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Fujifilm to set up new production line for “Ultra-wide FUJITAC”

Investing 16 billion yen in Fujifilm Kyushu to reinforce production capacity and addressing the increased demand for "retardation film for VA mode" for large screen LCD TVs

June 8, 2011

FUJIFILM Corporation (President and CEO Shigetaka Komori; hereafter "Fujifilm") has announced that it will invest approximately 16 billion yen in its main production base for flat panel display materials, FUJIFILM Kyushu Co., Ltd. (Kikuchi-gun, Kumamoto; President: Satoshi Sakamoto; hereafter "Fujifilm Kyushu"), to set up a new production line for "Ultra-wide FUJITAC". New Line 8 of Fujifilm Kyushu's Plant No.4 will become the 17th FUJITAC production line when it goes operational in December 2012. The facility will be used to produce "retardation film for VA mode", which improves television's viewing angle and contrast. The film will be used in one of the large-screen LCD TV's display systems*1 called "VA (Vertical Alignment) mode." The capacity to manufacture "ultra-wide VA mode film" of up to 2,300mm in width can streamline the production of LCD TVs with the screen size of 40 inch and above.

The declining prices and increasing performance of LCD TVs are rapidly expanding their demands in industrialized nations as well as emerging economies. The global shipment volume of larger LCD TVs of 40 inch and above, in particular, is growing at the rate of over 30% per year. By 2011, this type of TV set is expected to account for approximately 50% of all operational televisions in circulation worldwide*2. In the given market environment the demand for Fujifilm's "retardation film for VA mode" is skyrocketing, prompting the company to plan doubling its supply capacity by FY2012. Fujifilm has already reinforced its production capacity with the launch of a new plant for "ultra-wide retardation film for VA mode" in April this year, but the expanding market needs has convinced the company to set up a second production line for "ultra-wide retardation film for VA mode". Fujifilm currently manufactures "retardation film for VA mode" at its plants in Kanagawa and Shizuoka, but it has been decided to build a new production line under Fujifilm Kyushu from the perspectives of reinforcing its disaster preparedness and of distributing risks.

Line 8 of Fujifilm Kyushu's Plant No.4 will be mainly operated with electricity generated on-site, using natural gas co-generation equipment*3. Similar to the new line that began operation in April this year*4, it will halve the amount of energy used per unit area of the film produced through ultra-widening of the film in production, increasing the line's production speed, and implementing energy-saving measures such as thorough reuse of steam generated in the production process.

When the new production line goes operational, Plant No.2 of Kanagawa Factory (Flat Panel Display Materials Production Division) Ashigara Site, which mainly manufactures "retardation film for VA mode" at present, will be turned into a dedicated line for developing products suitable for small and medium sized displays in an effort to further reinforce the development and production of new film products designed for tablet computers and smartphones, whose demands are rapidly expanding.

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 LCD TVs can be divided mainly 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 inch mainly use (1), while TVs at 32 inch and larger use (2) or (3).
  • *2 Screen area basis
  • *3 A combined heat-and-power system that uses steam or water to capture and utilize by-product heat from power generation
  • *4 Kanagawa Factory (Flat Panel Display Materials Production Division) Ashigara Site Plant No.3

Overview of the new plant

Plant name Fujifilm Kyushu Plant No.4
Construction site 2900 Tsukure, Kikuyo-machi, Kikuchi-gun, Kumamoto
Investment Approx. 16 billion yen
Production item Ultra-wide retardation film for VA mode (1330 - 2300mm)
Production capacity 35 million square meters per year
Total floor area Approx. 15,000 m²

Planned supply system for FUJITAC

Production capacity / year Total production capacity / year
Total production capacity for ultra-wide FUJITAC
Existing plant 710 million m² 175 million m²
Fujifilm Kyushu No.4 Plant Line 7 <Operation to commence in October 2011> 70 million m² 780 million m² 245 million m²
Fujifilm Kyushu No.4 Plant Line 8 <Operation to commence in December 2012> 35 million m² 815 million m² 280 million m²

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FUJIFILM Corporation
Corporate Public Relations Group
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