News | December 12, 2000

Toray, Bimo SPA to jointly develop high-barrier metalized OPP films

Toray Industries Inc. (Tokyo, Japan) and Bimo S.P.A. (Atessa, Italy) have concluded an OEM and a joint development agreement for the manufacture and sale of high-barrier metalized biaxially oriented polypropylene (BOPP) film. The agreement covers the manufacture of Toray's proprietary metalized products for sale into major food companies in Europe as well as the joint development of next-generation metalized barrier products utilizing a new orientation process owned by Bimo.

The OEM and joint development agreements were signed in September 2000.

Toray Plastics (America) Inc. (North Kingstown, RI), a wholly owned subsidiary of Toray Industries, currently has a 68% market share in metalized film used in the North American flexible-packaging market. Responding to requests by the company's largest customers, Toray has recognized the need to expand global sales of its high-barrier films into Europe.

Bimo offers Toray an Italian based manufacturing site from which to produce high quality films to compete in this area. Under the terms of the OEM agreement, Toray will provide technical support to Bimo for the production of Toray specification products and will supply OEM-produced products to its customers in Europe.

In addition to providing a European manufacturing site, Bimo also brings to the partnership a significant investment in developing the latest state-of-the-art film-making process, SOL (Simultaneous Orientation Line). Both companies believe this process will allow for the development of significantly improved metalized OPP films, which will offer enhanced barrier, improved durability, greater dimensional stability, higher yields and superior productivity.

The scope of this program may be enhanced to include other new film technologies.

Based upon this agreement between Toray and Bimo, Toray will have access to Bimo films for sales of selected Bimo films into the Japanese and North American markets. Toray is today operating the OPP films business under the Torayfan brand name with operations in Tsuchiura, Japan (1,500 tons/month capacity) and in North Kingstown, RI (3,100 tons/month capacity).

With the addition of the Bimo OEM in Europe (4,100 tons/month), Toray now has a global presence in Japan, the United States and Europe.

Edited by Bill Noone
Managing Editor, PackagingNetwork.com

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