Ink Inc

Innovation, Quality are Keys to General Technology's Success

By David Savastano, Ink World Editor | 06.05.09

Innovation, Quality are Keys to General Technology's Success

The inkjet ink market is a particularly bright spot for ink manufacturers due to digital’s continued growth into new markets. This growth has led numerous ink companies to turn their attention to this expanding market.

However, not every ink company will succeed in inkjet, as it takes dedication to R&D and quality. For General Technology Company, headquartered in Japan with operations worldwide, the ability to design and provide innovative products for partners such as Hewlett Packard has been a key to its success.

“Our longevity is due to a commitment to a careful balance between innovation and quality,” said Deborah Grant, ink jet sales and marketing manager, North America, for General Technology’s U.S. operations. “What we are not is a company that whips up an ink solution in our lab overnight, with no regard for the safety of the print machine operators or for the environment. This, to us, would not be an acceptable solution. However, we are always looking for a way to push the envelope while valuing people and the environment. We pride ourselves on successfully designing formulations that create new print applications that were not possible before.”

General Technology has a tradition of innovation. Founded in 1914, under the name Toyo Fukusha Shi, it was the first Japanese company engaging in the production and sales of carbon paper. The company changed its name in 1960 to General Co., Ltd.; and in 1980, began the production and sales of thermal sensitive ribbon and thermal sensitive date foils. In 2005, it reorganized as General Technology Company, continuing the manufacture of a wide range of office and industrial products. On the ink side, the company develops solvent inks, hot melt inks and coatings, and processes these formulations into a wide range of products, from thermal transfer ribbons to inkjet cartridge inks.

General Technology works closely with its partners to develop new products.

“In 2005, in partnership with Hewlett-Packard, we began the manufacture of thermal inkjet cartridges for an ink formulation called IQ2392A, designed to print on aqueous overcoated substrates in the industrial mail, variable printing, and packaging markets,” Ms. Grant said. “Our R&D department, headed by our chief chemist and general manager, Kozo Isobe, has successfully developed custom solutions for major Japanese corporations, not only for thermal inkjet, but for continuous inkjet and piezo electric ink technologies as well.”

General Technology has put great emphasis on developing environmentally friendly products, which was one of the drivers in its interest in inkjet inks. Its main manufacturing plant in Shiga, Japan is ISO 14001, and the company is ISO 9001 certified at all of its offices in Japan.

“Our company has always been at the forefront of innovating environmentally conscious ink solutions for heavy industry,” Ms. Grant said. “Now, more than ever, we see a need and an opportunity to provide custom ink solutions for major industrial print applications employing digital technology, using innovative light solvent- and water-based formulations.

“Going forward, we are committed to developing eco-friendly custom inks for all three inkjet technologies (TIJ, piezo, CIJ) for global companies looking to print responsibly using digital technologies in a wide variety of industrial applications,” Ms. Grant added. “The materials we use conform to the Food Sanitation Act and are not involved in the generation of dioxin.”

All in all, the future looks bright for General Technology.

“We want to become the ‘go to’ ink development laboratory and manufacturer for discerning global customers who want breakthrough products of high quality and high reliability,” Ms. Grant concluded.

General Technology
Company, Ltd.
2-19-9 Taito, Taito-ku
Tokyo, Japan 110-0016

in the U.S.
1223 Wilshire Blvd. #989
Santa Monica, CA 90403
Contact: Deborah Grant
Phone: (310) 998-7488
Fax: (310) 564-0452
Specialties: Inkjet inks

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