Konica Minolta explosion impacts toner supply

Richard Stuart-Turner
Tuesday, September 21, 2021

An explosion at a Japanese Konica Minolta toner factory last month has resulted in an impending likely shortage of toner supply.

The Tatsuno Factory was opened in 2007. Image: Google Maps
The Tatsuno Factory was opened in 2007. Image: Google Maps

The incident took place at Konica Minolta Supplies Manufacturing Co’s Tatsuno Factory in the Tatsuno, Nagano Prefecture area of Japan on 12 August.

According to an earlier statement from the business, employees of the factory confirmed it was “an explosion in the production line” and immediately called the local fire department and police department, among others.

There were no injuries or casualties, but one unit of production equipment on the second floor of the production building was damaged, and the external wall of the third floor of the building was partially damaged.

Following a request from Printweek for an update on the implications of the explosion on supply, Konica Minolta stated: “For the time being, the operation has been stopped while Konica Minolta, Inc. is evaluating the causes of the explosion in close collaboration with local fire and police departments. No one has been injured, damages were only of material nature.

“Implications will be an upcoming disruption in the steady supply for consumables. Most likely, we may experience a certain shortage of toner supply from mid-September for a certain period.

“Konica Minolta sincerely apologises for the impact this may create to customers and partners and are working at full speed and on many levels to improve the situation as quickly as possible. Communication to customers and partners as well as tailored mitigation is already ongoing.

“Konica Minolta will continue to do everything possible to minimise the implications for customers and partners and resume production under safe conditions as soon as possible.”

On 6 July the Tatsuno Factory had separately suffered a fire which, based on process data at the time of occurrence, was identified to have been caused by static electricity within the production equipment. No injuries were caused by the fire.

Following the completion of countermeasures, which were applied to all production equipment of the same type as the one in which the fire broke out, the factory had resumed operation on 7 August, just prior to the explosion five days later.

The 46,641sqm Tatsuno Factory was opened in 2007 and as of July employed 44 people.

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