Panasonic's global dry cell battery production
reaches 150 Billion
Panasonic Corporation has reported that its production
of dry cell batteries has reached a global production volume
of 150 billion units in October 2010, the 79th year since
the company began battery production in 1931. Panasonic
says 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.
Here is the history and some facts about Panasonics
dry cell battery operation:
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
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.