Fujifilm’s new facility starts operations

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CANLUBANG, Laguna—Fujifilm Corp. on Tuesday began full-scale operations at its P990 million (2.3 billion Yen) facility here, which is expected to address the growing demand for optical lenses worldwide.

 

Shigehiro Nakajima, president of Fujifilm, said the first factory of Fujifilm Optics Philippines Inc. in the country would offer an integrated production process—from polishing, coating and other processing procedures to the assembly of optical lenses. These lenses are used for, among others, digital cameras, projectors and surveillance cameras.

According to Nakajima, the facility, with its 100 employees, can produce 2 million lenses. Of the total, 30 percent will be “exported” to the company’s customers, which are locators in various economic zones in the country, while the remaining 70 percent will be shipped to Japan and China.

Fujifilm is planning to expand operations in its plant at the Carmelray Industrial Park as it targets to ramp up production to 12 million lenses. This expansion plan will increase the company’s workforce to 300 by 2014.

By 2015, production is expected to reach 18 million lenses and the workforce to 600 employees.

Nakajima explained that the company decided to put up a facility in the Philippines mainly due to the country’s young and highly skilled workforce.

“The resignation or turn-over rate here is very low. You have good infrastructure and in this ecozone, the government is offering very good tax incentives,” Nakajima added.

Further expansion projects are in the pipeline including the setting up in the country of a factory that would assemble some of the company’s final products like cameras. These projects can be accommodated in the 5.3-hectare site since the optical lens factory is occupying only less than a hectare of the property.

The timetable, however, has yet to be confirmed since the decision on whether to push through with the expansion projects will depend on the global demand situation, according to Nakajima.

The construction of Fujifilm’s facility started in November 2012 and was completed after seven months.

Fujifilm positions the optical device and electronic imaging business field handling digital cameras and optical lenses as one of its priority areas. (Philippine Daily Inquirer)