New Technology Development and Value Creation

Goals and Achievements of Major Initiatives

Objectives of initiatives Goals for fiscal year 2016 Achievements in fiscal year 2016 Evaluation Goals for fiscal year 2017
Enhance ability to develop products and technologies that facilitate contribution to a sustainable society. ・Promote collaboration among DIC Group technical departments.
・Expand the DIC Group’s global R&D configuration.
・Promote the integration of external technologies.
・Overseas printing ink and polymer technical centers were on track. Collaboration among DIC technical departments bolstered achievements in the PRC and the Asia-Pacific region.
・A new group was established to promote open innovation and active steps were taken to advance cooperation with external organizations.
★★ ・Promote collaboration among DIC Group technical departments.
・Enhance global R&D configuration
・Encourage open innovation.
・Use IT to enhance the efficiency of R&D.
Promote the development of environment-friendly products and services. Accelerate the development of low-carbon and other environmentfriendly products. ・Newly developed products included environment-friendly water-based flexo inks and LED-UV inks and modified cellulose nanofiber (CNF) epoxy resin.
・Environment-friendly products accounted for 56% of all DIC Group products.
★★ Accelerate efforts to develop low-carbon and other products and reduce negative impact on the environment.
  • Evaluations are based on self-evaluations of current progress. Key: ★★★ = Excellent; ★★ = Satisfactory; ★ = Still needs work

Achieving Sustainable Growth

With the aim of achieving its Color & Comfort by Chemistry management vision, the DIC Group is leveraging its basic technologies, including those in the areas of optics and color, organic molecular design, polymer design and dispersion, as well as its core technologies in such areas as synthesis, compounding and formulation, and surface treatment, to develop high-value-added products. The Group is also building a portfolio of next-generation products and new technologies by integrating technological resources originating across the Group, as well as actively promoting open innovation, to drive sustainable growth.

The DIC Group’s Basic/Core and Technologies and Target Markets

Developing Next-Generation Products with Compounding Technologies and through Open Innovation

Specific Initiatives and Achievements

The DIC Group is promoting the development and use of clean technologies. The Company is encouraging a shift toward materials with reduced environmental impact—notably energy-saving, water-based and solvent-free materials, as well as materials for the electronics, automotive, packaging and other industries—that improve the environmental performance of the products in which they are used, which it has positioned as environment-friendly products.

Products for Use in Electronics Equipment

The DIC Group is developing materials that facilitate the reduction of energy consumption, the production of more compact of finished products, and the shortening of processes and reduction of waste in production processes, for finished products. In products for LCDs, the Group expanded sales of new green pigments for wide-gamut color filters, as well as developed and began sample shipments of a highly responsive monomer that shortens production processes for polymer sustained alignment (PSA) LCDs. The Group also commenced full-scale production of TFT LCs for use in LCD televisions. Newly developed products in the area of polymers for electronics materials included a resin for resists used in nanoimprint lithography (NIL), a technology that shows promise as a next-generation semiconductor fabrication process and a phenolic resin binder for sand casting 3D printers. In industrial adhesive tapes, the Group developed an adhesive dot tape that virtually eliminates air bubbles when applied, which was adopted for use by smartphone manufacturers.

Products for Automotive Applications

In the area of materials for automotive electronic components, the DIC Group developed a new PPS compound that delivers excellent strength and resistance to heat and moisture for which it is currently working to cultivate markets. The Group also developed and commenced sample shipments of a PPS compound for laser direct structuring (LDS), used for forming circuits on 3D molded components. The outstanding heat, moisture and chemical resistance of PPS, together with the design flexibility of LDS, make it possible to integrate multiple components, as well as to reduce component size and weight. These benefits have encouraged use in the manufacture of components not only of automobiles but also for medical devices.

Products for Packaging Applications

In printing inks for packaging applications, the Group developed and worked to expand sales of a water-based flexo ink that realizes a print quality comparable to that achieved with gravure printing, which it has positioned as a strategic product for the Asian markets, notably the PRC and India. New products in the area of UV-curable printing inks included a series of low-migration inks and a series of high-sensitivity inks that delivers superb adhesion to the print substrate. These inks help reduce VOCs in printing processes, as well as curb the amount of energy required for drying. The Sun Chemical Group also focused efforts on the development of environment-friendly products, including a sheetfed ink for in-mold labeling that does not contain cobalt and mineral oils and a heatset ink with an aromatic hydrocarbon content of less than 1.0%.
Newly developed adhesives for flexible packaging included a highly durable solvent-free adhesive for use in refill packaging for laundry detergent, fabric softener and other products that resists damage caused by package contents. The Group also promoted efforts to commercialize a vapor-deposited reinforcing adhesive that improves the barrier properties of aluminum vapor–deposited films. Among achievements in the area of multilayered adhesive films were sealant films that help curb the deterioration and reduce the loss of package contents, one of which was for lids used in molded retortable food packaging that withstands thermal sterilization under high pressure at temperatures up to 130º C, while another was for use in packaging for pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, both of which contain volatile ingredients and require sealant films that deliver both a superior seal and low adsorption.

