Toray to Expand US Facility
Japanese company Toray Industries , Inc., Tokyo, decided to increase the production capacity of TorayPEF polyolefin foam produced byToray Plastics (America) (TPA), Inc., Rhode Island. The total amount of investment is approximately 4 billion yen to add a manufacturing facility with an annual production capacity of 3,000 tons at TPA's Virginia plant. The new facility is expected to start operations in the beginning of 2018. The expansion of the production facility will boost TPA's TorayPEF production to 7,500 tons a year.
TorayPEF is a polyolefin foam developed using Toray's proprietary manufacturing method, and it is adopted for various purposes including automobile interior, insulation of consumer electronics, and cushion materials for housing and civil engineering because of its characteristics of lightweight, thermal insulation, shock-absorption, moldability and non-water absorption. Sales of ToraSoft, a type developed by TPA on its own, in particular have been growing in automobile applications for its soft texture and high moldability.
The number of automobiles manufactured in North America has been growing strongly from the 12 million vehicle level after the 2008 financial crisis. It has exceeded about 17.5 million units in 2015, partly helped by low gasoline prices due to decline in crude oil prices and is expected to continue gradually also from 2016 onwards. As the automobile market expands, North American automobile manufacturers have been increasingly adopting TorayPEF as a soft interior material for parts such as door trim, as they use more luxury interior materials to differentiate its models. Moreover, Toray expects the use of the material for instrument panels to increase in addition to door materials, which has been the mainstay application, as automobile manufacturers standardize the design of interior materials.
The field of automobile applications is poised to expand significantly in the future along with aircraft applications and the company plans to actively allocate management resources to not only the Plastics & Chemicals business but also other fields such as Fibers & Textiles, Films, IT-related Products and Carbon Fiber Composite Materials. Toray will continue to promote business expansion aiming for continuous growth in growth fields and regions.
Toray Resins Europe GmbH (TREU)
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