Reorganization of Production Framework for Water Treatment Chemicals and the Integration of the R&D Centers
Kurita Water Industries Ltd. (Head Office: Shinjuku, Tokyo. President: Hiroshi Fujino) is reorganizing its domestic production framework for water treatment chemicals and integrating its centers for research and development. Through these initiatives, the Company will optimize the businesses of the entire Kurita Group.
The Company has actively pursued its business in the area of water and environmental management to achieve a position of outstanding leadership in the field. To achieve this objective, we have promoted the necessary optimization measures for the Group and the business organization. Recently, in April 2002, the Company merged with Kurita Chemicals Co., Ltd., a manufacturer of water treatment chemicals, and in April 2003, established Kurita Analysis Service Co.Ltd., a company specializing in analysis. Furthermore, in June 2003, the Company established Kuritec Services Co.Ltd., a company specializing in tool cleansing. These initiatives have been implemented as a part of the optimization efforts. To maintain our position as the leading company in the area of water and environmental management, the Company structure will be strengthened through possible alliances and M&As with other companies, in addition to optimization of the business structures within the Group.
Reorganization of the production framework for water treatment chemicals
Currently, our Company manufactures water treatment chemicals at three locations, namely Egawa Factory in Goka-machi, Sashima-gun, Ibaraki, Akoh Factory in Akoh-shi, Hyogo and Yamaguchi Factory in Yamaguchi-shi, Yamaguchi. Of the three, Yamaguchi Factory will be closed on January 1, 2005, to facilitate integration of the manufacturing operations at Egawa Factory in the east and Akoh Factory in the west. Accordingly, Kurita Kasei Co., Ltd. (Head Office: Yamaguchi-shi, Yamaguchi. Executive Managing Director: Toshikatsu Arimura), a company engaged in the manufacture of water treatment chemicals for the Group, will be dissolved.
In response to the maturity of the domestic market for water treatment chemicals, the Company has promoted the reorganization of the production framework for water treatment chemicals to improve our competitiveness by minimizing the costs associated with manufacturing and distribution. The Company is taking this action based on a policy of enhancing the efficiency of the production and distribution framework and of outsourcing these tasks. As a part of the efforts, it was decided to abolish Yamaguchi Factory and dissolve Kurita Kasei Co., Ltd.
The Company will continue to provide measures for optimizing the production framework for water treatment chemicals, to continue supplying products at the quality and cost that meets the requirements of our customers.
Integration of R&D centers
Concerning the R&D centers, the current system of two centers comprising Corporate Research and Technology Development Center in Atsugi-shi, Kanagawa and the Business and Technology Development Center in Nogi-machi, Shimotsuga-gun, Tochigi will be abolished to establish a single-center system. The research and development functions will be integrated with the Business Development Center on October 1, 2005. The Technology Development Center will be closed after the facilities have been relocated.
There are two objectives for the integration: (1) to integrate and accelerate the processes from research on the basic technologies to development and commercialization of new products, and (2) to avoid duplicated investments on large-scale equipment and other research facilities, while reducing the operating costs at the centers. Another point to note is that the Corporate Research and Technology Development Center that is to be closed was completed eighteen years ago and there is not much space left today. Extensive repairs and high maintenance costs would be necessary for the center to continue operation. Through the integration, the Company hopes to accumulate human resources, our greatest asset in research and development, and to promote mutual exchange and a level of sophistication that will lead to the integration of complex technologies, improved quality and the passing on of technologies and expertise. The annual operating costs for the center are expected to fall by 15%, enabling greater inv estment in the actual research and development activities. By effectively harnessing the benefits of integration, the Company will quickly develop new technologies and products while improving the effects, and respond to increasingly diverse requirements.
The new center will consist of two new research buildings on the current site of the Business and Technology Development Center (site area: about 78,800 square meters). The total floor area will be about 17,400 square meters, and this R&D center will be surrounded by verdant greenery. The new center will be equipped with a test plant room where full-scale test demonstrations will be possible using the actual facilities. The new center will also be equipped with a clean room rated at an exceptional Class 100, as well as a one-gigabit ultra pure water production system. There are also solar power generation facilities and the latest in waste water treatment systems. The facilities at the center are appropriate for our corporate principle "Study the properties of water, master them and we will create an environment in which nature and man are in harmony." The center will function as an important base for developing new technologies, new products and new businesses in the area of water and the environment.
The proposed new R&D facilities