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

Evaluation Sheet for Environment-Friendly Products
DIC introduced its system for designating environment-friendly products in 2003 and uses a proprietary evaluation sheet to designate products as “environment-friendly.”

The DIC Group is committed to effective stewardship of the products it provides. (For related information, please see page 57.) 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. The Group has established internal rules for designating products “environment-friendly” and works to increase the weighting of products that have earned this designation in their portfolio. In fiscal year 2016, environment-friendly products accounted for 56% of all products put out by DIC and subsidiary DIC Graphics. The Group also strives to maintain a solid grasp of laws and regulations in different countries and territories, and of trends in environmental measures—thereby ensuring its ability to design products that comply with diverse regulations governing the use of chemical substances in different markets—and conducts environmental assessments on a continuous basis.
For printing inks, adhesives and other products used in food packaging, which the Group supplies to customers around the world, the DIC Group has established a global product stewardship team. The team shares information on regulations and relevant topics from different markets, as well as promotes awareness thereof and provides education. Knowledge thus gained is incorporated into product design and used to produce compliance certificates across the supply chain, which are essential for customers worldwide.

Environment-Friendly Web Offset Ink

Web World SYNERGY ECORE low temperature–drying web offset inks
Web World SYNERGY ECORE low temperature–drying web offset inks

Although its Web World SYNERGY web offset inks, which are used widely in the printing of flyers and magazines, satisfy certification requirements for vegetable oil–based inks, DIC Graphics continues working to increase the amount of vegetable oil used to enhance the environmental performance of products in this series.
DIC Graphics is also striving to further advance the use of recycled raw materials in these inks, as well as to expand its product ranges in which petroleum-based solvents have been replaced with vegetable oil–derived ingredients. In February 2016, the Group launched Web World SYNERGY ECORE, a new series of low temperature–drying web offset inks that help reduce CO2 emissions attributable to use by customers.

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

Life Cycle Assessments: Currently Under Consideration

In recent years, manufacturers have been required to quantify their consumption of nonrenewable resources and their emissions of substances that negatively affect the environment. In response to this and other trends driven by common concerns, DIC is currently considering the introduction of life cycle assessment (LCA) initiatives to ensure it fully grasps the various environmental impacts of all DIC Group products, as well as the adoption of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol’s*1 Scope3*2 standard.

  • *1The Greenhouse Gas Protocol, or GHG Protocol, is a suite of standards for calculating and reporting of greenhouse gas emissions.
  • *2Scope 3 is the GHG Protocol’s standard for calculating indirect greenhouse gas emissions resulting from production, transport, business travel and commuting, among others, across entire supply chains.
VOICE

We are developing environment-friendly packaging materials.

The PASLIM series is a selection of adhesives with oxygen-barrier properties that reduce the amount of packaging material waste. In recent years, we have seen an increase in the use of packaging materials comprising multiple layers of packaging filmlaminated together to package food products with the aim of prolonging shelf life. PASLIM was developed as an adhesive that would prevent oxygen permeation. The use of PASLIM eliminates the need to use multiple layers, facilitating the production of laminated packaging filmsthat are dramatically thinner and lighter than conventional filmsbut boast excellent oxygen-barrier properties. As well as preventing food deterioration, thinner, lighter filmsreduce the amount of packaging film sed and lower CO2 emissions attributable to such films.We will continue working to develop environment-friendly packaging materials with the aim of contributing to the realization of a sustainable society.

Head Researcher, Adhesives Technical Group 1, Adhesives Technical Division Masamitsu Arai

Head Researcher, Adhesives Technical Group 1,
Adhesives Technical Division
Masamitsu Arai

VOICE

We are working to develop products that boast outstanding performance features and are environment-friendly.

One of the best examples of a DIC Group product that is both environment-friendly and delivers a superior performance is our VOC-free UV-curable printing inks. While the increasing predominance of electronic media has slowed growth in demand for printing inks in general, demand for UV-curable inks for use in packaging applications remains f rm, as a consequence of which these inks have become one of our principal products in the offset inks market. In recent years, awareness of the need to protect the natural environment and rising concern regarding product safety have spurred an increase in the use of environment-friendly energy-saving UV and UV-LED lamps, further drawing attention to these inks that coat cleanly and safely, underscoring fundamental changes in operating conditions for printing inks manufacturers. In response to such changes, we are capitalizing on the DIC Group’s proprietary polymer and pigment engineering technologies to develop products that boast outstanding performance features and are environment-friendly.

Assistant Manager, Dispersion Technology Group 9, Dispersion Technical Division 1 Keisuke Wakahara

Assistant Manager, Dispersion Technology Group 9, Dispersion
Technical Division 1
Keisuke Wakahara

VOICE

We are developing PPS compounds for use in next-generation automotive components.

The outstanding heat resistance, electrical properties, chemical resistance and other performance features of PPS compounds have made them a popular alternative to metal materials for components used in automobiles, hot water heaters and lithium–ion batteries (LiBs), among others. With the remarkable rise in popularity of next-generation hybrid, electric and fuel cell vehicles, the need to reduce vehicle weight has accelerated efforts to shrink component size and increase motor output, underscoring the importance of developing new materials and mass production technologies. Our team will continue to address these challenges by capitalizing on the comprehensive strengths of the DIC Group. We look forward to helping expand the Group's share of the global market for PPS compounds.

GTS Project Assistant Manager, Polymer Processing Technical Div. Yasuyuki Yoshino

GTS Project Assistant Manager,
Polymer Processing Technical Div.
Yasuyuki Yoshino

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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