History Unfolding with Films and Sheets
Manufacturing Extending to the Future
Our company history can be traced back to the establishment of Tokyo Cellophane in 1929 to manufacture cellophane. The company then shifted its business to plastic film manufacturing and developed and supplied various packaging films and industrial films.
In 1993, group companies were merged to form “Tohcello”. In 2010, Tohcello integrated with Mitsui Chemicals Fabro, the company manufacturing functional sheet to form “Mitsui Chemicals Tohcello Co., Ltd.” as the core company for the film and sheet business of the Mitsui Chemicals Group.
Tokyo Cellophane Co., Ltd. established
Tokyo Cellophane Co., Ltd., our origin, was established in Nihonbashi, Tokyo on January 19, 1929.
At that time, cellophane was extremely rare and used only for decorative packages of luxury confectionery.
In 1930, cellophane was applied to women's hemp braid hats for export. This quickly increased the demand for cellophane. The growth in demand contributed to the improvement of cellophane production efficiency. Manual winders had been used until then, and the roll length was about nine meters, but a full-fledged cutting and winding machine was implemented which enabled winding up to 180 meters. (Tokyo Cellophane; Production discontinued in 1995)
The start of the Second World War: Development and production of military goods
The demand for military goods grew quickly with the expansion of the War. Most of the articles our company developed were in response to research tasks assigned by the army, but there were a number of new items.
What military products were developed at that time?
- Cellophane casing for rice boiling
- This cylindrical casing was 12 cm in diameter and 42 cm in length. At a battle site, rice and water were put in this casing to boil the rice in hot water. People treasured the casing because it enabled boiling even in dirty water, and it could prevent contamination as well as serve as a heat pack.
Due to a mass production order from the army, the company manufactured 250,000 units a month in 1942. Then the technology was purchased, improved, and patented. Demand for 700,000 units a month lasted from 1943 until the end of the War.
- Cellophane for biochemical suits
- Three-layer laminate cellophane used for suits for protection from poisonous gas. Cellophane alone lets gas through, but this laminate cellophane prevented penetration by poisonous gas for longer than one hour.
- Cellophane for gas mask goggles
- Made with high-transparency cellophane. Even slight scratches were not allowed with this cellophane, because it was used for gas masks to prevent fogging.
- Wind-proof mask
- A means to protect against dust on a battlefield. This mask was manufactured by affixing thick pieces of cellophane.
- Flexible tube
- This tube was used for the lining of a pipe for aircraft fuel or lubricant. The army and navy used this tube in large quantities from around 1943. Extremely flexible cellophane was developed by mixing with glycerin to impart oil resistance and heat resistance.
- Thread-reinforced cellophane
- Two pieces of cellophane stuck together with vertical and horizontal cotton threads between them. This cellophane had been used for confectionary packages, but during the War it was used under bandages as a substitute for oilpaper and for stool examinations.
The end of the Second World War
Production restart after the War
The Tokyo Factory was damaged in the Great Tokyo Air Raid, but cellophane production was restarted using buildings and equipment that had narrowly escaped destruction. The factory also started manufacturing parchment paper on consignment. This paper was used for inner packaging of butter and for precision machines, frozen sweets, and canned crab. Cellophane production at the Hamamatsu Factory was late to get underway because it was difficult to procure materials. As a means to obtain at least some revenue, the factory manufactured substitute tatami mats from cogon grass (similar to pampas grass) and chemical paper by coating brown paper with viscose and drying it.
Beautiful string cellophane folded into a bag form with a colored artificial silk rayon thread at the center. This tape processed by our sales subsidiary “Koshin-sha” became a great hit around 1952.
