Tokyo (September 2, 2010) — Bridgestone Corporation today announced that, it will expand its electronic paper operations with the installation of a new production line in its Iwata Plant (Iwata City, Shizuoka Prefecture). The new line will entail an investment of approximately ¥1.0 billion ($11.8 Million), and will triple the company's production capacity of electronic paper to 15,000 A3 sheets per month, compared to the current capacity of 5,000 A3 sheets per month. Production at the Iwata line will begin this month.
Previously, Bridgestone produced electronic paper at its Tokyo Plant, but will now consolidate all of its electronic paper production at the Iwata facility. The plants that were producing electronic paper are scheduled to be used as research facilities. Bridgestone began sales of its electronic shelf labels using electronic paper* in fiscal 2009. Currently, over 1.5 million labels are in place on store shelves in over 200 supermarkets and other retailers throughout Japan and Europe.
The demand for this technology is expected to grow as the uses of electronic paper expand beyond electronic shelf labels and organizations strive to achieve paperless operations by employing electronic paper in the display boards of plants and logistics departments.
Bridgestone Corporation has a strong commitment to environmental leadership which includes forest preservation (conserving paper resources) and the prevention of global warming (reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions). Reducing paper usage is consistent with these goals.
* The printed paper shelf labels used in supermarkets and other retailers must be replaced whenever products or prices change which can result in the use of a lot of paper. Electronic shelf labels allow the displays of all price changes, even those in supermarkets and other retailers with mulitple branches, to be changed instantaneously and remotely which saves on the use of paper. This has earned them a great deal of attention world-wide.
Characterisitics of Bridgestone's Electronic Paper:
In 2002, Bridgestone succeeded in developing “Electronic Liquid Powder®,” a revoluntionary display material that can be used in place of LCDs. In 2004, Bridgestone utilized this new material to successfully develop electronic paper that can easily display letters and pictures and is able to maintain an image without electrical power.
Bridgestone's electronic paper features excellent visibility, similar to that of actual paper; a wide viewing angle; the ability to display color; and the ability to maintain an image without electrical power. Furthermore, it features fast display speed (30 times that of LCDs) and the ability to change the display instantaneously, and it can be used at low temperatures.