Global Research & Innovative
Beyond Traditional R&D, Hitachi Metals Brings Innovation Globally
Achieving innovation through rapid technological development and going beyond existing fields
The Global Research & Innovative Technology center (GRIT) is a Corporate Research Lab of Hitachi Metals, Ltd. It was established to promote sustainable growth and the research and development of advanced materials with the potential to make medium- to long-term social contributions.
In recent years, we have witnessed huge waves of change that will dramatically alter our society. These include the transformation of production systems, which is being fueled by the advancement of the Internet of Things, as well as a shift from gasoline-powered vehicles to electric vehicles (EVs).
GRIT is poised to respond to these rapid changes through leading innovation, capitalizing on free-spirited imagination and open innovation rooted in Hitachi Metals' expertise and knowledge, aiming to be active on the global stage.
Pursuing disruptive innovation and discontinuous innovation
GRIT is working on medium- to long-term research themes while monitoring both threats and opportunities. For example, the center is developing metal powder and wires for metal 3-D printers. This project goes beyond simple material creation. It uses computer-aided engineering to develop materials that can maximize the capabilities of 3-D printers, developing recipes for each material in advance while using simulations to verify the properties of metals and deformations. These technologies will enable us to quickly develop new materials and specialized products for single batch production, while also ensuring high quality. In addition, GRIT is focused on the development of lightweight yet strong materials, which are expected to find applications in automobiles, aircraft and energy-related equipment. We have also been making bold steps to develop compound metals by combining a wide range of materials with different functions. While focusing on steel as the main material, we have been using materials such as superalloys, aluminum, carbon nanotubes, ceramics, and more.
- June 3, 2016
- Overview of FY2018 Medium-Term Management Plan, Innovation in Monozukuri and R&D (PDF:)
These new technologies were once seen as a threat to Hitachi Metals. However, they can represent an opportunity to take a significant leap forward if we can bring about technological innovation within the company. Therefore, GRIT will embark on new challenges to achieve drastic technological innovation by envisioning the future in 10 to 20 years' time, aiming to push boundaries within Hitachi Metals.
Seeking open innovation by bringing together technologies from all over the world
Hitachi Metals has been taking aggressive steps toward open innovation, such as establishing the Hitachi Metals-NIMS Center of Excellence for Next-generation Materials as well as participating in the IBM Research Frontiers Institute.
Moreover, GRIT has established an area to promote collaboration with customers and an open laboratory that uses 3-D printers. The center will endeavor to fulfill its role as a place to interact with top researchers from around the world and to lead innovation.
- February 28, 2017
- Hitachi Metals Joins IBM Research Consortium
In industrial fields, material innovation has long driven technological innovation. The development of innovative, advanced materials has, time and again, served as a starting point for transformations in society. GRIT will cease its past focus on conventional steel and metals, and instead will focus on materials that are in demand in the new era, striving to become the best partner for our customers. Our goal is to ensure that our customers will turn to Hitachi Metals, whether for engines or EVs. GRIT's mission is to contribute to sustainable growth and solutions to social problems, while remaining aware of the importance of its aims.