July 25, 2012
Toray Industries, Inc.
Toray Subsidiary to Construct Waterless Plate Plant in Czech Republic
Toray Industries, Inc. (headquarters: Chuo-ku, Tokyo; President: Akihiro Nikkaku; hereinafter referred to as "Toray") today announced its decision to newly construct a waterless plate manufacturing plant at Toray Textiles Central Europe s.r.o. (TTCE), its subsidiary in Czech Republic. Toray will invest approximately 5 billion yen in the construction of the plant, which is expected to start production in January 2014.
The facility which will be equipped with a state of the art coating line for plates will be the first large-scale exclusive waterless plate plant in Europe, and the second such plant for the company after the one in Japan. It will double the Toray Group’s production capability when combined with the capacity of Okazaki Plant which is currently operational in Japan.
In 1997, TTCE was established in Prostějov, which is located in Moravia region of the Czech Republic, as a company to manufacture and distribute polyester filament fabrics for lining material. The Czech company has been engaged in converting waterless master plates exported from Japan to final format for newspaper printing in the European market since 2005.
Toray decided to build a new plant, as the increased demand for newspaper printing application in Europe has required a new production base in addition to the Okazaki Plant which is currently operating at full capacity.
Unlike other lithographic printing methods, waterless printing does not require the dampening agents containing isopropyl alcohol (IPA), whose use is subject to environmental restrictions. Moreover, its effluent is not contaminated as the process does not use strong alkaline solution in development, making waterless printing extremely environmentally friendly. It has less production loss at the start of printing and improves and stabilizes printing quality while reducing printing cost as it does not require dampening agents or solutions.
These superior features have been highly appreciated in Europe, where environmental awareness is high. Ever since the adoption of waterless printing for the first time for printing newspapers in 2005, the sales volume of waterless plates have grown fivefold.
Given the rising concern about the environment not only in Europe but also elsewhere in the world in recent years, the printing industry as a whole is facing the urgent need of addressing environmental issues such as reduction of organic solvents and waste fluid of alkaline developer. In addition, against the backdrop of fast-growing digital technology, the computer to place (CTP) system, in which image data is written using laser, has been rapidly spreading and demand for waterless plates, which are suitable for this system, is expected to grow further. The construction of the new plant in Czech is to address this trend in the printing industry and in response to customer requirements.
Toray has been working on the medium-term management program Project AP-G 2013 launched in April 2011 and aggressively driving forward Green Innovation Business Expansion (GR) Project as one of the projects for implementing the program’s growth strategy. The environmentally friendly waterless plate is one of Toray’s GR products, with which Toray Group aims to contribute to the realization of a sustainable society and the development of printing industry and information-oriented society under the corporate slogan, "Innovation by Chemistry."
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1. Profile of TTCE
(1) Company name: Toray Textiles Central Europe s. r. o. (TTCE)
(2) Location: Prostějov, Moravia region of Czech Republic
(3) Established: September 1997
(4) Capitalization: 1.35 billion koruna (approx. 5.7 billion yen)
(5) Investment ratios: Toray Industries, Inc. – 100%
(6) Representative: Shozo Sugaya
(7) Business: manufacturing and distribution of polyester filament fabrics and airbag materials,
and converting waterless master plates to final format for newspaper printing
2. Waterless plates
Waterless printing is a printing method which does not require dampening agents that causes volatile organic compounds (VOC) in the printing process. It is an environmentally friendly printing method as it requires fewer paper in the printing preparation process.
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