Health Care Business Sector

日本語 English

We offer products and services that improve quality of life (QOL) for a healthy and long-lived society by strengthening and expanding existing businesses and creating new growth platforms through peripheral and downstream business development.

Business Vision

Social Issues and Needs

Health awareness has been on the rise against a backdrop of declining birth rates, aging populations in advanced countries and economic growth in emerging countries. Customer values have diversified, and individual preferences and needs have grown. Customers have come to look for “care” that fits their life stage.

Business Vision

The Mitsui Chemicals Group aims to establish new growth platforms by creating and providing products and services that help improve QOL through innovation in chemicals.

Market Analysis and Strategic Issues

Opportunities & Risks

Vision Care

  • Global market growth

Nonwovens

  • Growing popularity of disposable diapers made in Japan; a growing export market for premium disposable baby diapers
  • Increasing competition due to the enhancement of production capacity in East and Southeast Asia

Dental Materials

  • Rapid changes in trends (growing shift toward compact instruments) and expansion of the digital dental technology market

Strengths

Vision Care

  • A broad product lineup

Nonwovens

  • Comprehensive technological capabilities that extend from base resins to final processing
  • A robust customer base

Dental Materials

  • Global brand power
  • Research and development capabilities that cover products ranging from basic materials to dental materials

Challenges

Vision Care

  • Further expanding business through the development and release of new products

Nonwovens

  • Maximizing production and sales through strategic alliances with customers
  • Steadily implementing plans aimed at boosting production

Dental Materials

  • Expanding business through the launch of products that support and promote digitization

Main Products

Vision Care Materials

High R.I. eyeglass lens materials (MR), low R.I. eyeglass lens materials (RAV 7)
Highly-functional lens materials (UV+420cut, SunSensors, NeoContrast)
Lens coating materials

Nonwovens

Nonwovens (SYNTEX, TAFNEL, AIRYFA), Breathable films (ESPOIR), Polyolefin synthetic pulp (SWP, KEMIBESTO)

Personal Care Materials

Acrylamide, Medical materials

Dental Materials

Restoratives (Charisma, Venus), Adhesives (Super-Bond, iBOND), Artificial teeth, Denture materials (PALA), Impression (Flexitime), Digital equipment / materials (cara, DIMA)

Departments and Products

Vision Care Materials Division

Products

High R.I. Lens Materials

Low R.I. Lens Materials

Highly-Functional Lens Materials

Eco-Conscious Lens Materials

Lens Coating Materials

Nonwovens Division

Products

Fiscal 2017 Business Overview

Sales of ophthalmic lens materials, for which the Group boasts the largest global market share remained healthy. The Group also launched sales of the next generation eyewear TouchFocus, which combines liquid crystal technology with the Group’s lens technology to enable wearers to easily switch between near– and far–sighted lenses at a touch.
In nonwovens, the Group worked to expand production capacity in line with market growth to meet demand for premium disposable diapers, which are gaining popularity in Asia. In addition, the Group launched the nonwoven AIRYFA, which is both soft and strong while remaining gentle on skin.
In dental materials, the Group recorded an impairment loss for intangible assets, including goodwill, as a result of revised plans due to decreasing sales in Germany and a delayed launch of digital goods. In response, the Group has worked to strengthen its sales activities and digital goods to expand the market with the aim of sustainably growing its dental materials business.

Market Growth Rate for Key Products

Vision Care Ophthalmic lens monomers
(MR series, RAV 7 series)
4%
Nonwovens SYNTEX
(High–performance spunbonded nonwoven hygienic materials)
7%

Note:FY2013–2017

Increase/Decrease in Operating Income

Increase/Decrease in Operating Income

¥10.8 billion (+¥0.7 billion year on year)
Volume  +¥2.0 billion

  • Stable sales of vision care materials and nonwovens
  • Decrease in dental materials

Terms of trade  +¥0.4 billion

Costs  ¥(1.7) billion

  • Development costs, etc.

