Health Care Business Sector
By strengthening and expanding our existing businesses and establishing new growth platforms through peripheral and downstream business development, we aim to provide products and services that improve quality of life (QOL) to achieve health and well-being in an aging society.
Fiscal 2018 Business Overview
Sales by product
Sales by region
Trends in net sales and operating income (¥ bn)
Fiscal 2025 target
Operating income of ¥45bn + new businesses
We expect the growth investments undertaken in each business thus far to gradually start contributing to earnings. In addition to strengthening existing businesses and expanding overseas, we are enhancing our ability to provide healthcare solutions by expanding our lineup of new products, as well as bolstering and furthering the creation of new businesses.
- To meet diversifying needs as a global leader in the vision care materials field, we will continue working to expand and strengthen our business platform by stepping up operations in peripheral businesses.
- In nonwovens, we will continue expanding and strengthening business by developing high-performance products and pursuing global development.
- In dental materials, we will continue working to strengthen our growth platform by better meeting local needs and tapping into digitalization and other new markets.
- In vision care materials, we will continue considering growth investments, including production capacity expansion to accommodate growth in customer needs.
- In nonwovens, we will expand production capacity for high-performance nonwovens with an eye to the burgeoning Asian market. We will also continue considering investments in the applications of growing industrial filters and medical materials.
- In the dental materials field, we will continue to actively provide digital workflow solutions by focusing investments in markets that are taking off, including 3D printers and ink.
Fiscal 2019 plan
In vision care materials, we intend to accurately respond to demand growth in ophthalmic lens materials and develop new technologies and products to meet increasingly diversified needs such as eye health.
In nonwovens, we will accurately respond to growth in demand for premium disposable diapers mainly in Asia and work on expanding AIRYFA™ and other new products.
In dental materials, we will continue to beef up our development of total solutions for digital workflow in addition to executing region-specific sales plans.
A world leader in ophthalmic lens materials
The Mitsui Chemicals Group develops plastic ophthalmic lens materials, ranging from low refractive to high refractive indices. In particular, our MR™ brand of high refractive lens material is rated highly as a lens brand of its own by contributing to the superb quality of the world’s top brand lenses.
In addition, our US affiliates SDC Technologies and FSI Coating Technologies have respectively developed and now globally distribute high-quality abrasion-resistant coatings and high-quality anti-fog coatings.
The Group’s role now is to not only offer a full lineup of lens materials for vision correction but also provide solutions to address health, comfort, and other diverse needs of society.
Armed with such consumer benefits, we are taking steps to further expand our global number one market share.
Pursuing eye health, comfort, and harmony with the environment by controlling light
|Light wavelength control technology that cuts harmful UV light and some high-energy visible light|
|Light wavelength control technology that protects the eyes from glare and supports brightness and contrast sensitivity|
|Photochromic technology that controls the light passing through the lens by adjusting the color depending on the amount of ultraviolet light|
|Polarization technology that enables clearer sight by eliminating diffuse reflections|
*Quality of View is a scale for measuring a person’s quality of life and level of satisfaction regarding their eyes, such as optimization of vision, vision comfort, eye health management, and disease prevention.
TOPICS Sights set on full-scale expansion of TouchFocus™ next-generation e-eyewear for near and far vision. Whenever you want, just one touch.
Since launching in February 2018, TouchFocus™ eyewear has been favorably received by consumers for its innovative functionality, sophisticated design, and custom-made fit. In October of the same year it was selected for the prestigious Good Design Award Best 100, and sales have steadily increased at partner department stores and retailers. The product lineup was expanded to include frames with a metal front and additional frame designs for women. Color lenses became available in the spring, and photochromic lenses in the summer. TouchFocus™ eyewear is planned to be offered at 100 stores nationwide by the end of fiscal 2019 . There are plans to offer TouchFocus™ in the two major markets of China and the US in the near future, with a consolidated sales target of 50,000 units by 2022.
High-performance nonwovens for hygiene materials boasting excellent softness and stretchability
In East and Southeast Asia, the use of disposable diapers has become more widespread and high-quality, high-performance premium disposable diapers are growing in popularity. In addition to such basic features as being leakproof, breathable, and unlikely to cause diaper rash, consumers now demand a higher level of functionality, including comfort and a snug ﬁt. The Mitsui Chemicals Group has applied its technology to satisfy these consumer needs by developing highly acclaimed nonwoven fabric that demonstrates excellent softness and stretchability. We further boosted our supply capacity in fiscal 2018 mainly by installing new equipment for high-performance nonwoven at two bases in Japan, raising production to 15kt per year at Nagoya Works and 6kt at Sunrex Industry Co., Ltd. We are fully leveraging our three Asian production bases in Japan, Thailand, and China to ensure a reliable supply of high-performance nonwovens to meet growing demand. Moreover, we are stepping up efforts to expand this business into new domains, for example medical applications, in a bid to maintain and expand our top-level share of the Asian market for high-performance nonwovens.
Value chain and market structure
AIRYFA™—new high-strength soft nonwoven
Our new product AIRYFA™ is a high-performance nonwoven that is gentle on the skin, providing both softness and strength. By capitalizing on our proprietary polyoleﬁn spinning technology to produce a hollow and thin ﬁber structure, this textile is characterized by a superior level of softness and even texture. We have thus been able to develop a nonwoven fabric that offers both softness and strength, a feat conventional technology was hitherto unable to achieve. After bringing the production base in China online in February 2019, we now have a tripolar Asian supply framework in place spanning Japan, Thailand, and China.
Accelerating our contribution to digitalization in dental care
Dental materials are increasingly being made out of plastics, rather than metal. By bringing to bear our development capabilities in materials, we aim to contribute to improving quality of life in the field of dental care with innovative products and services needed by dental surgeons and laboratories alike.
Digitalization in dental care is advancing, driven by the use of 3D printers. It is particularly important that safe and high-performance materials are used with 3D printers.
We have thus far accumulated assets in this business through acquisitions and investments—we gained a global business platform from Kulzer and acquired digital technology platforms from DENTCA and B9Creations. In addition, with the aim of further deploying AI technology in the field of dental care, we are currently undertaking joint development of computer-aided design (CAD) software with 9DW Corp.
We intend to bring together all of these capabilities within the Group in an effort to expand our global dental materials business.