Kawasaki Green Products
BK117 C-2 “Helicopter Ambulance”
New Innovation Makes
Life Both Better and Greener
Careful maintenance and inspection are performed regularly at the hangar.
As the purpose of a medevac is to save lives,
it is essential that the helicopter itself be safe.
The Kawasaki Group has introduced a system to select Kawasaki Green Products conforming to ISO 14021, for the first time in heavy industry. Ten products have been announced as the first round. It is a project to evaluate environmental contributions both in product performance and production in order to improve products’ overall strength in the coming society of sustainable development. One of the products selected in this round was the BK 117 C-2 medium-sized, twin-engine, multipurpose helicopter. The bold innovations at work could be seen at the production site.
The Epitome of a Green Product: a Helicopter
That Is both People-Friendly and Eco-Friendly
Kawasaki Green Products are determined by objective evaluation and review of the contributions of various products made by Kawasaki to the environment, from the twin standpoints of product performance and production. In other words, products are evaluated for their overall strength in a society of sustainable development.
The 10 products registered in the first round span a broad range of fields, from batteries to gas turbines, but one that stands out among them is the BK117 C-2 twin-engine, multipurpose, high-performance helicopter, known as a global bestseller in the medium size class with a maximum take off weight in the 3-ton range. Not only is it used by police, firefighters, and media, but it is becoming the standard for medevacs.
As of January 2014, 43 medevacs are in service in Japan, where they are called “doctor helicopters,” because they have onboard not only medical equipment and medicine, but also doctors ready to start emergency care. Of these 43, 17, or 40%, are Kawasaki BK117s. Most of these, 14, are the C-2 model launched in 2001. Why is the C-2 supported as a medevac? The most important reason is that it is both people-friendly and eco-friendly.
First of all, it has the safety performance befitting the name of a medevac. It has two engines, so it can continue to fly, even if one engine fails. There are also redundant hydraulic and electrical systems for the flight controls, so it will not lose control even if one system fails. These are just examples of the highly sophisticated technology.
In the rear of the airframe, there is a large clambshell door that makes it easy to bring in patients on stretchers. The floor space has been expanded by 35% compared to the previous model, so, even with all kinds of medical equipment equipped, it can hold five people, including two patients in addition to the pilot. Also, it has a long flight range of 700 km, so it can take its large load of medical equipment and people directly to the emergency site. This is another reason it is trusted.
The C-2 is also friendly to the environment. The external noise is half the standard of the Civil Aeronautics Act. It is one of the quietest helicopters in its class in the world. The main rotor shape has been optimized compared to the previous model. Also, improved rotor speed control has greatly reduced noise to the surrounding area in takeoff and landing in emergency dispatch. Meanwhile, redesign of the body shape has reduced air drag and improved speed and fuel efficiency.
For the surface treatment process of the airframe, a corrosion protection method has been developed that does not use the carcinogen hexavalent chromium. Moreover, material free of hexavalent chromium has been used for the sealant to protect the joint area of airframe parts, as part of thorough planning to reduce environmental load. Also, the production site maintains “zero emissions,” with a limit of 1% of final disposal, and has reduced the energy of production by 15% by reducing assembly steps.
Composite Cockpit Greatly Reduces Weight
The BK117 C-2 is a helicopter with three strengths: superior safety as an aircraft, utility with its wide cabin, and environmental friendliness to the people who use it and the people who make it. This is why it is acclaimed as a medevac helicopter, and why it is a product which epitomizes the philosophy of Kawasaki Green Products.
From the Project Team
By Takamasa Ogata, Ph.D.
Senior Manager, Environmental Affairs Department
Associate Officer Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd.
Kawasaki Green Products Continue to Make Major Contributions
to the Coming Society of Sustainable Development
In FY 2014, the Kawasaki Group initiated a system to select and publicly announce Kawasaki Green Products from among our products which are outstanding in their consideration for the environment. Ten products have been announced as qualifying in the first round. Henceforth, products registered as Green Products will bear an environmental label that shows how they have considered the environment.
The Kawasaki Group is evaluating products according to the stipulations of ISO 14021, an international standard for environmental labeling, to determine whether they qualify as Green Products. This is the first effort in heavy industry to apply environmental labeling based on ISO 14021.
To be specific, there are six benchmarks evaluated in two fields of environmental management activity: product performance and production. Products that achieve values exceeding the industry standard for every one of the six benchmarks are named Kawasaki Green Products, and products that also are first in the world in one of the benchmarks are named Kawasaki Super Green Products.