Moisture-proof cellophane (MST)
Tokyo Cellophane started to manufacture this product at a pilot plant. By 1955, repeated improvements had made this product very useful for automatic packaging. Large-volume consumers manufacturing seasonings, confectionary, and cigarettes adopted this product for outer wrappings and laminates. (Tokyo Cellophane; Production discontinued in 1992)
Cellophane for tape (S Roll)
Development began around 1949. The company joined research on base paper conducted by a major tape manufacturer and continued to make improvements together. Issues were resolved and stable products became available around 1953. (Tokyo Cellophane; Production discontinued in 1995)
Vinylon Film (VF, TOSLON)
Film manufactured from polyvinyl alcohol (PVA). This was our first full-fledged plastic film. This film became popular for use in packaging fiber products because it was very transparent, flexible, and tough and did not attract much dust due to static electricity. From 1963, the water-soluble type (TOSLON) was used for laundry bags of US hospitals to prevent nosocomial infections and as packages for powdered agricultural chemicals in Western countries. Demand for these uses led to growth in sales. (Tokyo Cellophane; Production discontinued in 2009)
Cast polypropylene (CPP) film (CP)
As the pioneer manufacturer of CPP, Tokyo Cellophane put this product on the market in 1964. In addition to its transparency and suitability for automatic packaging, comprehensive efforts for production, sales, and research supported the development of CP. (Tokyo Cellophane)
Openable and closeable bag
(Tohcello Pack 101)
A thin line of adhesive is applied to the lip of a bag and a PE release tape is affixed to it. The bag is then separated by fusing. Tohcello Shoji acquired a patent and utility model in 1967 for this bag manufactured by fusing. The company licensed the technology to about 180 manufacturers throughout Japan. The patent has expired, but most transparent bags for textiles, stationery, and sundry goods have this shape. (Tohcello Shoji)
PVDC coated biaxially oriented polypropylene film (V-OP™)
Biaxially oriented polypropylene film (OPP) coated with polyvinylidene chloride (PVDC). The company initially struggled because the market was not yet mature, but sales activities integrated with constant technology development led to growth in and after 1979. (Tokyo Cellophane)
Biaxially oriented polypropylene
(BOPP) film (OP)
Tokyo Cellophane was a latecomer in the OPP film manufacturing business and tried to distinguish itself from other manufacturers by unique product development. The company then enriched its product lineup, such as the single-side heat-sealing type, and increased sales. (Tokyo Cellophane)
Silicone-coated film (SP-PET™)
This film coated with silicone was first used as release film for plasters and adhesive products as well as slide plates for cassette tapes. After a series of studies, a new product was developed for ceramic capacitor manufacturing. (Tohcello Chemical)
Polyolefin foam sheet
Happoto, which was expanded 1.3 times, was marketed in 1972. This sheet was used as substitute paper for stationery or other purposes. PAULOWNIA, which was expanded three times by making use of low foaming technology, was marketed in 1980. This sheet was used as substitute for corrugated cardboard or logistics materials. The company has since been expanding its product lineup in the low foaming field. (Anjo Resin)
Low-ratio foamed polyethylene sheet (Hi-Sheet™)
Hi-Sheet Industries started to manufacture liners and seals used inside the caps of beverage bottles and cosmetics containers. The company developed low-odor products that do not affect the contents and gained customer trust. Hi-Sheet became synonymous with sheets for liner and seal. (Hi-Sheet Industries)
Fibrous casing (Tohcello Fibrous)
Product used for ham and sausage manufacturing. Special paper is formed into a cylindrical shape, impregnated with viscose, and finished by coagulation and regeneration. (Toho Cellophane)
Retort pouch sealant CPP film
(Retort Pouch CP)
Together with a packaging manufacturer and a resin manufacturer, Tohcello chemical jointly developed a high retort pouch capable of withstanding 120 C or higher temperature and high pressure for sterilization. The product was supplied for curry packages and other purposes. The company marketed a semi retort pouch in 1975 for sterilization at 100 C or higher temperature.
The company improved the properties of both brands to satisfy needs and increased sales. (Tohcello Chemical)
Heat-resistant release film (Opulent™)
A heat-resistant release film mainly made of TPX. Our company manufactured this product on consignment from Mitsui Petrochemical Industries (now Mitsui Chemicals). In 2010, the Opulent business was transferred to our company. (Mitsui Petrochemical Industries)
L-LDPE film (T.U.X™)
Tokyo Cellophane marketed a cast film made from L-LDPE earlier than other companies. This sealant film for affixing helped solve issues of package damage and liquid leakage during the transportation of frozen foods, liquids, powders, and heavy articles. (Tokyo Cellophane)
Surface protection tape
(Mitsui Masking Tape™)
Mitsui Toatsu Chemicals initiated development of a surface protection film from a unique water-based acryl resin. The company completed and marketed a product with adhesive strength that does not increase with the passage of time, and that is easy to peel. (Mitsui Toatsu Chemicals)
Cast co-excluded multilayer film (T.A.F.™)
Tohcello Chemical developed and marketed this product by making the most of multilayering and blending technologies. It was mainly used for bread, laminates, and uncooked noodles. From around 1988, the company marketed a succession of hit products including ultra-low-temperature heat sealing, cold-resistant lamination, and fiber types. (Tohcello Chemical)
Easy-peel film (CMPS™)
This film is used to seal cups and other containers and is easy to remove at the opening. At first the company had difficulty with sales because of low-level needs. However, the market started to grow around 1987 with the spread of cup-type containers for jelly, pudding, tofu, and so on. (Tohcello Chemical)
*CMPS is a registered trademark of Du Pont-Mitsui Polychemicals Co., Ltd.
