As a part of its initiatives to streamline and reinforce its R&D structure, Kuraray Co., Ltd. has been restructuring the Kurashiki Plant since August 2005. In May 2007, Kuraray transferred the majority of functions at the Kurashiki Plant (the Company’s birthplace in Sakazu, Kurashiki City) to Tamashima. For the final phase of this restructuring plan, Kuraray is to announce the teardown of two chimneys—the symbol of the Kurashiki Plant (Sakazu)—and simultaneously, the opening of the "Kuraray Museum."
|Number of objects||Two chimneys (made of ferroconcrete)|
|Construction Size||Western chimney: 1931; Eastern chimney: 1933 |
Western chimney: 47.5m in height, circumference of 4.15m at the base and 2.85 m at the top
Eastern chimney: 47.5m in height, circumference of 4.70m at the base and 3.05 m at the top
|Application||For boiler (used for the remaining facilities even after the cessation of rayon production)|
|Termination of operation||Western chimney: November 2007; Eastern chimney: December 1997|
|Schedule||Plan to commence teardown operations on July 14, 2008 and complete them the end of August 2008|
|Demolition company||Fujiki Komuten Co.,Ltd.|
This year, Kuraray commemorated the 82nd anniversary since its inauguration as Kurashiki Kenshoku Co. by the founder, Magosaburo Ohara, in 1926. Established in April 1928 and starting the production of rayon yarn in the following month, the Kurashiki Plant (Sakazu), the headquarters in those days, was one of Kuraray’s oldest plants.
|1928||Rayon filament (production terminated in 1987)|
|1938||Rayon staple (production terminated in 1987)|
|1972||EVAL film (business transferred to the Okayama Plant in 1985)|
|1980||Dental materials (business transferred to Kuraray Medical Inc. in 2001; Currently in operations)|
|1981||Hollow fiber for artificial kidneys (business integrated into Asahi Kasei Kuraray Medical CO., LTD. in 2007)|
|1985||Contact lenses (business transferred to FACIL Co., Ltd. in 2005)|
|1989||Meltblown nonwoven fabrics (business transferred to the Saijo Plant in 1996)|
Initially Kuraray had three main bases: the Kurashiki Plant (Sakazu) for development and production; the Kurashiki Research Laboratories for R&D; and the Kurashiki Plant (New Kurashiki = Tamashima). However, several conditions encompassing: (1) the growing necessity for integration of development functions amid increasingly advancing and complex technological development; (2) impossibility of responding to future environmental changes on the back of deteriorating buildings and facilities at Sakazu; and (3) difficulties in business operations in the urban development of the surrounding area. Given this, the Company decided in July 2005 to transfer its development function, production facilities and back-office sections to Tamashima, and as a part of the plan, Kuraray established the Production and Technology Development Center in Tamashima (current Kurashiki Plant) in May 2007.