Ricoh Expanding Thermal-Production Line in Europe

Ricoh Company of Tokyo, Japan, reported yesterday that it’s expanding its thermal business in Europe. Ricoh will invest about 3 billion yen in Ricoh Industrie France S.A.S. to double its coater production capacity, which applies thermal coatings onto paper. The increased production will start in July 2020.

Ricoh says its thermal business is global and is mainly focused on the manufacture and distribution of thermal paper and thermal-transfer ribbons. Thermal paper allows printed bar codes to be used in point-of-sale food labeling applications as well as for manufacturing process control and shipping labels. Ricoh says its share of the thermal paper market is “very high, as it offers superior coloring capability at high speeds alongside super-fine printing for small fonts, and a highly durable finish that doesn’t fade easily.”

The new investment will be made in order to respond to increasing market demand in Europe. For example, in 2014, Regulation (EU) 1169/2011, the main law relating to food labeling in the European Union, was amended to mandate the inclusion of additional nutritional information. Thus, the amount of information required to be included on food labels has surged. The number of pre-packed products has also increased. Furthermore, demand in Eastern Europe is expected to grow and given the increase in e-commerce, the market for shipping labels is expected to increase at a rate of 10 percent per year.

In 2013, Ricoh increased its production capacity in the United States by integrating its production operations. And, in 2018, it invested in the Chinese market to meet the growth coming from e-commerce. This time, by increasing its capability in Europe, Ricoh says it will further strengthen its global supply network, and enhance its thermal business.

Outline of Production Expansion

Location: Ricoh Industrie France S.A.S., 144 Route de Rouffach 68920, Wettolsheim, France
Investment: Approximately 3 billion yen
Production Capability: 1.2 billion square meter/year
Start of Production: July 2020

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