A small thunderstorm didn’t spoil the opening of a new facility in New Castle, Delaware today. The area, just a few miles from Wilmington, Delaware, is the site of the new 8,100 square feet. Fujifilm Imaging Colorants high purity reactive dispersant (RxD) pigment dispersion production facility. Although the process of building and launching this facility – and a second one planned on site for 2023 – began in 2019, much of the process took place during the pandemic, at a time when much of the world s is stopped. The $19 million investment in this facility, along with an additional $28 million investment in the second facility, is indicative of the growth planned for Fujifilm’s ink solutions business.
“It’s a truly exciting day for Fujifilm, as we celebrate the opening of the first of two inkjet manufacturing plants in New Castle,” said Ian Wilkinson, President and COO of Fujifilm. InkSolutions Group. “It underscores our commitment to the United States, our commitment to Delaware, and through this we are excited to create jobs and be a valued member of the local community.
A party day
To mark this momentous event, Fujifilm hosted Delaware Lieutenant Governor Bethany Hall-Long and New Castle Mayor Mike Quaranta to deliver opening remarks.
“This is truly an important day in Delaware,” Hon. Hall-Long said.
The expansion, which will create dozens of jobs in the state, helps support state goals. Quaranta explained that Delaware is focused on training and developing the workforce, and opening not just one, but two manufacturing plants in the state will help develop and meet the goals. of state labor.
The opening ceremony was also filled with speakers from Fujifilm. Wilkinson was the emcee, while Fumiaki Sato, deputy general manager of IJBD at Fujifilm Corp.; Melissa Toledo, GM – USA, Fujifilm Ink Solutions Group; and Scott MacMillian, Group Operations Manager, Fujifilm Ink Solutions Group, each took the stage to describe the new facility, explain the RxD technology and expand on the company’s goals.
“We are proud to be a global company and a household name,” said Sato.
He explained that there are four key business areas for Fujifilm: Imaging Solutions, Healthcare Solutions, Document Solutions and Hardware Solutions.
The latter is seeing real growth, especially in aqueous-based printing, Toledo said. Pigment dispersion, which is the technology used for the production of aqueous inks, was invented in 2005 in the UK. Although production facilities will remain in the UK, this expansion will facilitate more efficient supply to global customers, she explained.
MacMillian then took the stage to provide a timeline for the facility’s opening process. The idea originated in 2019, when the world was, understandably, a very different place.
“However, this is a project that was delivered without compromise,” he said.
The morning continued with a ribbon-cutting ceremony to commemorate the launch of the production plant, followed by small group tours of the plant. One of the guides, Michelle Kelley, Director of Manufacturing and Engineering, Fujifilm Ink Solutions Group, explained the cross-linking centrifugation process, which is crucial in helping to keep the product pure and stable. “That’s where the magic happens,” she said.
As the day drew to a close, Print impressions was able to speak with Wilkinson one-on-one about the expansion, despite the challenges of the past two years.
“A lot of companies have put their investments on hold,” he said, “but continuing to invest and spend when there was so much uncertainty reassured people. Fujifilm is here for the long haul and that technology is part of a cutting-edge future”.
While there have been challenges – particularly with raw material availability, pricing and shipping – the expansion just helps build on Fujifilm’s already strong infrastructure.
“We were not immune [to challenges]but this plant gives us greater continuity of supply,” he continued.
Michael Bush, Marketing Communications Manager, Fujifilm Ink Solutions Group, joined the conversation and explained that the ink produced at this facility is supplied for Fujifilm products, as well as other OEM ink systems at inkjet. He went on to say that the new technology is “printhead independent”, since the dispersions are supplied to other ink formulators.
RxD technology is still in its infancy, Wilkinson explained, but expanding production will be essential as digital printing continues to grow, especially in the packaging market.
“That’s where brand owners want to go,” Wilkinson said. “So it’s a real investment for the future.”