The Technology Div., which is the SMM Group’s R&D organization, has four departments, three laboratories, and a research center. The departments support the activities of the research center and laboratories making R&D activities for new products and technologies more efficient.
Niihama Research Laboratories aims to further raise the level of smelting and refining technologies, which are the foundation of our technology, working to further develop the potential abilities of non-ferrous metals. Specifically, the site is engaged in the development of new smelting processes and ore dressing technologies based on smelting technologies, as well as the development of powder materials and other metallic materials. In addition, the Resource & Hydrometallurgy Process Center is undertaking pilot-scale demonstration testing of a new nickel refining process.
In order to accelerate the expansion of our secondary battery business, which is expected to grow substantially, the Battery Research Laboratories work toward commercializing nickel-based and ternary lithium-ion battery cathode materials, which are core products, while also working on basic research based on our long-term vision for next-generation battery materials and the establishment of battery assessment technologies. At the same time, the Laboratories also proceed with research and development of fundamental technologies for battery materials.
Materials Laboratories brings together engineers and works to accelerate the speed of research and development, in order to advance research and development into both crystal materials, which are related to products of the Materials Division, and into organic resins, a fundamental technology.
The Ichikawa Research Center performs the function of sowing the seeds for future materials development. It is specialized in basic research, with a focus on functional powders.