kuraray


Living Goods and Materials Division
KURARAYKURAFLEX CO., LTD.
Kuraray Fastening Co., Ltd.

Business Overview

Nonwoven fabrics

Nonwoven KURAFLEX fabrics are used in an extremely wide variety of applications, from lifestyle products to industrial materials and the medical and cosmetic fields. Many products made using these fabrics have been well received by the market, including KURAFLEX counter cloth, which holds the largest share of the Japanese market for commercial sanitary cloth. Others include wet wipe-type nonwoven cloths, filters for food processing, various types of masks, wipers and flexible bandages.

The liquid crystalline polymer nonwoven fabric VECRUS is heat-resistant and hydrophobic with low dielectric dissipation in high-frequency bands. It has received much attention as a material for use in printed circuit boards due to the ongoing miniaturization and improved performance requirements of IC packages, mobile phones and other mobile devices. We aim to expand the range of applications for this material.

Due to the maturation of the domestic market and an increase in products imported from overseas in recent years, manufacturers have needed to restructure their nonwoven fabric businesses. KURARAYKURAFLEX is currently accelerating and expanding its establishment of overseas operations. We aim to meet customers' needs through the provision of unique, high-performance products made using proprietary Kuraray materials (KURALON, KURALON K-Ⅱ, EVAL).

Fastenings

Kuraray Fastening Co., Ltd. became the first company in Japan to produce and sell woven hook and loop fastener with the launch of MAGIC TAPE in 1960. Over the ensuing more than 50 years, Kuraray Fastening has continued to develop a wide array of fastening products that meet market needs as they arise.

Responding to current consumer demand in the areas of the environment, safety and health, Kuraray Fastening is promoting the development of products that are people- and eco-friendly. These developments include polyester-based New Eco Magic made using a novel manufacturing method that does not involve using polyurethane resin to fix the fiber pile to the backing, thus achieving a 30% reduction in CO2 emissions compared with products made using conventional manufacturing methods. Through the development of New Eco Magic, Kuraray Fastening is devoting itself to expanding the market for hook and loop fastener products in such fields as everyday commodities and nursing care and medical appliances.

In addition to clothing applications, Kuraray Fastening developed MAGILOCK, an industrial-use molded plastic hook and loop fastener. Also, the Company is developing and making proposals related to new fastening systems using MAGILOCK in such areas as automobiles, rolling stock and construction materials.

Scope of Operations and History

Dry-laid nonwoven fabrics

Production Capacity 10,500t/year (plant located in Okayama City, Okayama Prefecture)
History 1972: Kuraray Chicopee Co., Ltd, established, launching nonwoven fabric business
1987: Merged with Kuraray Co., Ltd.
2000: Production plant split off as Kuraflex Co., Ltd
2005: KURARAYKURAFLEX CO., LTD. established

Melt-blown nonwoven fabric

Production Capacity 1,800t/year (plant located in Saijo City, Ehime Prefecture)
History 1989: Production commenced at Kurashiki Plant
1995: Production commenced at Saijo Plant (currently Kuraray Saijo Co., Ltd.)

Woven hook and loop fasteners

Production capacity (25mm width) 48 million meters per year (60% share of the domestic market: plant located in Sakai City, Fukui Prefecture)
History 1960: Japan Velcro Co., Ltd. established; MAGIC TAPE woven hook and loop fastener commercialized
1984: Kuraray Co., Ltd. acquired Japan Velcro Co., Ltd. and took over the Tsurugashima Plant in Saitama Prefecture
1988: Production of MAGIC TAPE woven hook and loop fasteners transferred to Magic Tape Co., Ltd. in Fukui Prefecture
2003: Kuraray Magic Tape (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. established
2004: Company name changed to Kuraray Fastening Co., Ltd. from Magic Tape Co., Ltd.

Molded hook and loop fasteners

Production capacity (25mm width) 7 million meters per year (plant located in Sakai City, Fukui Prefecture)
History 1989: Kuraray's Kurashiki Plant began producing MAGILOCK molded hook and loop fasteners
2002: Production of MAGILOCK transferred to Magic Tape Co., Ltd. in Fukui Prefecture

Challenges and Policies

Nonwoven fabrics

We are focusing on developing new high-performance products that utilize the unique characteristics of Kuraray's proprietary materials as well as combinations of the dry-laid and melt-blown processing methods used in the manufacturing of KURAFLEX. By doing so, we will expand our nonwoven fabric business in the fields of medical appliances, cosmetics and industrial materials, including various filters and functional wipers, while promoting overseas expansion. Moreover, we will seek to make proposals for using FELIBENDY, the world's first nonwoven fabric produced through steam jet processing technology, in such fields as construction and civil engineering. In this way, we aim to develop new business that is beyond the boundary of the nonwoven fabric business.

Fastening

We will further develop the market for MAGIC TAPE, a name that has become synonymous with woven hook and loop fasteners, by stepping up the promotion of ECOMAGIC, a new, eco-friendly product.

In addition, Kuraray Fastening is taking steps to facilitate the market penetration of MAGILOCK, the industrial-use molded plastic hook and loop fastener. This expansion will allow, Kuraray Fastening to promote the development of a wider array of products as a comprehensive manufacturer of hook and loop fasteners.

Core Products

Nonwoven fabrics
Main Brands
  • KURAFLEX Dry-laid non-woven fabric
  • KURAFLEX-MB Melt-blown non-woven fabric
  • Liquid crystalline polymer non-woven fabric used for electrical materials
Web site
Fastening
Main Brands
  • MAGIC TAPE
  • New ECOMAGIC
  • Single component, hook and loop
fastener
  • MAGILOCK
  • Mold-In Fastener
Web site