In 1980, we spun off our R&D division and established Dai-ichi Seiko Laboratories, Inc. (now Enplas Laboratories, Inc.) to pursue innovative product development that goes beyond merely improving existing products.
Enplas Laboratories focuses on three areas of activity: applied technology development, elemental technology development and analysis. It also conducts various R&D projects from a backcasting approach that starts with, for example, the goals of the SDGs or the type of world enabled by AI and autonomous driving technologies.
In the Enplas Group, research and development are carried out by Enplas Laboratories, the Development Division, and the development group of each business unit. Some 100 employees operate with an annual budget of approximately 1 billion yen. We work with universities and private companies, many in Japan, in the application of cutting-edge technologies and also pursue commercial application through start-ups and other ventures in the US and UK. We also perform data analysis to optimize the shape of products—one of our strong suits.
ESG in R&D
In our Bio-related Business, we are developing microfluidic chips to be used in genetic testing equipment as well as a range of resin products for the life sciences field.
In our Semiconductor Peripherals Business, we are developing semiconductor test sockets for autonomous driving that will lead to reduced environmental impact, and also test sockets for servers that contribute to society.
In our Plastic Optics Business, we are developing high-precision lens products in anticipation of fifth-generation (5G) mobile communications systems in the optical communications field.
Enplas Laboratories and the Development Division are also working to improve the moldability of carbon-neutral and biodegradable plastics, with the goal of using these plastics to reduce the environmental footprint of engineering plastics. They also developed a viral sterilization device that can be used on masks and other medical personal protective equipment by applying water sterilization technology that uses UVC-LED (short-wavelength ultraviolet light).