This system is a project to embody the Kawasaki Group Mission: “Kawasaki, working as one for the good of the planet.” Meanwhile, based on these two fields of product performance and production, Kawasaki products are evaluated for their overall strength in the coming society of sustainable development, and Kawasaki is aiming to enhance the competitiveness of its products even further under its focus of ROIC (return on invested capital) management.
10 Kawasaki Green Products Registered,
Including 9 Products at the Top Level of the Industry
The “Kawasaki Green Product” label is the first in heavy industry to conform to ISO 14021.
Products that are top in the industry in one of the six benchmarks evaluated are registered as
Kawasaki Super Green Products.
Battery Power System (BPS)
- Battery Power System (BPS)
- A battery system with superior safety that demonstrates its strength in railway systems, which require high load response performance, by connecting GIGACELL nickel-metal hydride batteries directly to feeder lines without going through control equipment. It produces no inductive interference with rail safety systems, and it helps to reduce CO2 emissions with effective energy saving.
M1A-17D Gas Turbine
- M1A-17D Gas Turbine
- A generator turbine that raises efficiency by changing the compressor and turbine flow channel geometry, improving the structure, etc., while guaranteeing low NOx emissions by adopting a dry low emission (DLE) combustor. Generation efficiency is improved by 2.4% compared to the previous model, and NOx emissions of 35 ppm are achieved, the best level in the industry.
Green Gas Engine
- Green Gas Engine
- Using natural gas as fuel, this gas engine achieves global best-in-class (as of April 1, 2014) electrical efficiency of 49.0% and low NOx emissions within 200 ppm. It does this through combustion chamber shape optimization, lean combustion, and control system optimization. Also, it has a wide operating range, from 30 to 100%, and achieves high electrical efficiency even with partial load.
- MAG Turbo
- A new aeration blower, structured with a vane wheel attached directly to the axial end of the rotor of an inverter-controlled high-speed motor, with the rotor floating from a magnetic bearing and spinning at high speed without contact mechanically. High efficiency is achieved by virtue of the magnetic bearing high-speed motor, and no lubricant or coolant is required. Low noise, low vibration.
CKK (Conch Kawasaki Kiln) System
- CKK (Conch Kawasaki Kiln) System
- The CKK system integrates cement manufacturing with waste processing by incorporating refuse incinerators into existing cement production facilities. The system effectively uses the thermal energy and ashes of refuse for cement production. It also eliminates the need for ash treatment facilities. The number of devices required is reduced by 70% compared to installing a refuse incinerator by itself.
Centrifugal Chiller Using Water as Refrigerant
- Centrifugal Chiller Using Water as Refrigerant
- A centrifugal chiller that uses the ultimate refrigerant, water, with outstanding environmental features including an ozone depletion potential of zero, no greenhouse gas emissions, and no combustibility or toxicity. With its new compressor with high pressure ratio and high performance, it demonstrates performance rivaling CFC chillers, and its compact design allows it to replace existing chillers.
- Ninja ZX-6R
- The engine has both improved performance at low- and mid-rpm ranges and improved fuel efficiency. At the same time as displacement has been raised 37 cm3 compared to the previous model, fuel efficiency has been improved by 3%. With its advanced suspension, electronic vehicle control, and eco-friendly exterior, this is a motorcycle on which one can enjoy high performance with peace of mind.
Hydraulic Pump for Excavators (K7V)
- Hydraulic Pump for Excavators (K7V)
- A hydraulic pump widely used for construction machinery, especially hydraulic excavators. Answers market needs for high efficiency, low noise, compact size, and high reliability. The pump efficiency has been improved by 1.5 points over the previous model. The noise level has been reduced by 3 dB(A). The environmental performance is one of the best in the world.
Spot Welding Robot (BX200LS)
- Spot Welding Robot (BX200LS)
- A light, slim, fast, and compact spot welding robot that enables space saving, high-density installation, and improved production efficiency, reducing the total cost of production facilities as it increases efficiency. It has a smaller footprint than any comparable model in the industry. Cables can be stored in the robot's arm, making high-density installation easy.
Kawasaki BK117 C-2 Helicopter
- Kawasaki BK117 C-2 Helicopter
- A twin-engine, multipurpose, high-performance helicopter jointly developed by Kawasaki and AHD of Germany. The noise level is approximately 50% lower than the quietness standard of the Civil Aeronautics Act, the best level of quietness among helicopters in its class in the world. It has also been made light by using a composite cabin frame. See Special Feature.