Common Basic Technology and Core Technology
AGC’s core technologies consist of highly sophisticated materials technology, functional design that integrates materials technology to achieve more advanced functionality and production technology that enables stable production of high quality products, based on the common basic technology that has been accumulated and deepened over many years. We also possess technologies for designing parts by assembling various materials, which we cultivated through our efforts to meet customers' expectations and our experience of utilizing various materials, and this enables us to bring out the full potential of materials.
Glass manufacturing process
Glass is produced through melting raw material, forming, gradual cooling, cutting and packaging. AGC is developing new glass manufacturing processes for non-alkali glass for displays, cover glass and new glass materials in the future, based on our technologies and know-how cultivated in the production of soda-lime glass for buildings and automobiles by the float process. We will continue to evolve our production technologies and provide high quality and high-performance glass for our customers.
Glass forming and processing
The history of glass starts from pre-Christian era, and it is the history of the progress of glass forming and processing technology itself. Melted raw material glass is processed to make final products by utilizing forming and processing technology such as bending, cutting and polishing. The development of this glass forming technology continues to be carried out in response to changes in product needs and increasing functional requirements.
Glass forming is generally performed at high temperatures in the region of 500°C or higher and the glass is then cooled and solidified while pressurized and deformed by the blowing method using air or gas, or by the press method like mechanical pressing. Not only the temperature but the surrounding air and the mold etc. also become important technical elements.
Glass is processed with multiple processing technologies, so that the surface and the end face of glass, a brittle material, can obtain a functional and beautiful surface. For example, polishing combining mechanical and chemical action, cutting chamfer processing which satisfies both productivity and quality using the latest technology such as lasers, etc. are used.
We enhance the function of glass products and make them harder to break, by performing physical reinforcement utilizing temperature difference and chemical reinforcement through ion exchange. These technologies have been contributing to the interior and exterior glass of automobiles, household items such as tableware, electronic and optical components including smartphone casings, lenses, etc. The technologies are recently also utilized for prevention and diagnosis in biotechnology fields.
In the field of chemical products, we are deploying basic chemicals business consisting of chloralkali and urethane starting from electrolysis of salt (NaCl). We also deploy functional chemical business that handles high-performance fluorine products such as fluorine-based polymers as structural or functional materials and gas solvent products including refrigerants, with the chlorine and fluorine chain as the axis of the business. We are also expanding pharmaceutical and agrochemical intermediate business which mainly utilizes the fluorochemical technology. The following core technologies, owned by AGC, related to chemical process firmly takes root in them: electrolysis technology, organic/inorganic reaction control technology, separation/refining technology, flow/heat transfer/stirring technology, batch/continuous reaction technology, chemical plant design technology etc. We continue to provide not only the current product groups, but also products which contribute to mobility, electronics, life science and environmental fields utilizing these technologies and development capabilities.
We have injection molding technology to integrate resin materials/glass with the resin and extrusion and heat lamination technologies of fluoropolymer films. AGC is also deepening Roll to Roll coating and laminating technologies in order to respond to the needs of function imparting and compositing of glass and resin materials. We are proposing various molding technologies to develop new products in the fields of mobility and electronics.
Protein is essential for organisms to exert their functions and has various uses in life science. AGC has developed technologies to produce proteins with these important functions.
Biopharmaceuticals are widely used as pharmaceuticals, and their main component is protein. Manufacturing proteins of complicated structure for medicines requires advanced technology. AGC has developed ASPEX, the genetic recombination technology required for protein production. We also have extensive knowledge and know-how on culture technology, refining technology and quality control test for mass production, and we provide valuable products such as biopharmaceuticals and enzyme preparations to our customers.
Microbial / Mammalian cell culture
The technology to grow large amounts of various cells is extremely important in order to manufacture various biological products in the field of life science.
AGC possesses microbial culture technology including E. coli and yeast, and mammalian cell culture technology typified by CHO cells. We are manufacturing biopharmaceuticals and enzymes including antibodies utilizing these technologies.
AGC is also developing cultivation technologies for stem cells (human iPS cells and human mesenchymal stem cells, etc.), which are attracting significant attention. Stem cells are highlighted for their utility for cell medicine and regenerative medicine, and for that the technology to produce high purity stem cells is crucial. AGC continues to develop culture technology for the future business.