About Us / 1985-Development of Diversification

1985-Development of Diversification

1986 Rengo entered the non-woven cloth business and in subsequent years entered adhesive tape, flexible packaging and multi-pack businesses as well.
1989 The company built a base for overseas operations in Singapore.
1993 Rengo constructed the Sanda Plant with leading-edge facilities in Hyogo Prefecture.
1999 The company acquired Settsu, a major paperboard manufacturer.

Photo20: Non-woven cloth products (water-absorbing mats)

Photo21:Various flexible-packaged products

Photo22:Multi-pack products

Photo23: A corrugated board manufacturing machine at the Sanda Plant

Photo24:A converting line at the Sanda Plant

Photo25:Paper machine at Yashio Mill

Rengo had been expanding the scope of its operations through such means as technological innovations, development of new products and capital participation with the aim of becoming a general packaging manufacturer, and starting in 1986, the company gradually entered peripheral areas of the corrugated board business. For example, it began the manufacture and sale of water-absorbing mats and other types of non-woven cloth in 1986, adhesive tapes for corrugated board packaging in 1987, flexible packaging films for foodstuffs in 1990 and multi-packs for a small number of canned or bottled beer and other kinds of beverage in 1991 (Photos 20, 21 and 22). In addition, it placed Yamada Kikai Kogyo, a major manufacturer of packaging machinery, under its control in 1995.

In the 1980s, when Southeast Asian countries and China began achieving economic growth, these countries directed their attention to Rengo's corrugated board manufacturing technology while for its part Rengo was considering exploring business opportunities there. There were an increasing number of cases in which Japanese businesses started operations in these countries or asked Rengo for production on contract there. For this reason, Rengo opened a new research office in Singapore in 1989, and starting with a joint-venture firm formed with a Malaysian company in the following year, the company gradually developed its operations in Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, China, and Vietnam.

Along with entry into peripheral businesses and overseas joint ventures, Rengo established a research organization and increased its production capacity. Starting with the establishment of the Central Laboratory and the Packaging Technology Center in 1990, the company absorbed three of its subsidiaries: Fukui Chemical Industry, a paperboard manufacturer, in 1991, as well as Asahikawa Rengo and Niigata Danboru in 1994. It also relocated its Sendai Plant in 1990 and Osaka and Wakayama Plants in 1993 to install new and powerful machines there.

The Sanda Plant, which was newly built in Sanda City, Hyogo to replace the Osaka Plant, is a world model plant producing corrugated board and corrugated boxes. Essentially, this is an industry in which products are produced according to order, and in the midst of the ongoing shift to multiple-product small-lot production, strict compliance with the volume of products ordered and delivery time is demanded. Therefore, Rengo started to apply production control using advanced computer technology on a trial basis in the second half of the 1980s and introduced the integrated production control system completed in 1992 at all of its plants. With this system, as well as its cutting-edge production facilities, improved work standards and carefully thought-out environmental measures, the Sanda Plant is visited by many foreigners to observe its high technology first hand (Photos 23,24 and 25).

In April 1999, Rengo absorbed Settsu Corporation, a major paperboard manufacturer founded in 1947 as Settsu Itagami and renamed Settsu in 1986. Settsu's head office was located in Amagasaki City, Hyogo Prefecture. After the merger, Rengo became the leading paperboard manufacturer, accounting for 14.6% of the total production in Japan (based on 1999 calendar year data from the Japan Paper Association). The corrugated board and corrugated box divisions of Settsu were spun off as Settsu Carton Corporation before the merger and are currently Rengo's major subsidiaries.

Over 90 years have passed since the founder Teijiro Inoue developed corrugated board in Japan. It is not only self-help efforts that have continued to maintain the development of Rengo as the leading manufacturer of corrugated board and other products during this period. Since its foundation, Rengo has enjoyed the support of users, stockholders and many other patrons. Given that its operations have been supported by the improved lives of consumers, the company believes that it must keep its relationships with consumers in mind in the future as in the past.

In the new 21st century, Rengo is working even harder to meet the expectations of many people who support the company.