Site: Toray Industries, Inc.
Ehime Plant
1515 Tsutsui, Masaki-cho
Iyogun, Ehime 791-31, Japan

Date Visited: December 12, 1992

Report Author: F. Xavier Spiegel

ATTENDEES

JTEC:

J. DeVault
D. Granville
J. McDermott
F. Spiegel
D. Wilkins

HOSTS:

Mr. Akira Takeo

Assistant General Manager, ACM Technology
Dept., Head Office

Mr. Hiroshi Ohnishi

Manager, LSS Development Dept., Technology
Center, Ehime Plant

Mr. Hideo Komatsu

Dir., General Manager Large Scale Structure
Project & Composite Materials,
Research Labs, Ehime Plant

Mr. Hiroyoshi Tanaka

Deputy General Manager, Composite Materials
Research Labs, Ehime Plant

Mr. Koji Kozuka

Manager, Composite Fabrication Dept., Advanced
Composite Materials Div., Shiga Plant

Mr. Minoru Kitanaka

General Manager, LSS Development Dept.
Technology Ctr., Ehime Plant

Mr. Nobuyuki Odagiri

Sr. Research Chemist, Composite Materials
Research Labs, Ehime Plant

BACKGROUND

Toray is the number one Japanese company in quality and quantity for the manufacture of carbon fiber. Ten percent of Toray's composites business is structures.

Toray's composite related organization is composed of the following four divisions:

Composite Materials
Manufacturing
Research and Development
Technical Center and Administration

The Manufacturing Division is composed of the Shiga Plant (composites) and the Ehime Plant (carbon fiber, prepreg). The Research and Development Division contains the Composite Materials Laboratories. The Composites Materials Division is composed of carbon fiber, carbon sports goods, composite materials, ACM technology, and the administrative departments. The technical center contains the Large Scale Structures Project Group. Net sales (April 1, 1990 - March 31, 1991) were $6.5 billion, with the following distribution:

Synthetic Fibers 48.4%
Plastics and Chemicals 26.3%
Housing & Engineering 15.8%
New Products & other* 9.5%

*New products and other business activities are listed by Toray as: carbon fiber, reverse osmosis membranes, printing plates, plastic glasses, artificial kidneys and pharmaceuticals.

The Toray Group (domestic and overseas subsidiaries and affiliated companies) includes 119 domestic and 58 overseas companies. The parent company has 10,116 employees, the domestic subsidiaries have 8,393, and the overseas subsidiaries have 7,502. Toray forecasts the worldwide pan-based carbon fiber capacity to be 11,505 tons/year. Worldwide consumption in 1991 was estimated at 6,170 tons. Toray forecast pitch based carbon fiber capacity to be 2,054 tons/year in Japan. Toray's approach to business is the market/demand system. They enter a market where management expertise is available, where there is a market demand, and where the host government or industry requests their expertise. The Toray Group was the first company to qualify carbon/epoxy for the Boeing 777.

In 1991, they announced APG 2000, their long-term corporate vision, which sets out the Group's aims by the year 2000. The "G" in the name denotes the three concepts that guide their business strategies: Growth, Group Management, and Globalization.

RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITIES

Although Toray's R&D activities are numerous, emphasis is placed on automatic filament winding, pultrusion, and resin transfer molding.

Toray is determined to develop a structures business.

Its major efforts in resin development are aimed at toughened PI and BMI resins. However, not much work is being done on thermoplastic resins. In RTM, they believe that the main challenge lies in the preform rather than the resin.

Currently, automotive efforts in Japan appear to be limited to drive shafts only.

They answered a set of questions sent by the panel, which are attached for reference.

REFERENCES

Toray Industries. Incorporated. "Toray Outline of the Ehime Plant" (brochure).
1/4 - 4/4.

------. 1992. "Toray - TORAYCA Quality Carbon Fiber" (brochure). Japan.

------. 1992. "Toray - TORAYCA - TORAYCA Carbon Fiber - Quality Plus
Stability" (brochure).

------. 1992. "Toray - Toray Industries, Inc. Annual Report 1992",
April 1, 1991 - March 31, 1992 (brochure).

Toray Industries Incorporated, Carbon Fibers Department. "Toray- TORAYCA
Compendium of Recent Advances in Torayca Technologies - Review of
Toray's Technical Papers, 1989" (booklet).

------. "Toray - TORAYCA Technical Reference Manual" (booklet).


Published: April 1994; WTEC Hyper-Librarian