Panasonic’s Dry Cell Battery Production Reaches 150 Billion Units
Panasonic is now geared up to reach a total production milestone of 200 billion units by the company’s centennial anniversary in 2018, while taking initiatives to achieve green manufacturing in battery production.
Osaka, Japan - Panasonic Corporation announced today it has achieved a new milestone in the production of dry cell batteries as its global production volume reached 150 billion units in October 2010, the 79th year since the company began battery production in 1931. The feat was achieved nine years after the company passed the 100 billion mark in 2001. Now, Panasonic is geared up to reach a total production milestone of 200 billion units in 2018, when the company celebrates the 100th anniversary of its founding.
Panasonic first began in-house production of dry cell batteries in 1931 to promote the wider use of its portable “Square Lamp,” the first product under the National brand. In 1939, the company opened a battery factory in Shanghai, its first ever manufacturing base outside Japan. The company since set up battery plants in Peru, Costa Rica, Brazil, Belgium, Poland, Tanzania, Thailand, India and Indonesia and has contributed to improving lifestyles and developing industries in these countries. A cumulative overseas production volume of dry cell batteries now stands around 100 billion units.
Advances in dry cell batteries have a close association with advances in the products for which they are used. In 1954, Panasonic developed “National Hyper,” the first full metal-jacket dry cell battery in Japan and based on the international standard of approx. 6.2 cm in length and 3.4 cm in diameter. This product was mainly used for torches and lamps. In 1963, the company developed the “National Hi-Top” manganese dry cell battery, which doubled the lifespan of the National Hyper. Around that time, 45 percent of the batteries sold were used in tape recorders and radios. In 1969, Panasonic developed the “Neo Hi-Top” line, which offered three times the lifespan of the National Hyper. These new batteries were used mainly in radio cassette players. Thus batteries evolved in tandem with the development of the electric appliances.
In 1995, Panasonic developed high-current alkaline batteries with significantly improved heavy-duty discharge performance. They were designed to meet the characteristics of digital equipment that started to become popular. As advances in such products brought about a need for higher current dry cell batteries, Panasonic has increasingly shifted its focus from manganese dry cell batteries to alkaline dry cell batteries.
In 2008, the company launched its “EVOLTA” alkaline battery, which was officially certified by Guinness World Records as the world’s “longest lasting AA alkaline battery cell.” It was the industry’s first battery to have a “best-before” date of 10 years in Japan. Panasonic is continuing to bring the EVOLTA batteries to more markets worldwide.
The superior lifespan of the EVOLTA AA batteries allows Panasonic to generate the same overall amount of battery energy with around 60 percent of the total quantity of batteries, in comparison to the “Ultra Alkali” AA batteries manufactured in 1990. This means that CO2 emissions during manufacturing can be reduced by about 40 percent, a significant contribution to reducing burden on the environment.
In the manufacturing sites, Panasonic has promoted a number of initiatives to ensure green manufacturing: (1) reducing production losses; (2) optimized lighting and air conditioning; (3) efficient operation of utility equipment; (4) visualizing energy consumption and other factors; and (5) promoting the use of alternative energy sources.
[Dry Cell Battery Milestones Achieved by Panasonic]
Started production of dry cell batteries to promote the portable “Square Lamp,” the first product under the National brand
1939 Matsushita Dry Battery Co., Ltd. set up Shanghai Factory, Panasonic’s first overseas manufacturing base
1954 Introduced “National Hyper,” the first metal-jacket dry cell battery in Japan
1961 Established National Thailand Co., Ltd. (NTC), Panasonic’s first overseas manufacturing company since World War II
1963 Introduced “National Hi-Top” manganese dry cell batteries
1967 Introduced alkaline dry cell batteries
1969 Introduced “National Neo Hi-Top” manganese dry cell batteries
1976 Achieved a cumulative production of 10 billion dry cell batteries
1980 Introduced warranted manganese dry cell batteries
1987 Introduced “Ultra Alkali” and “Panasonic Alkali” alkaline dry cell batteries
1991 Introduced mercury-free manganese dry cell batteries
1992 Introduced mercury-free alkaline dry cell batteries
Achieved a cumulative production of 50 billion dry cell batteries
1995 Introduced high-current “Power Alkali” dry cell batteries with significantly improved heavy-duty discharge performance in response to popularity of mobile information terminals
2001 Achieved a cumulative production of 100 billion dry cell batteries
2008 Introduced “EVOLTA” alkaline dry cell batteries
2010 Achieved a cumulative production of 150 billion dry cell batteries
Panasonic currently produces dry cell batteries in a total of 11 countries: Japan, Peru, Costa Rica, Brazil, Belgium, Poland, Tanzania, Thailand, India, Indonesia, and China.
Panasonic Corporation is a worldwide leader in the development and manufacture of electronic products for a wide range of consumer, business, and industrial needs. Based in Osaka, Japan, the company recorded consolidated net sales of 7.42 trillion yen (US$79.4 billion) for the year ended March 31, 2010. The company’s shares are listed on the Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and New York (NYSE:PC) stock exchanges. For more information on the company and the Panasonic brand, visit the company’s website at http://panasonic.net/.
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