Epson Atmix to build sustainable metals refinery in Japan

Japan’s Epson Atmix Corporation is investing ¥5.5 billion in a new sustainable metal refinery that will recycle waste metal to produce the raw material for metal powder.

Scrap metal.
Scrap metal. - Image © Yakov - Adobe Stock.

Construction has now started on the new facility in Hachinohe City, Aomori Prefecture. The refinery is expected to begin operations in June 2025.

Part of Epson’s environmental strategy is to develop environmental technologies for recycling materials such as metal and paper and to use the resulting technologies and solutions to create new businesses.

Atmix recognizes that sourcing virgin materials will likely become more challenging due to resource scarcity and soaring metal prices. The new factory is aimed at mitigating risk by manufacturing metal powders from recycled metal resources.

As a facility for recycling metal for use in producing metal powders, the new factory will have a high-frequency induction furnace for melting metals, an AOD refining furnace for removing impurities from metals, and a casting machine for forming ingots. Atmix will use the new factory to recycle unwanted metals from various sources, including out-of-specification metal powders in its own manufacturing processes, metal scraps generated within the company, and metal end cuts and used molds discarded by the Epson Group.

These unwanted metals will be reused as raw materials for Atmix’s metal powders. Virgin materials such as high-purity iron from blast furnaces will be replaced with recycled metal materials, conserving underground resources and reducing CO2 emissions.

The introduction of a new refining process will better enable Atmix to develop next-generation high-performance powders, improve their magnetic properties, and enhance its amorphous forming capability.