Toda Kogyo creates cutting-edge products by expanding expertise in inorganic compounds
Innovative synthetic technology allows world’s leading manufacturer of iron oxide particles to create different products from iron oxides and other substrates
Country Business Reports interviews and articles by Discovery Reports www.discoveryreports.com
Founded nearly 200 years ago, Toda Kogyo is the world’s leading manufacturer of iron oxide particles, which are essential raw materials of industrial and consumer products. Beginning as a producer of red iron oxide pigment Bengala, Toda continues to bring added value in the 21st century.
“Our innovative synthetic technology allows us to create different products from iron oxides and other substrates and customise according to client specifications,” says president Shigeru Takaragi.
Toda’s expertise enabled it to expand to a wide range of inorganic materials. For its functional pigment business – its biggest revenue driver – the company provides toner materials for printers and copying machines. For its electronic materials segment, Toda supplies cathode materials for lithium-ion batteries, nano-sized conductive materials for electronic components, and special magnets used as backing for Japan’s subway and train tickets.
In Asia, which comprises 20 per cent of its revenues, Toda supplies special plastic magnets used in household electric appliances and in cooling systems for electric and hybrid vehicles. It has seven subsidiaries in China and two in South Korea.
The company supports Japanese customers expanding overseas and follows the domestic production of its local clientele. “We grow with our customers and work closely with them to build trusting, long-term relationships,” Takaragi says.
To reduce its environmental footprint, Toda partnered with Kyoto University to develop a technology for wet process production of iron oxide, which eliminates air pollution caused by dry production methods.
Seeing Asia’s increasing demand for environmentally functional materials, Toda plans to launch amorphous aluminium silicate, an absorbing agent that controls humidity in the atmosphere and can purify wastewater in nuclear energy plants. It also eyes increasing sales of functional pigments in the region through partnership with agents with strong technical expertise and access to local networks.
“Every change is a chance for us to grow, and we change for renewed trust. We create cutting-edge products that customers will need for the future,” Takaragi says.