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"Renias", a Hiroshima Company Aiming to Become the World Leader in Polycarbonate Resin Processing [Renias]

Secret to Robustness
  • Developed a start-to-finish production system for polycarbonate resin processing.
  • Building technology not found in other companies, and breaking through into new markets.
  • All employees are full-time employees, and all are thoroughly engaged in operations, greetings, and 10S activities.

Renias processes polycarbonate (PC) resin, and manufactures products such as cabin roofs for construction equipment, front windows for golf carts, light covers for luxury vehicles, windows for rail cars, and protective shields. In the area of construction equipment, the company supplies product to every construction equipment manufacturer in Japan and has over 90% of the cabin roof market share.

Renias began handling PC resin approximately 20 years ago. At the time, the cabin roofs of construction equipment were generally made of steel sheet metal. However, at the request of a construction equipment manufacturer to develop a cabin roof out of "transparent resin to improve visibility and safety", Renias embarked on the development of a roof made of PC resin. However, the drawbacks of PC resin including that it yellows and deteriorates and is more easily scratched than glass had to be overcome. To achieve this, the company combined its own proprietary coating technology with silk screening and molding technology, and built a system that enables consistent supply from product design to production. This system allowed the company to handle small lots of a wide variety of products as well as sudden orders, and to realize quick turn around with stable quality, resulting in an increase in market share.

In recent years, overseas construction equipment manufacturers have begun to gain market strength, and according to Renias President Toru Maeda, "We plan to aggressively sell quality products and technology to overseas manufacturers as well."

Aggressive Market Cultivation

Over the past several years, Renias has been aggressively investing in equipment due to an expansion of PC resin applications. PC resin is approximately 250 times as strong as glass, and is highly impact resistant, but it weighs roughly half as much as glass and also excels in heat resistance. Therefore, PC resin is suited for use in electric vehicles (EV) and other applications requiring lighter weights.

PC resin windows from Renias have been adopted in all the windows except the front windshield of an electric bus (prototype vehicle) jointly developed by Kanagawa Prefecture and Isuzu Motors. Renias also began mass producing product for a leading Taiwanese electric vehicle manufacturer in 2012, and applications in new fields are increasing in Japan as well including use in a sun visor attached to the top of the front windshield glass of busses and in an electric vehicle now being developed by SIM-Drive (Kawasaki City). A potential for application in farming equipment and other areas also exists. The abrasion resistance, chemical resistance, and weather resistance of PC resin are all improved by applying a coating to the PC resin, and because a demand for replacing glass with PC resin is anticipated, an expansion of PC resin into not only vehicles but also home construction components for energy savings and security products is also expected.

Technical Strategy and Human Resource Strategy

The large thermoforming machine that began operating this year was developed in-house. The company manipulated the positioning of the heater inside the forming machine to enable uniform heating, and daringly however, Renias has not applied for a patent for this technology. According to President Maeda, the strategy is to "create a black box out of our production technology to prevent its flow to other companies." He continued, "We're dividing our technology into areas that we are concealing and areas that we are patenting in order to obtain royalties from other companies and retain earnings."

Renias' strategy is clear. The company is constantly aware of its reason for existence in the market, its market share, and its future prospects without engaging in simple mass production. President Maeda explained, "Mass production can increase sales, but it also requires equipment and increases the number of personnel that are needed. What is important is the content of a job." He continued, "In order to fully utilize the strengths we already have, we must progress on a daily basis with our quality and service. If we are not in a position to be profitable, then we can't advance with new developments."

Supporting this type of production activity are environment creation and a human resource strategy. At Renias, 10 (S) principles of conduct have been formulated. In addition to the 5S methodology of sorting, straightening, shining, standardizing, and sustaining that is often seen in factories around the world, the company created additional principles including a sense of conviction, a sense of persistence, a sense of mission, speed, and simplicity, and 10S activities are being expanded company wide.

The employees who are the engine behind the human resource strategy are all full-time employees, and no matter to which division they belong, every employee is aware of operations from the customer7s perspective. They are also endeavoring to penetrate a constant awareness of full optimization rather than partial optimization. "We want to create the best partners (employees) and the best company." (President Maeda). To achieve this, the company is executing an ongoing challenge to achieve true growth rather than inflated growth on a daily basis.

Drilling holes, etc. in-house to create product.

Drilling holes, etc. in-house to create product.


Attractive Company

The evolution of PC resin products is leading to an increase of not only manufacturers planning to replace heavy glass with PC resin but also of manufacturers who want to try using PC resin in new products. These types of companies are knocking on Renias' door, and are unable to hide their surprise at the incredible quality of Renias' production system.

And companies are not the only ones visiting Renias. Students from around Japan searching for jobs are also coming. Renias has established a reputation as a growing company, and the number of people seeking jobs there is increasing year after year. Thus, it would be no exaggeration to call Renias an "attractive company as viewed by all types of people."

Company Data

President:Toru Maeda

President:Toru Maeda

Company name Renias Co., Ltd.
President Toru Maeda
Industry Type Development, manufacture, and sales of parts for transportation equipment and special vehicles, and security products
Address 200-76 Obara, Nutanishi-cho, Mihara-shi, Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan
Phone 0848-86-1137

Printing day:August 7, 2014

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