A Global R&D Configuration that Underpins Product Development

The DIC Group’s global R&D bases work as one to promote R&D of new technologies and products. DIC’s Technical Administrative Division and Corporate R&D Division cooperate with the R&D components of DIC Group companies around the world. These include DIC Graphics Corporation; the Sun Chemical Group’s research centers in the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany; Qingdao DIC Finechemicals Co., Ltd., which conducts comprehensive R&D tailored to market needs in the PRC; and printing inks technical centers (Asia–Pacific region and the PRC), polymer technical centers (Asia–Pacific region and the PRC) and PPS technical service centers (PRC and Germany). In addition, an algae research center in the United States capitalizes on the Group’s accumulated expertise as a producer of Spirulina to conduct comprehensive algae-related research in areas ranging from cultivation to practical application.

The DIC Group’s R&D Configuration

Promoting Environment-Friendly Products >

The DIC Group is committed to effective stewardship of the products it provides. Conscious always of the importance of ensuring its products are environment-friendly, DIC promotes the development of products and new technologies that are useful to society and works to increase the weighting of environment-friendly products in its portfolio, by reducing the volume of hazardous substances it uses, focusing on products that are less hazardous and products that facilitate recycling, and realizing safer production processes that generate less waste and use less energy.

Innovation through Compounding

Building on its fundamental pigment and resin dispersion and formulating technologies, realized through the production of printing inks, DIC has succeeded in combining materials with different properties and performance characteristics to develop groundbreaking products and create new value.
Recent achievements include the PASLIM series of adhesives with oxygen-barrier properties, which represent the “compounding” of polymer- and filler-related technologies, which minimize food deterioration by preventing oxygen permeation while at the same time facilitating the production of films that are thinner and lighter than conventional alternatives. DIC also developed a silica hybrid UV-curable polymer for hard coatings, realized through the compounding of organic and inorganic polymer technologies, for coating optical film. The DIC Group will continue to harness its distinctive compounding capabilities to further transform its diverse technologies into competitive advantages with the aim of driving innovation.

Innovation through Compounding

Protecting Intellectual Property

Recognizing intellectual property as crucial to competitiveness, the DIC Group vows to respect the intellectual property of other companies. At the same time, guided by an open/closed strategy the Group works to secure intellectual property rights for its own technologies and make use of “black boxing.”
In fiscal year 2016, DIC was fourth in a ranking of companies in the chemicals industry in Japan in terms of patent assets owned in a review conducted by an independent firm*. DIC registers an average of 400 new patents annually. While this is small compared to leading chemicals firms, the Company scored high for its overall scale of its patent assets, underscoring the quality and high profile of the patents it holds. DIC will continue to actively protect its intellectual property portfolio with the aim of ensuring sustainable growth in the years ahead.

  • *Patent Result Co., Ltd.
VOICE

We are addressing the challenge of developing next-generation technologies from the perspective of chemistry.

With the trend toward every-higher levels of miniaturization, the resulting sharp increase in fabrication processes and costs has become a key issue for semiconductor manufacturers. DIC’s Corporate R&D Division recently developed a resin that is appropriate for resists used in nanoimprint lithography (NIL), a technology that shows promise as a next-generation semiconductor fabrication process. With NIL, control of the unique organic–inorganic hybrid compound structure used facilitates rapid curing and superb etching resistance, significantry streamlining fabrication. We will continue to leverage the wealth of technologies we have amassed as a manufacturer of fine chemicals to address next-generation challenges and promote sustainable development.

Assistant Manager, Polymer Technical Group 5, Polymer Technical Division 1 Takeshi Ibe

Assistant Manager,
Polymer Technical Group 5, Polymer Technical Division 1
Takeshi Ibe

TOPICS DIC chairman and employee win awards from the Japan Thermosetting Plastics Industry Association

Mr. Sugie (fourth from the left) and Mr. Arita (second from the left) with other award winners.
Mr. Sugie (fourth from the left) and Mr. Arita (second from the left) with other award winners.

DIC chairman and employee win awards from the Japan Thermosetting Plastics Industry Associationlarge Mr. Sugie (fourth from the left) and Mr. Arita (second from the left) with other award winners. In October 2014, DIC’s chairman, Kazuo Sugie, received a special award and Kazuo Arita, principal researcher in the Chiba Plant’s Polymer Technical Division, received an incentive award from the Japan Thermosetting Plastics Industry Association (JTPIA) at the 38th Japan Thermosetting Plastics Industry Association Awards
JTPIA’s principal focus is “network polymers,” a term that encompasses a broad range of crosslinked polymers. The organization encourages broad-based R&D and discussion on a variety of related topics, including raw materials, processing, analysis and material properties, and environmental technologies. JTPIA also sponsors an annual symposium on network polymer and currently presents awards to recognizing particularly outstanding achievements announced in its academic journal, Network Polymer.
The special award was given to Mr. Sugie, who as former chairman of the aion of his success in controlling the molecular weight of naphthalene ether—the synthesis of which was problematic using existing technologies—and developing a commercially viable naphthalene ether oligomer epoxy resin that combines a high glass transition temperature (thermophysical resistance) and excellent resistance to chemical decomposition caused by heat (thermochemical resistance), properties previously considered incompatible.

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