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Pursuing innovation for a sustainable society

Article - August 31, 2022

Starlite is a company committed to working toward the creation of systems that do not place an excessive burden on the planet by deepening our understanding of usability and continuously improving products for more sustainable use.

EMET

 “We are working tirelessly with our R&D department to achieve a circular economy.” Takashi Saigo, President and CEO, Starlite

Founded in 1936 as a venture business to develop original phenolic resin sliding materials, since then Starlite has diversi­fied into a wide range of fields, including the steel, shipbuilding, industrial machinery, automobile, telecommunications and housing industries, by utilizing various materials such as high-perfor­mance engineering plastics and advanced tribology (friction, wear, lubrication engineering) technology.

“We are a technology devel­opment-oriented creative group that supports the safety and secu­rity of people’s lives and provides solutions for social issues through monozukuri,” explains Takashi Saigo, President of Starlite. “It is Starlite’s mission to provide support for an enriched life in harmony with nature, and every moment we strive to fulfill this mission means growth for us. We do not merely pursue convenience and comfort, but provide experi­ences and services through our products that are truly necessary for the planet and society.”

In doing so, the company is committed to working toward the creation of systems that do not place an excessive burden on the earth “by deepening our understanding of usability and continuously improving products for longer use,” says Mr. Saigo. “In addition, we hope to pursue spiritual enrichment by focus­ing on serious problems such as social disparity, natural disasters, climate change, environmental pollution and mental illness that we are facing as a result of recent economic development.”



When it comes to sustain­ability, Starlite plans on moving into bioplastics and advancing recycling technology, with re­cent research and development invested in looking into the ad­justment of temperatures used to melt materials for recycling. “We are working very hard with our R&D department to achieve a circular economy, ‘’ says Mr. Saigo. “When you talk about sustainability, many people au­tomatically jump to recycling. However, I feel it’s important to keep using existing things too, to find new uses for them.”

As the automotive industry transitions towards electrifica­tion as part of the low-carbon agenda, the company is looking at how it can apply some of the technologies it is developing to serve the sector with innovative solutions. Since 2009, Starlite has had a technology alliance with the Röchling Automotive and developed various products, one example being the active grille shutter (AGS) which man­ages aerodynamics and thermal systems in cars. “We would like to further expand this original technology of theirs into the Jap­anese market through the joint venture,” adds Mr. Saigo. “We are also working on reducing the weight of a lot of our components. We believe that there is room to develop components that use lightweight plastics rather than heavy metals such as steel.”

Compounding material technol­ogy developed over many years of experience, combined with evalu­ation and analysis technologies, has enabled the development of new functions suited to various operating environments and per­formance requirements. Starlite’s products range from damage and heat resistant aprons for rolling mills and rudder bearings for marine applications to brakes for various equipment and miniature peel-off claws for multifunction printers. In recent years, Starlite has contributed to ensuring the safety of work sites and improving the quality of work by developing ‘eMET,’ a helmet with an IoT-based remote management system. Fur­thermore, the company released Japan’s first-ever biomass-based helmets in June this year.

Moving forward, Starlite aims to mobilize the power of the group to tackle a wide range of problems for the future of the planet by address­ing today’s social issues with our technologies and ideas, and by co-creating with like-minded people.

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