Fujifilm to set up 3 additional production lines for “ultra-wide FUJITAC” Investing 40 billion yen into building FUJIFILM Kyushu's Plant No. 4 and other lines

Boosting the production capacity of polarizer protective films to meet a surging demand for large-size LCD TVs

July 15, 2010

FUJIFILM Corporation (President and CEO: Shigetaka Komori) has announced that it is ramping up the production of the ultra-wide FUJITAC*1, a polarizer protective film essential for liquid crystal displays. A total of three additional production lines will be built at the Ashigara Site of its Kanagawa Factory as well as at FUJIFILM Kyushu Co., Ltd. (President: Satoshi Sakamoto), which are both the FUJITAC's production bases. The capital investment is expected to total approx. 40 billion yen. The development of the additional production lines will boost the production capacity for ultra-wide FUJITAC by 3.5 times.

The ultra-wide FUJITAC is approx. 1.5 times wider (1,960mm - 2,300mm) than the conventional FUJITAC, making it ideally suited for the efficient production of 40 inch or larger LCD TVs. The latest move will reinforce the production capacity of the ultra-wide FUJITAC as follows:

  1. (1) Turning Line 4 of FUJIFILM Kyushu's Plant No.2 into the production line for the ultra-wide FUJITAC
    (Scheduled operation commencement: October 2010)
  2. (2) Newly establishing a production line for the ultra-wide FUJITAC at Plant No.3 of Ashigara Site of Kanagawa Factory
    (Scheduled operation commencement: April 2011)
  3. (3) Newly building Plant No.4 for FUJIFILM Kyushu and assigning its production line 7 to the ultra-wide FUJITAC
    (Scheduled operation commencement: October 2011)

The declining prices and increasing performance of LCD TVs are rapidly expanding their demands in industrialized nations as well as emerging economies. The shipment volume of larger LCD TVs of 40 inches or above, in particular, is growing at the rate of over 30% per annum. By 2011, this type of TV set is expected to account for over 50% of all televisions in circulation in terms of screen area. Many LCD panel manufacturers plan to build production lines for large panels in China, where the rate of demand growth is most prominent, prompting the revamp of ultra-wide FUJITAC's production capacity.

The coming reinforcement of production capacity will also initiate the production of 'ultra-wide retardation film for VA-mode'*2 in April 2011 in addition to 'ultra-wide Plain-TAC'*2 and 'ultra-wide film for IPS-mode'*2. In other words, Fujifilm will supply ultra-wide films for all types of large LCD TVs*2. In an effort to contain the amount of investment and address customer needs swiftly, Fujifilm has opted to make use of existing buildings and production facilities, rather than newly building all of the additional production lines. By boosting ultra-wide FUJITAC's production capacity, Fujifilm will contribute to the production efficiency of polarizers and facilitate the standardization of ultra-wide films.

Defining the flat panel display materials business as one of the priority business fields, Fujifilm is set to expand the business with unique products that feature its proprietary technologies. Such products include FUJITAC as well as 'WV film'*3 that offers the effect of expanding viewing angles and 'CV film'*4 that provides a strong anti-reflective property for panel surfaces. Fujifilm will continue to aggressively pursue research and development of new technologies for stable supply of flat panel display materials and to contribute to the industry's growth as the leader in flat panel display materials.

  • *1 FUJITAC: Made from cellulose triacetate (TAC) material, FUJITAC is used as a protective film for polarizers used in LCDs. It offers exceptional clarity and optical characteristics.
  • *2 LCD TVs can be divided into the following categories according to the orientation of liquid crystal molecules: (1) TN (Twisted Nematic) mode, (2) IPS (In-Plane Switching) mode and (3) VA (Vertical Alignment) mode. TVs smaller than 32 inches mainly use (1), while TVs at 32 inches or larger use (2) or (3).
    • [Plain TAC] TAC film with no surface treatment for adding compensation and other functions. It can be used as a protective film for polarizer's in combination with a retardation film in the VA or IPS mode.
    • [Film for IPS-mode] A film used for the polarizer in the IPS mode to contain tint fluctuations when the screen is viewed diagonally.
    • [Retardation film for VA-mode] A film used for the polarizer in the VA mode to control the inflection of light for better viewing angles and contrast.
  • *3 WV film: A film that significantly widens viewing angles on LCD panels. It is a product unique to Fujifilm.
  • *4 CV film: An antireflective film for LCD panel surfaces. Its features include a low reflection rate, high resolution, and high dust-resistance / stain-resistance.
<Investment Outlines>
Factory name Production item Value of investment Production commencement (tentative) Total floor area Building area Remarks
FUJIFILM Kyushu Co., Ltd. Plant No.2 Line 4 Ultra-wide Plain TAC (1960 - 2300mm) Approx. 9 billion yen October 2010 Approx. 15,000 m2 Approx. 7,000 m2 Remodeling
Kanagawa Factory Ashigara Site Plant No. 3 Ultra-wide retardation film for VA-mode (1330 - 2300mm) Approx. 10 billion yen April 2011 Approx. 12,000 m2 Approx. 4,000 m2 New construction (using an existing structure)
FUJIFILM Kyushu Co., Ltd. Plant No.4 Line 7 Ultra-wide Plain TAC Ultra-wide film for IPS-mode (1960 - 2300mm) Approx. 21 billion yen October 2011 Approx. 21,000 m2 Approx. 8,000 m2 New construction
<FUJITAC supply system>
Existing plant New plants Annual production capacity Annual total capacity
Total production capacity for ultra-wide FUJITAC
As of July 2010 605 million m2*5 (715 million m2) - 605 million m2*5 (715 million m2) 70 million m2
October 2010 - FUJIFILM Kyushu Plant
No.2 Line 4
70 million m2
675 million m2 140 million m2
April 2011 - Kanagawa Factory
Ashigara Site Plant No.3
35 million m2
710 million m2 175 million m2
October 2011 - FUJIFILM Kyushu Plant
No.4 Line 7
70 million m2
780 million m2 245 million m2
  • *5 Total production capacity excluding the FUJIFILM Kyushu Plant No.4 Line 4 and Kanagawa Factory Ashigara Site Plant No. 3, which are currently undergoing remodeling and installation, is 605 million m2 (as of July 2010.) The conventional production capacity including these 2 lines would be 715 million m2.

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