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  • Creating the future by combining chemistry and machines

Reason for joining ZEON and the early years

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I joined ZEON with the notion that working here would bring excitement to my life.
Selected for a new project in my second year at the company

Having studied mechanical engineering, I had become interested in work that involved creating processes for the production of good products at low cost. During my studies, the question I often asked myself was: What should I make? And with the opinion that Japan's future would depend on materials, I sought employment at companies that were manufacturing them.
One day I found out that a former senior colleague I had met through a university club was working at ZEON, and I asked him about the company. From what he said, I could gather he was really enjoying his job. Then I was introduced to several other ZEON employees, and all of them were perfectly frank about their jobs and lives outside of work. I soon decided to join ZEON with the belief that working here would bring excitement to my life.
When I started my job at the Production Technology Laboratory, I had to learn how to operate the pilot machines and analytical equipment. After about six months I was able to produce prototypes, and I gradually moved on to research and development that was more closely related to what I had studied. I was also developing processes for materials for energy-related devices. Then, in the autumn of my second year with ZEON, I was assigned to a team that would take on a new project.

My current role

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Challenges in making a groundbreaking, next-generation secondary battery
The power of youth and struggling to keep pace with expert discussions

The Production Technology Laboratory serves two major purposes. One is to create chemical engineering processes or, in other words, to construct and improve the production lines. The other is to process materials in various ways in order to give them added value. In fact, production and processing technologies constitute ZEON's core strengths, and many of its one and only products are the results of chemistry plus machinery.
The objective of my team's new project is to develop a groundbreaking production method for creating next-generation lithium-ion batteries. In partnership with customers, we are seeking to dramatically improve battery performance by applying creative ideas to the adhesives used in batteries, an area in which ZEON holds the top share, as well as to the related production process. My colleagues and I regularly ask ourselves: How can we solve problems involving both chemistry and machinery? And then we actively engage in discussions with the company's chemistry experts to seek the answers. In these talks I find that my young age can work to my advantage, but even then I have to try desperately to keep up with the other team members. (laughs)
I'm particularly grateful for ZEON's corporate culture, where young employees can speak freely and good ideas are respected regardless of who suggests them.
In addition, while truth does exist in the world of science, what supervisors say might not actually reflect the truth. But they're also aware of that, which is why project members and other employees take part in daily discussions.
As for me, I can be quite insistent when it comes to my beliefs, and I often find myself at odds with my supervisor. But I usually lose out in these arguments. (laughs)
People can't just copy existing technologies, but there are all sorts of technologies that can provide us with hints for creating new ones. For example, I go to trade shows for food industry machinery and thoroughly consider how these technologies could be applied to what I'm working on.
My job also allows me to take on various challenges stemming from my own ideas, and I find this to be very exciting.

Dreams of the future, life outside my job, and a message

Overwhelmed by all the things I would like to do
ZEON is a place where you can realize your dreams.

My current project will take three to five years to complete. Of course I hope to see it through to completion, but I'm also very keen to experience working with a diversity of technologies while I'm young. I'd like to tackle other subjects and work at a production site where I can learn more about machinery. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by all the things I'd like to do!
ZEON is the type of place where you can follow your dreams. This surprises some of our partners at a machinery maker who have told us they've never seen a company that has such a liberal atmosphere. ZEON doesn't put up any boundaries between its employees, nor does it hold people back by keeping its technologies a secret. Moreover, there's little distance between the employees and the president. The atmosphere is perhaps too open! (laughs)
In terms of advice for job seekers, I'd say that while choosing a job on the basis of what you want to do is fine, you should also opt for a place where the work you'll do is enjoyable and fulfulling. And ZEON is a company where you can enjoy your work every day with a sense of fulfillment.

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