light, thin, short, and small characteristics from the moment they were created put environmental load reduction into practice starting decades ago. Miniaturization leads to a reduction in resource use, and we are proposing new taping methods with respect to packaging materials as well as working on packaging material use reduction and waste reduction along with transportation energy labor-saving."
MLCCs took the lead in environmental load reduction before environmental problems attracted attention. In Part 2, we will look at more specific case studies, including products that are currently progressing.
- Continue reading:Achieving the SDGs Through MLCCs (Part 2)
- Murata's approach to CSR activities
- Murata value report 2020 31 Murata's key issues originating from social issues(PDF:106KB)