Responsible Consumption and Production
There are many resources lying on the earth, and we have continued to develop by utilizing them. However, all resources are finite, and the areas where they can be extracted are limited. We will not be able to live without resources in the future, but in order to realize a stable supply of resources, each of us must take responsibility for what we make and use, and promote the use of resources with consideration for future generations.
-Supply and demand for natural resources
When considering future generations, we need to have a serious discussion about the natural resources that we can obtain from the earth. These natural resources include not only fossil fuels but also materials such as copper and aluminum.
Copper is one of the oldest and most used metal resources in the world. It has superior electrical and thermal conductivity compared to other metals and is easily processed, making it the most widely used metal in the industry. Although aluminum does not have as long a history as copper, its lightness, corrosion resistance, and workability have supported the economic development of the world since the 20th century.
The world is heading towards a future of a "decarbonized society. In the future, the demand for copper is expected to grow rapidly in order to produce electric vehicles (EVs) and electric aircraft. However, like fossil fuels, copper in particular is facing global depletion concerns, and cannot be used indefinitely. Aluminum is another material that is indispensable for making products lighter and will be greatly needed in the future society. The reserves of this material are greater than those of copper, however, the bauxite used as a raw material is finite, therefore, it is only a matter of time before we face the same depletion problem as copper if we continue to use it.
Regarding Japan, our country has no natural resources, to begin with. There is no prospect of a sudden increase in oil or copper reserves in the future, thus we are mostly dependent on imports from overseas. Although these resources are important for the sustainable development of the country and town we live in, we need to take measures to secure stable resources because we are dependent on imported resources and there is a risk of price and market fluctuation.
AST Coil and Recycling
Recycling is one of the most familiar means of securing resources stably. It is a known fact that many of the daily commodities we use in our daily lives, such as toilet paper and notebooks, are made from recycled materials called "recycled paper". In addition, metal resources such as copper and aluminum are also recycled and used. The coils in the motors manufactured by Aster are one of the parts where a lot of metal is used, and used coils are disassembled, refined, and melted to extract metal materials such as copper and aluminum, which are then reused as resources. The used coils can be disassembled, refined and melted to extract metal materials such as copper and aluminum, which can then be used again as resources. In fact, Aster Co., Ltd. recycles used materials such as copper and aluminum in an effort to utilize resources.
-Example of coil recycling per block-
When considering the recycling of coils used in motors, the ratio of "recyclable resources" to "impurity-rich parts" generated during recycling becomes important. The AST coil used in AST motors has a completely different shape from conventional coils, and the difference in shape has a great impact on recycling efficiency.
AST coils have a large cross-sectional area and a short overall length, and the surface area of the coil is less than half that of conventional coils, so the amount of insulation coating required is far less. In fact, the amount of film used in AST coils is less than half that of conventionally wound coils, so there is almost no "layer of impurities (insulation film)" on the AST coils when they are melted for recycling. In addition, the plate shape of AST coils eliminates the wasteful tangling that occurs with wire coils, so there is no wasteful disposal when disassembling the coils from the motor. As a result, the AST coils used by AST motors have a recycling efficiency of over 90%. There is no other motor in the world that uses AST coils like this, and it is a one-of-a-kind technology that Aster is proud of.
In the near future, Aster plans to expand the use of recycled materials by building its own space for refining and manufacturing motors using 100% in-house recycled metal materials.