Sales by Product

Sales by Product

Sales by Region

Sales by Region

Trends in Net Sales and Operating Income

Trends in Net Sales and Operating Income

Fiscal 2025 Target

Operating income: ¥45.0 billion + New businesses

Growth investments that have been undertaken in each business area are expected to progressively contribute to earnings from fiscal 2018. While strengthening existing businesses and expanding overseas, the Group is enhancing its ability to provide health care solutions by expanding its lineup of new products as well as creating and strengthening new businesses.

Growth Strategies
  • To meet diversifying needs as a global leader in the vision care materials field, we will continue working to expand and strengthen our business base through the enhancement of peripheral businesses.
  • In nonwovens, we will continue expanding and strengthening business by developing high-performance products and pursuing development globally.
  • In dental materials, we will continue working to strengthen our growth base by better meeting local needs and developing such new markets as that for digital solutions.
Investment Strategies
  • In vision care materials, we will continue considering growth investments, including expanding facilities in line with growing 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 aimed at expanding applications in the industrial materials field, such as filters and medical materials.
  • In the dental materials field, we will continue to actively provide digital workflow solutions by focusing investment in markets that are taking off, including 3D printers and ink.
Fiscal 2018 Plan

In vision care, we will continue developing new technologies and products that meet various social needs, including those related to eye health, as well as steadily meeting the growing demand for ophthalmic lens monomers.
In nonwovens, we will continue vigorously addressing the growing needs of the premium disposable diaper market, especially in Asia, and working to expand sales of new products, focusing on AIRYFA.
In dental materials, in addition to implementing marketing plans suited to regional characteristics, we will continue enhancing the development of total digital workflow solutions.

Strategic Product Lineups

Vision Care
A World Leader in Ophthalmic Lens Materials

The Mitsui Chemicals Group offers plastic ophthalmic lens materials ranging from low refractive to high refractive indices. In particular, our MR series of world-leading high refractive lens materials have become the de facto standard for thin and lightweight lens materials.
In addition, Mitsui Chemicals Group’s affiliated company in the U.S., SDC Technologies, Inc., has developed high-quality coating materials for thermoplastic and anti-fog coating that are distributed worldwide.
The Mitsui Chemicals Group aims to provide comprehensive solutions for diverse needs instead of simply providing lens materials for vision correction. We are expanding the potential of lens materials and addressing social needs for health and comfort by leveraging our wavelength control, polarization, and photochromic technologies.

Ensuring Eye Health and Comfort by Controlling the Amount of Light

Light wavelength technology that cuts high-energy visible light in addition to blocking all ultraviolet wavelengths
Light wavelength technology that cuts high-energy visible light in addition to blocking all ultraviolet wavelengths
Light wavelength technology that decreases glare and supports contrast sensitivity
Light wavelength technology that decreases glare and supports contrast sensitivity
Photochromic technology that controls the amount of light passing through the lens by darkening and lightening in response to ultraviolet light
Photochromic technology that controls the amount of light passing through the lens by darkening and lightening in response to ultraviolet light
Polarization technology that ensures clearer sight by eliminating diffuse reflections
Polarization technology that ensures clearer sight by eliminating diffuse reflections
Value Chain
Value Chain
Nonwovens
High-Performance Hygiene Nonwovens with Excellent Flexibility and Stretchability

In East and Southeast Asia, disposable diapers, especially high-quality, high-performance premium disposable diapers made in Japan, are being used by more consumers and have risen in popularity particularly in China. In addition to such basic features as being leakproof, breathable, and unlikely to cause diaper rash, consumers desire high-performance, such as comfort and a snug fit. Developed with the technologies of the Mitsui Chemicals Group, our nonwoven features excellent flexibility and stretchability that satisfies these advanced consumer needs, winning accolades as a result. In fiscal 2018, we further boosted our supply capacity mainly by installing new high-performance nonwoven equipment at two bases in Japan, raising production to 15 Kt per year at Nagoya Works and 6 Kt per year at Sunrex Industry Co., Ltd.
We are fully leveraging our three-pronged Asian production structure in Japan, Thailand, and China to ensure a reliable supply of high-performance nonwovens and constantly expanding our supply capacity to meet growing demand. Moreover, we are developing nonwovens for such new applications as medical products in a bid to maintain and expand our top-level share of the Asian market for high-performance nonwovens.

