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Roland DG Corp. opens first production facility outside of Japan

Parent of Irvine-based digital printing equipment distributor opens first manufacturing center in Thailand

by Elizabeth LeePublished: February 05, 2013 09:05 AM

The Irvine-based Roland DGA Corp.’s parent company, Roland DG Corp., has opened its first manufacturing facility based outside of Japan, with hopes that the new production plant, located in Thailand, will strengthen the corporation’s manufacturing capabilities.

Roland DG Corp. is known worldwide for its portfolio of products that include wide-format inkjet printers, used to create indoor and outdoor promotional signs and banners; 3-D input and output devices, such as 3-D milling machines and engraving devices, that are used to create product prototypes, and customize jewelry and other accessories; and cutting plotters that adhesive-backed vinyl designed to display text and symbols used for promotional and display purposes.

The company chose to establish a production center outside of Japan to reduce the manufacturing arm’s exposure to natural disasters and crises encountered in that country, such as the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Other benefits of establishing the factory particularly in Thailand include the manufacturing facility’s low operating costs, better procurement capabilities, and increased pricing competitiveness.

“We established this production center in Thailand primarily to plan and manufacture large-format inkjet printers for developing countries across Asia, but it will also serve Roland globally in the areas of design and development,” said Masahiro Tomioka, president of Roland DG Corp. “With Thailand’s good infrastructure, plus the availability of skilled labor and strong network of supporting companies, we believe this new production center will help us achieve our goals for global expansion.”

As a part of the company’s Global One initiative designed to strengthen its position as a global manufacturer and distributor through the 133 countries that it serves, Roland DG Corp. plans for the facility in Thailand to first establish itself as a central base for operations in the local region, then become capable of handling planning and design functions that will enhance the company’s global operation. The new facility is equipped with the corporation’s own “Digital Yatai” manufacturing model, a production cell that has been globally acclaimed for its ability to drastically reduce human error in the production process by using revolutionary digital technology such as on-screen instructions and automated systems to monitor and assist employees. The construction of the Thailand manufacturing factory started early last year and became fully functional in October. In order to avoid flooding threats, the facility is raised six feet above ground level.

“By setting up this manufacturing facility in Thailand, Roland is now able to produce more affordable products that meet the increasing demand for wide-format inkjet printers in Asia, as well as the rest of the world,” said Rick Scrimger, president of Roland DGA Corp.  “It is exciting to see the company expand its reach in this way.  We look forward to passing on the many benefits of this new global center to our customers, not only across Asia and the surrounding regions, but here in the Americas as well.”

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