FUJITAC Factory starts production in Kyushu

A new advanced factory to meet expanding demand for LCDs

October 30, 2006

FUJIFILM Corporation (President and CEO: Shigetaka Komori, hereinafter, “Fujifilm”) will launch full operation of Factory No. 1 of FUJIFILM Kyushu Co., Ltd (President: Teruo Yamaguchi, hereinafter, “Fujifilm Kyushu). The new factory will serve as a core production facility for FUJITAC (*1), the key product in Fujifilm's flat panel display materials business, which is one of its major growth areas.

The global LCD market is growing swiftly in Japan, the U.S. and Europe. This year's global sales of LCD televisions are expected to roughly double those of last year. The global penetration rate stands at about 6% and is expected to maintain rapid growth. The size of display screens are growing larger, and the total area of LCD displays produced in 2008 is expected to be about 2.5 times larger than in 2005.

Given this growth, demand for FUJITAC, a protective film for polarizing films that is indispensable to LCDs is growing further. FUJITAC is highly transparent, smooth, and has superior optical qualities. To meet the mounting need for increasing performance and stable supply, Fujifilm plans to follow the Factory No.1 startup with No.2 in August 2007 and No.3 in April 2008.

Manufacture of FUJITAC is supported by a number of Fujifilm's proprietary production technologies that remain out of range for competitors. FUJIFILM Kyushu's cutting edge production plant will integrate these technologies in an operation that balances high productivity with stability. Energy supply will employ the BOO model (*2) in a joint and stable supply of electricity and heat. Fujifilm Kyushu's most salient feature is the centralized plant control system. A central control room will be located in the Production Control wing. This room will contain main film-forming control functions for all three plants as well as combine the control functions for the pre and post film-forming processes in a single site. It will also run various support systems, including operation and breakdown analyses and training. Staff for production, quality control, safety, and administration will work together in the staff rooms in the Production Control wing. Such centralized control promotes close communication, information sharing, and swift action. Fujifilm expects an efficient, solid startup and a stable manufacturing process.

Fujifilm Kyushu employed environmental measures throughout. To reduce the amount of well water consumed, it has introduced systems to conserve water: trapping rainwater, raising our cooling tower's water circulation rate (*3), and reusing steam drain water (*4). It has reduced energy savings systems for co-generation (*5) and solar power, and are reducing CO2 emissions by using liquified natural gas. Fujifilm expects its “complete circulation” plant centered on the axes of community coexistence and environmental preservation to contribute to regional development.

In addition to FUJITAC which is greatly strengthening its production capabilities, primarily at FUJIFILM Kyushu, Fujifilm's flat panel display materials business is expanding sales of products incorporating its proprietary technologies, including WV film, which widens viewing angles (*6) and CV film, which has strong anti-reflective effects on panel screens (*7). In 2007, Fujifilm expects to achieve its sales target of 200 billion yen a year earlier than anticipated. By expanding production and sales of Transer, a film used to produce color filters (*8), and Color Mosaic (*9), Fujifilm expects sales to leap to 300 billion yen in 2009.

(*1) FUJITAC: Made from cellulose triacetate (TAC) material, FUJITAC is used as a protective film for the polarizing films used in LCDs.
(*2) BOO model : An acronym for Build-Own-Operate, a model in which a private company builds, owns, and operates a business.
(*3) Cooling tower: Artificially evaporates water and uses the heat of vaporization to create cool water.
(*4) Steam drain water: Steam from boilers, etc. that has become water
(*5) Co-generation system: Combined heat and power system that retrieves waste heat generated by electrical power generation with steam or hot water and uses it effectively.
(*6) WV film: A film that greatly widens the viewing angles of LCD panels. It is a product unique to Fujifilm.
(*7) CV film: An antireflective film for the surfaces of LCD panels. Its characteristics include low reflectivity, high precision and high resistance to dust and dirt.
(*8) Transer: A film used to produce color filters for LCDs. A color LCD panel is created by transferring red, green, blue and black color layers from this film to the glass board using the dry lamination technique. It is optimal for use in manufacturing large LCD panels.
(*9) Color Mosaic: Color resists for LCD color filters; suitable for every type of LCD such as transparent, trans-flective and reflective types. The wide range of functional materials includes primary colors, complementary colors and photo spacers to control LC cell gaps.

<Overview of Fujifilm Kyushu>
Location: 2900 Kikuyo-machi, Kikuchi-gun, Kumamoto Prefecture
Capital: 50 million yen
Founded: April 1, 2005
Area: Roughly 260,000 m2 (excluding energy supply wing)
Employees: 64 (as of October 30, 2006)

<FUJITAC supply system>

  Annual FUJITAC conversion supply capacity (yearly) Total capacity
Fujifilm Kyushu
Factory 1
Fujifilm Kyushu
Factory 2
Fujifilm Kyushu
Factory 3
In operation as of October 2006       Existing plants (*)
280 million m2
Start-up date October 2006 Line 1
50 million m2
    330 million m2
February 2007 Line 2
50 million m2
    380 million m2
August 2007   Line 3
50 million m2
  430 million m2
December 2007   Line 4
50 million m2
  480 million m2
April 2008     Line 5
50 million m2
530 million m2
August 2008     Line 6
50 million m2
580 million m2
(*) Existing plant consists of Ashigara site Fujifilm Kanagawa Factory and Fujifilm Opt Materials Co., Ltd. Factories 1-4.

Media Contact:
FUJIFILM Corporation
Corporate Public Relations Division
Tel: 81-3-3406-2490
Fujifilm website:
Japanese : http://fujifilm.jp/
English : http://www.fujifilm.com/