Aluminum-metallized film (ML)
Barrier film manufactured by aluminum vapor deposition on a film surface under a vacuum environment. Tokyo Cellophane succeeded in increasing its sales because snack manufacturers started to adopt metallized films. (Tokyo Cellophane)
Tape for semiconductor manufacturing processes (ICROS™Tape)
Resist inks were typically used when grinding the back surfaces of wafers, but semiconductor manufacturers considered processing using tapes because of environmental issues. Mitsui Toatsu Chemicals developed a tape that leaves little paste and prevents wafer damage, and started supplying it to semiconductor manufacturers. (Mitsui Toatsu Chemicals)
EVA photovoltaic encapsulant
From the dawn of the photovoltaic cell era, Hi-Sheet Industries began to manufacture photovoltaic encapusulants from EVA. The company supplied products to photovoltaic cell module manufacturers around the world by innovating and building up technologies. (Hi-Sheet Industries)
To Tohcello Co., Ltd.
Tokyo Cellophane Co., Ltd., Shin-Tohcello Shoji Co., Ltd., and Tohcello Chemical Co., Ltd. merged to form Tohcello Co., Ltd.
PVA coated BOPP film (A-OP™)
Non-chlorinated environmentally friendly barrier film. The demand for easy-to-burn film placing a lower burden on the global environment increased because of growing environmental awareness among users. (Tohcello)
Transparent vapor deposition film (TL)
Non-chlorinated transparent barrier film based on PET film. Tohcello developed and marketed this product by making use of technical capabilities cultivated in aluminum-metallized film manufacturing. (Tohcello)
Milky-white BOPP film (ECONEIGE™)
Tohcello made the most of unique technology to become the first Japanese manufacturer to market milky-white BOPP film. This beautiful film is used not only for packages, but also as information paper. (Tohcello)
Keep-fresh BOPP film (Spash™)
Tohcello developed an anti-fogging BOPP film that keeps contents fresh. This product slows down vegetable and fruit withering or discoloration to reduce food losses. (Tohcello)
Transparent high-barrier film (MAXBARRIER™)
Tohcello realized a PET-based transparent film featuring barrier performance close to aluminum foil by making the most of unique vapor deposition and coating technologies. (Tohcello)
Sustainable L-LDPE film
Tohcello took advantage of unique film forming technology to manufacture advanced sealant film from L-LDPE. This epoch-making product enables thin packages with shock resistance and pinhole resistance greater than conventional products. (Tohcello)
To Mitsui Chemicals Tohcello, Inc.
Tohcello Co., Ltd. and Mitsui Chemicals Fabro Inc. integrated to form Mitsui Chemicals Tohcello, Inc.
Polyolefin photovoltaic encapsulant (SOLAR ASCE™)
We have been building up information and knowledge in our many years of manufacturing EVA-based encapsulants. We pioneered development of higher-performance polyolefin encapsulant and have been leading the market.
PVDC coated transparent high-barrier film (V BARRIER™)
This film is manufactured by vapor deposition and PVDC coating on a PET film. This product features the industry’s top level of moisture-proofing performance and keeps dried products dry for long periods.
PE-based keep-fresh film
(PALFRESH™ *Newly developed)
A bag made of this PE-based film keeps the contents fresh and contributes to food loss reduction by keeping the inside of the bag clean.
since our establishment
(References: Seventy Years’ history of Tohcello, Thirty Years’ history of Hi-Sheet Industries, etc.)