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Quality and safety programs for key products

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Nuclear Safety Steering Committee continues to establish nuclear safety

In December 2004, we established the Managing Board for Innovation in the Nuclear Business in light of a secondary piping damage accident in August 2004 at the Mihama Nuclear Power Plant Unit 3, which was built by MHI and operated by Kansai Electric Power. In January 2013, the name of the board was changed to Nuclear Safety Steering Committee to share and decide the issues and courses of action related to MHI's nuclear business, as well as to internally reform and expand the nuclear quality assurance management system. The committee has been conducting these activities under the guidance of a steering committee whose mission is to manage activities that help ensure nuclear safety.
In fiscal 2016, the Nuclear Safety Steering Committee reported and deliberated on the status of efforts to promote safety culture and maintain or enhance the level of nuclear power safety. These efforts include passing on technologies, cultivating human resources, and strengthening cooperation with business partners. Also, it was confirmed by the Nuclear Safety Steering Committee that the nuclear power-related divisions of Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems, Ltd. held meetings with the nuclear safety promotion committee, where top management from the Company headquarters and personnel at individual plants responsible for nuclear power deliberated on a Companywide basis on initiatives related to nuclear safety, in addition to standard activities.

Measures for enhancing PWR power plant safety

MHI set up an emergency task force immediately after the Great East Japan Earthquake. After the Advanced Plant Safety Department was established in August 2011, the task force was transferred to this department and developed countermeasures against the blackout that occurred at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. The task force has been reflecting these countermeasures at PWR power plants built by MHI in Japan. Furthermore, the new safety criteria that was developed by the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA: established in September 2012) went into effect in July 2013, and in August 2015, PWR power plants that have satisfied the new safety criteria resumed operations.
Currently, safety inspections are underway at other PWR power plants geared toward restarting their operations and sequentially these plants have been restarting. MHI is providing technical support to power companies to restart operations at these domestic PWR power plants at the soonest date possible. MHI has been supporting power companies to implement midium- and long-term countermeasures, such as filtered containment vents and secondary back-up generators. MHI continues to contribute to the improvement of the safety and reliability of nuclear power plants and to the establishment of a stable power supply.

Shipbuilding: enhancing QMS activities to prevent product accidents

Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. (MHIMSB), and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Marine Structure Co., Ltd. (MHIMST), which are involved in the commercial ships business & marine structure business, are engaged in the manufacturing and engineering business for a wide range of ships and marine products in the Yokohama, Shimonoseki, Nagasaki, and Kobe regions. The companies strive to adopt the same quality indicators, non-conformity management systems, safety and quality education programs, and internal audits in all regions, and are working with each region to improve work processes and quality management framework to realize a more advanced QMS and cultivate an attitude focused on safety and quality. In our commercial ships business & marine structure business, MHIMSB and MHIMST work to deliver products and services that meet customers' expectations through ISO 9001 external audits for QMS activities.

Aircraft: Raising awareness for aircraft safety through education and training, and promoting of QMS-related activities

In the aircraft manufacture business, based on the Aircraft Safety Policy, assurance of aircraft safety is our top priority. All employees engaged the aircraft manufacturing operation and management understand the gravity of aviation accidents. Accordingly, as part of our educational activities aimed at ensuring thorough awareness of aircraft safety, we are implementing various training programs for relevant employees, primarily in management positions. These include training where employees learn through educational tours of the Japan Airlines Safety Promotion Center and climbing the Osutaka Ridge to pay respects to those who died in the Japan Airlines Flight 123 accident in 1985; workshops that communicate the lessons learned from an emergency landing accident involving an MH2000 helicopter and an accident where a F-2 jet fighter crashed and burst into flames (instructions on new work procedures / application of independent verification programs) in 2000 and 2007 respectively; initiatives to prevent leftover foreign objects; and training where employees learn through active discussions with pilots. In addition, we are working to improve quality on an ongoing basis through QMS-related activities based on JIS Q 9100.

