Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc. Announces Construction of Third Simitri Polymerized Toner Plant

Addition of Third Plant Strengthens Konica Minolta's Position as theWorld's Leading Producer of Polymerized Toner

Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc.
Announces Construction of Third Simitri® Polymerized Toner Plant

Addition of Third Plant Strengthens Konica Minolta's Position as the
World's Leading Producer of Polymerized Toner

RAMSEY, N.J. - September 13, 2005 - In response to the increased demand for Simitri® Polymerized Toner, Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc.'s (KMBS) parent company Konica Minolta Business Technologies, Inc. (Konica Minolta) has announced the construction of a third polymerized toner production plant.  Konica Minolta, the world's leading producer of polymerized toner, is making a new investment in its production subsidiary, Konica Minolta Supplies Manufacturing Co., Ltd., for the toner plant's construction.  The plant will be built in Tatsunomachi, Kamiina-gun, Nagano, Japan.  Construction of the third plant will start in September 2005, with completion scheduled for September 2006.  The new plant's mass production of toner will commence in December 2006.

With the addition of the new plant, Konica Minolta's position as an industry-leading toner manufacturer will be further strengthened.  The new plant will have an annual production capacity of about 7,000 tons, increasing Konica Minolta's annual production of polymerized toner from 8,000 tons (combined production capacities of the first and second plants, as of November 2005) to about 15,000 tons. The new third plant will be a production base for Simitri Color Polymerized Toner to meet the demands of the fast-growing color printing market, as well as for black Simitri Polymerized Toner.

"The construction of the third Simitri Polymerized Toner plant is another step in our strategy to become #1 in color, #1 in customer satisfaction, and the overall value leader in the industry.  The new plant will allow us to continue to meet the market demand and enable Konica Minolta to become the total cost of ownership leader in the marketplace, bringing great value to our end customers and strategic partners," said Shoei Yamana, executive director and general manager, MFP sales and marketing worldwide, Konica Minolta Business Technologies, Inc.

"Konica Minolta's award-winning bizhub and bizhub PRO product lines utilize Simitri Polymerized Toner, providing us with an advantage over competitive products that use conventional pulverized toner. With our continuing emphasis on the development of new color bizhub and bizhub PRO products, such as the bizhub C450 and the bizhub PRO C500, and the need to meet the demands of the growing color printer/MFP market, a further increase in the production of polymerized toner is required. Accordingly, Konica Minolta has resolved to open a third plant to meet this urgent need to expand production capacity," said Jun Haraguchi, president and CEO, Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc.

A Next-Generation Technology
Konica Minolta's Simitri Polymerized Toner is a high-end product manufactured using Konica Minolta's proprietary method, and incorporates four of Konica Minolta's state-of-the-art core technologies - imaging, optical and material technologies, as well as nano-fabrication.

Konica Minolta's Simitri Polymerized Toner is characterized by fine, uniformly sized particles produced using a different method than conventional pulverized toner.  Konica Minolta's black Simitri Polymerized Toner is suitable for its monochrome and color MFPs due to its image density, which has a higher level of resin particles. Compared to conventional toner, Simitri Polymerized Toner provides a drastic improvement in image quality (high resolution, and excellent gradation and sharpness), a higher toner yield, and a cost reduction at the production level. 

Konica Minolta employs a unique method to produce Simitri Polymerized Toner. Resin particles of 100 nanometers (1/10,000 of a millimeter) are synthesized through the emulsion polymerization method, and then the particles are chemically, finely, and slowly coagulated and fused with a coloring agent. Characteristically, this method allows for the production of small toner particles - three to seven microns - of uniform size and shape, unlike the suspension polymerization and rapid coagulation polymerization methods used by the competition. The particles formed by Konica Minolta's polymerization method excel in colorant and wax dispersion, and can produce high quality images comparable to offset-printed images.

An Environmentally Friendly Toner
In addition, Simitri Polymerized Toner, with its low fusing temperature, is very environmentally friendly, delivering high energy-saving and emission-reducing effects. During the Simitri Polymerized Toner production process, the emission of carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide, and sulfur oxide is reduced by approximately 40% compared to the production of conventional pulverized toner.

The History of Konica Minolta's Production of Simitri Polymerized Toner
In December 2000, Konica Minolta started production of "polymerized toner," a new product incorporating the company's state-of-the-art technologies, at its first plant in Kofu City.

To meet increasing demand, Konica Minolta started construction of a second plant, also in Kofu City, in April 2002.  The second plant was completed in May 2003. An additional investment has been made in the second plant to enhance its production capacity.  The new production system for the second plant will be ready for operation in November 2005.

New Third Plant (Tentative Name: Tatsuno Plant) Investment Plan

  • Investment amount:  About 7.5 billion yen (including land, building, equipment) 
  • Construction site:  Tatsunomachi, Kamiina-gun, Nagano (industrial site) 
  • Lot area:  about 45,500 m2 
  • Production capacity:  About 7,000 tons/year 
  • Commencement of construction:  September 2005 (scheduled) 
  • Completion of construction:  September 2006 (scheduled) 
  • Commencement of mass production:  December 2006 
  • No. of employees:  About 30 (at the start of the operation)

About Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc.
Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc., offers a broad range of multifunctional digital imaging solutions inspired by its bizhub™ brand of powerful solutions that serve as the central resource for document scanning, in-house printing, copying, faxing and electronic archiving and distribution.  From high-quality color and monochrome bizhub systems for workgroups and small offices, to advanced high-volume bizhub PRO™ production printing systems for large corporations and print-for-pay services, Konica Minolta is leading the industry toward integrated, networked hardware/software solutions that are more simple, reliable, and cost-effective.  Complementing its bizhub solutions, Konica Minolta also offers desktop laser printers, microform digital imaging systems, wide-format printers and scanning systems for specialized applications.

Headquartered in Ramsey, New Jersey, Konica Minolta delivers expert professional services and experienced, responsive client support, in addition to the world-class service provided through its extensive network of direct sales offices, authorized dealers, resellers and distribution partners in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Central America and South America.  For more information, please visit Konica Minolta at www.kmbs.konicaminolta.us

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