Providing Safe and Reliable Products
T&K TOKA's quality policy is "To aim to manufacture stable quality products with high technical standards that customers will be happy to use". The priority policies are announced by our President each year, which are reflected in quality targets for each division, and quality is verified through Plan–Do–Check–Action (PDCA) cycle. The priority policies are formulated based on customer needs and the results of customer satisfaction surveys, which lead to the development of new products. In addition, our primary production centers – the Saitama Headquarters and the Shiga Factory – have acquired ISO9001 certification and have established quality assurance system that report directly to the President.
Compliance with various countries' and regions' laws and regulations
Because ink is a chemical substance, we need to provide products in compliance with safety-related laws and regulations that differ by country and region. As we aim to strengthen our overseas business development, the Chemical Substance Management Committee established at the Technical Division and the Overseas Management Department have jointly built a network with consulting companies and lawyers in Europe and the United States to understand and respond appropriately to the different regulatory frameworks of various countries and states, including the latest trends in the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) in the United States and the European Commission's REACH Regulation covering the registration, evaluation, authorization, and restriction of chemicals.
Quality checks when receiving raw materials and shipping products
When we receive raw materials from domestic and overseas suppliers, we check the performance of those raw materials, including quality, color shade, and viscosity required for each raw material, while at the same time carrying out supplier audits to build favorable relationships over the medium to long term. In the product manufacturing stage, we implement an in-process inspection and a pre-shipment inspection as a final inspection, to prevent the shipment of defective products. If any problems occur, shipping is stopped and at the same time, a non-conforming product report is prepared as a way to identify the cause and prevent its reoccurrence.
Balancing production efficiency and quality control
To raise production efficiency, each division sets production efficiency targets and uses a process management table to track those targets. Meetings are also held with representatives of production, logistics, quality control, and research departments as a way to improve cooperation among divisions toward the achievement of those targets. It has become clear that there are many cases in which improving production efficiency and quality improvement in a balanced manner without contradicting each other leads to environmental improvements as well.
Evaluating the safety of new products
T&K TOKA's products have always been developed using a Product Evaluation Sheet that lists not only the product's evaluation but also how customers use the products and environmental factors, so that the products themselves are easy to use and have minimal environmental impact. New product development uses planning sheets that incorporate the industry's Negative List Regulations and the Industrial Safety and Health Act, as well as new laws and regulations to which the customer requests compliance, and test production is based on these planning sheets. At the same time, prototype products are evaluated both internally and by the customer prior to the commencement of production and sales of new products.
Research and Development
Our research and development is carried out mainly at the research center in the Saitama Headquarters and also involves exchanges and cooperation with researchers at technology centers in China, South Korea, and Indonesia. Researchers in Japan and production centers in various countries coordinate with each other to continuously understand and stay abreast of the latest trends in environmental and chemical substance regulations in the countries and regions in which we sell our products or plan to engage in sales activities. In strengthening our overseas business development, our primary aim is to offer products that are closely aligned with local market conditions and needs.
Open innovation among industry, government and academia focusing on environmental issues has expanded in recent years, and collaboration is being pursued in the ink industry in a broad range of fields including environmentally friendly printing systems, inks, solvents, and cleansers. We are also working with automotive component manufacturers to develop applications for our new material Tenacis.
Engaging with and providing information to customers
Every year, we share our research and development themes with our customers through the Sales Division, and this leads to the development of products that are better able to contribute to customers and society. We also accept quality audits and environmental audits, and respond quickly to inquiries about issues like chemical substances and business continuity planning (BCP) related to the new coronavirus, with the aim of building favorable relationships with customers.