Main Application of High-Performance Nonwovens
AIRYFA, the High Strength Flexible Nonwoven

AIRYFA is a high-performance nonwoven that is gentle on skin, simultaneously offering softness and strength. By capitalizing on its proprietary polyolefin spinning technology to produce this thin textile with a hollow fiber structure characterized by a superior soft hand and even texture, Mitsui Chemicals has simultaneously realized both softness and strength, a feat that conventional technology cannot achieve.
This is an eco-friendly nonwoven that takes global environmental issues into consideration by reducing the amount of raw materials used in production.

AIRYFA™, the High Strength Flexible Nonwoven
Dental Materials
Accelerating the Rollout of Total Solutions through a Digital Workflow

Subsidiary Sun Medical Co., Ltd. boasts a large share of the market for dental adhesives, a core product line it has been selling for 30 years in Japan. In 2013, the Mitsui Chemicals Group acquired the dental materials business of Heraeus Holdings GmbH. In 2017, our globally recognized dental businesses were united under the Kulzer brand in order to advance international expansion. We are also actively working to respond to digitization. To this end, we pursued joint development with 9DW Corporation and, in April 2018, we acquired a stake in B9Creations, LLC, a manufacturer of 3D printers. We are using the polymer science technologies of Mitsui Chemicals to create revolutionary dental materials and to provide the products and services needed by dentists and dental laboratories.
Nowadays, digitization has spread to the dental materials business. Crowns, bridges and other oral repair items are more often than ever designed and produced using digital tools. The Group is rapidly responding to the trend of digital solutions and expanding its business into new fields related to diagnosis, treatment and prevention in addition to its traditional field of oral restoration.

Digital Workflow

TOPICS – Launched Sales of TouchFocus

The Group has used next generation technology to tackle the trouble experienced by people who wear bifocal lenses, such as difficulties in switching focus when using stairs or driving, as well as to provide an alternative for those who opt to switch between several pairs of glasses. With the touch of a button, these innovative glasses can switch between different prescriptions, allowing the user to comfortably view things near, far, or anywhere in-between with minimal distortion. The glasses can be custom made for the customer’s vision and are offered in 20 frame styles. The glasses are already sold through select retailers in Japan. In 2019, we will expand marketing to 100 stores.

Liquid crystal lens technology enables the user to change focus electrically.
TouchFocus makes comfortable near, far, and in-between vision a reality.

Next generation eyewear that can instantly switch between the corrections for near- and far-sightedness with one touch

Introduction to Blue Value and Rose Value Products

Blue Value Environmental contribution value
Details
Rose Value QOL improvement value
Details
Rose Value

Ophthalmic lens materials

MR Series, UV+420cut

  • Extend healthy life expectancy

Contribute to eye health and comfort in addition to correcting for visual acuity

Rose Value

Nonwovens for disposable diapers

SYNTEX

  • Respond to the declining birth rate and aging population

Search for higher performance, such as comfort and a snug fit in addition to such basics as being leakproof, breathable, and not causing diaper rash

Blue ValueRose Value

Ophthalmic lens materials

Do Green MR-174

  • Reduce CO2
  • Protect resources
  • Extend healthy life expectancy

Reduce fossil fuel resource consumption through use of bio-based raw materials

Blue ValueRose Value

Nonwovens for disposable diapers

AIRYFA

  • Reduce CO2
  • Protect resources
  • Respond to the declining birth rate and aging population

Reduce the amount of waste by using a unique fiber structure that combines “softness” and “strength”
Support the comfortable lives of babies and their carers through disposable diapers