September 28, 2021
Konica Minolta announced that around 5:15pm, 12 August, there was a second explosion at the Tatsuno Factory of Konica Minolta Supplies Manufacturing Co., Ltd., a Konica Minolta Group company. The factory is located in Tatsuno, Nagano Prefecture.
Konica Minolta said in its announcement that the accident that occurred at Tatsuno Factory of Konica Minolta Supplies Manufacturing Co., Ltd. on 12 August took time to investigate to determine the cause and the timing of production resumption.
In its update the company said that both of the two accidents occurred in the secondary drying process in the toner production process. After the 12 August accident, it took time to collect and analyse data. As a result of an in-house investigation including objective advice from a third party organisation, the company has decided it is highly likely that the static electricity generated in this drying process was the cause of the dust explosion.
As a measure to resume production, Konica Minolta introduced a new production process that does not use the secondary drying process, with the aim of eliminating the risk of accidents and ensuring safety.
At Kofu Factory, the risk assessment by experts is currently been under way. With confirmation that the assessment ends with no problem, Konica Minolta will resume production of toners in this new production process on 18 October. Its Tatsuno Factory will also go through a similar risk assessment and, in addition to explanations to fire departments and other relevant authorities, Konica Minolta said it will hold an explanatory session for local residents.
Resumption of toner production at Tatsuno Factory is planned on 8 November. Shipments of products are scheduled to begin on 28 October at Kofu Factory, which mainly produces toners for office products, and on 20 November at the Tatsuno Factory, which mainly produces toners for on-demand digital printing systems. We will endeavour to ensure that our customers can use our products.
In Japan, supply of toners for office products continues so that customers can continue to print, the company said in its announcement. Konica Minolta added: “Regarding toners for on-demand digital printing systems, we are trying to recover at an early stage, including adoption of alternative toners. As for some colour toners, with our sincere apology, we have no choice but to halt new orders.
“By resuming production, we will start supply sequentially from around 20 November. Until that time, we will continue to provide support for the business continuity of our customers. For monochrome machines, toner supply will keep running, while adjusting the shipment volume.”
The company concluded its announcement, saying: “The Konica Minolta Group takes the accidents seriously and will continue to strive to ensure the safety of the community. At the same time, we would like to express our sincere apologies for the accidents, which caused concerns and inconvenience to our customers due to a shortage in the supply of toners. We also ask for understanding and support as we work to resume production in the future.”
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