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The company announced its decision to enhance the production facility for carbon fiber TORAYCA prepreg (resin-impregnated carbon fiber sheets) at its U.S. subsidiary Toray Composites in Tacoma, Washington. It plans to introduce a high-performance facility suitable for producing high-value added prepreg for aircraft and automobile applications. The new facility is expected to start production in January 2016.
TCA produces TORAYCA prepreg mainly for aerospace and automobile applications for the U.S. market and its existing production facilities have been operating at full capacity, following the monthly assembly rate of Boeing 787 reached 10 s/s in November 2013.The production facility enhancement at TCA is in response to Boeing Company’s decision in October 2013 to raise the number of monthly assembly rate of 787 aircraft to 12 in 2016 from the current 10 s/s. The plan is aimed at achieving a stable supply of that prepreg for 787 aircraft by obtaining production line qualification by Boeing.Toray Group is currently under construction of the 2nd production line at the Ishikawa Plant in Japan for high value added TORAYCA prepreg for industrial applications such as chassis for IT devices and automobile outer panels (hood, roof, etc.) that require high quality stability, and the added facility is expected to start production in February 2015. In addition, the Group in December 2013 shipped prepreg for 787 aircraft for the first time from Ishikawa Plant, also as part of the moves to enhance TORAYCA prepreg supply network and to actively pursue higher added values of the products at the three production bases including Ehime Plant.With the expansion of facilities at TCA, Toray will not only be able to fully meet the demand from increased production of the Boeing 787s but also to further strengthen the stable supply structure for that prepreg to cater to the high value-added products market, where the demand is expected to increase more in the future.Under its ongoing medium-term management program “Project AP-G 2013”, the group is fully drawing on the Power of Chemistry and driving forward the group-wide projects of “Green Innovation Business Expansion (GR) Project”, in which it aims to contribute to solving global environmental problems as well as energy and resource issues. Carbon fiber composite materials are materials that not only promote energy savings by reducing the weight of automobiles and aircrafts but also are advanced materials that contribute to the spread of new energy through its use in windmill blades and pressure vessels for storing and transporting shale gas, etc. Toray Group is planning to actively expand the carbon fiber composite materials business in the next medium-term management program, currently under consideration, as a business that would drive the profit expansion for the company.More information: www.toray.com