Transportation systems: ensuring the safety of transportation systems based on quality management systems

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Engineering, Ltd. (MHIENG) is working on the development of various transportation systems with a high potential for use in public settings, such as Automated People Mover (APM) for use in airports and other facilities in cities and Light Rail Vehicle. To ensure that such transportation systems function with a high degree of safety, MHIENG operates a quality management system based on ISO 9001 and our own quality policies in all processes from design, procurement, and manufacturing to installation and test operation. Every year, top managers review these activities, evaluate the effectiveness of the quality management system, and propose new actions for improvement. Workshops are also held so that relevant personnel can share information, for example, information on revisions made to laws, regulations and standards pertaining to railways. Mechanisms are also being developed to incorporate safety standards and customer requirements in various countries into the initial design stage of projects developed in and outside Japan.
In addition to these efforts, MHIENG has introduced a system tool for the sharing of lessons learned from past projects. Employees involved in past projects disclose and record their experiences and lessons learned so that current project members can acquire and share useful skills and knowledge, and find a stronger awareness of product safety.

Air-conditioners: With customer safety as a top priority, safety design, verification processes and product- related risk management processes are incorporated in design management standards

The air-conditioning and refrigeration business(Note) acquired ISO 9001 certification in 1994 and established design management standards for product design and development to ensure the safety of air-conditioners. These standards are based on quality policies that are derived from our quality management system. During product development, quality checksheets and other measures are used per these standards to fully verify safety throughout the life cycle of a product, from development to usage and disposal, in addition to checks against physical harm or financial damage caused by fire, explosions, and toxic substances. In the unlikely event that a serious product-related accident does occur in the market, we will take immediate steps to ensure customer safety, promptly confirm facts, analyze the cause, conduct an investigation, implement corrective actions, report to the appropriate government agencies, and disclose this information to users and the market. Based on the product safety policy described above, in January 2018 we requested that users of our air-conditioners who meet certain conditions submit them for free inspection and repair. We will take the lessons learned from this occurrence to foster a work climate throughout the Company, including businesses overseas, that places the prevention of reoccurrences of incidents and product safety as top priorities.

  • MHI's air-conditioning and refrigeration business has been taken over by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Thermal Systems, Ltd. who commenced operations in October 2016.

Maintaining and strengthening defense production and technological bases Contributing to the peace and safety of Japan through technology

Submarines SEIRYU
Submarines SEIRYU

MHI is dedicated to the core vision of supplying cutting-edge technology for national safety and security. As a leading supplier in the Japanese defense industry, MHI endeavors to maintain and strengthen defense production and technological bases. MHI develops and manufactures a vast array of defense equipment based on the requirements of the government of Japan, including fighter planes, helicopters, missiles, defense vessels, and tanks, and also provides operational support. The environment surrounding the defense of Japan has been changing dramatically over the last few years. In light of the current financial diffculty of Japan and the speed of technological progress, it is increasingly important to maintain and strengthen defense production and technological bases, in order to satisfy the requirements of the government. MHI is focusing on the future security environment and is developing various technologies that meet the needs of the country. This includes research into stealth and weight-reduction technologies and avionics to be applied to future jet fighters, and into technology related to high-water-speed at sea for amphibious vehicles. We are also working on dual-use businesses such as cybersecurity, drone application, and satellite data analysis that utilize advanced technologies developed on the foundation of experience in the defense business up to this point. Cutting-edge technologies in the defense sector have a broad reach, and ripple effects to the civilian sector are expected, in the fields of materials, components, and processing technology.
Therefore we believe defense technologies can also contribute to long-term technological advances in Japan and the defense sector is expected to develop as a national strategic industry.

Promoting nuclear power Public Acceptance (PA) activities

Touring the Kobe Shipyard & Machinery Works
Touring the Kobe Shipyard & Machinery Works

Since 1988, MHI has been hosting tours of nuclear power plant factories at Kobe Shipyard & Machinery Works to promote nuclear PA activities so that the attendees can gain a better understanding of the need for and safety of nuclear power generation. MHI encourages attendance on these tours every year. In addition, although our nuclear power plants are PWRs, which are different from BWRs of TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, MHI has been supporting TEPCO for stabilizing the accidents caused by the Great East Japan Earthquake. MHI has also been deploying emergency safety countermeasures at MHI-built nuclear power plants to increase their safety and reliability. MHI will continue PA activities, such as providing related information and hosting tours, to restore public confidence in nuclear power generation.

  • Nuclear Power PA (Public Acceptance) activities: Public outreach programs to provide a better understanding of nuclear energy

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