1PARTValue Creation ModelTOPICSAkebono’s proving ground, Ai-Ring, is one of the largest in Japan for an auto parts maker. It has undergone a course upgrade complete with winding roads and other features. In recent years, auto parts makers have had to keep pace with rapid changes in the automotive market and address the needs of new mobility in society. While deepening its understanding of structural changes in the automotive sector and new functionalities, Akebono aims to improve its development competitiveness by developing brake experts who can react quickly to market change. Upgrading Ai-Ring to Secure Competitiveness in the Global MarketAi-RingLow Drag CaliperElectro-Mechanical BrakeMR fluid brake prototype fitted to a small mobility vehicleDeveloping Products Free of Environmentally Hazardous SubstancesAkebono promotes the development of products with a lower environmentally hazardous substance content. In accordance with in-house guidelines on brake raw materials, stricter than required by law, Akebono does not use these materials or changes to alternative materials.Development of Proprietary MaterialsAkebono Research & Development Centre has developed a new solid lubricant material that improves the performance of friction materials at high temperature ranges. This material contributes to superior friction performance as well as helps prolong the product life of brake pads to contribute to resource savings. Hereafter, we will use this material not only for automobiles but also for other elds. Development of Frictionless MR Fluid BrakesWith increasing use of electrical systems in automobiles, we aim to create people- and environmentally-friendly brake products that do not emit brake dust or noise. With this in mind, the Akebono Research and Development Centre has been jointly researching and developing Magneto Rheological (MR) uid brakes, new concept electrical brakes that do not rely on friction, working with the Institute of Fluid Science, Tohoku University (Professor Masami Nakano). Satisfying U.S. Restriction on Substances Used in Brake Friction MaterialsIn California, U.S.A., friction materials containing more than 0.5% copper will be prohibited from being applied in new vehicles beginning in 2025. At Akebono, the departments involved in the production and distribution of friction materials are working together globally to comply with the new law and Akebono has already developed friction materials that satisfy the law.Development of New Brakes for Greater Fuel Efciency• Electro-Mechanical BrakesElectro-Mechanical Brakes employ an electric operating mechanism to press the disc brake pads. The brakes help to improve fuel efciency by reduc-ing vehicle weight. Moreover, they are environmentally friendly because they do not use brake uid, which must be properly disposed of whenever repairs are made. Akebono will continue to contribute to environmental preservation by working to develop electro-mechanical brakes.• Low Drag CalipersThe low drag caliper incorporates specially designed components to ensure that the pad to rotor gap is precisely maintained at the micron level. This reduces brake drag due to contact between the pad and rotor when the brake is released, contributing to improved fuel economy.Ceaseless Pursuit to Make Brake Components as Light as PossibleAkebono continues to achieve technological breakthroughs for mass production brakes utilizing technology accumulated through high level motorsports. For example, our weight-saving technologies will help enhance fuel efciency and thereby contribute to lower energy consumption for automobiles. Furthermore, by participating in endurance racing, we will advance technologies for the greater wear performance of brakes in heavily loaded conditions. This will, in turn, help us create products with a longer life while helping to save resources.Development of Next-Generation TechnologiesWe are developing technologies for various themes, such as safety, the environmental friendliness, and comfort. 15 AKEBONO REPORT 2017

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