News Releases



DNP to Add Capacity in U.S. Facilities Targeting Thermal Transfer Ribbon for Barcodes

Strengthens integrated production system, significantly cuts lead-time, and boost competitiveness


Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd. (DNP) will add production capacity for thermal transfer ribbon production at its Pittsburgh, PA, plant, aiming for significant reductions in lead time and increased competitive capacity in the Americas. DNP will invest approximately $10 million, with the new production capacity scheduled to come on line in May 2013.


DNP launched the manufacture and marketing of thermal transfer ribbons* used in facsimile machines and word processors in the early 1980s. At present, the Company maintains manufacturing and sales bases not only in Japan, but also in the U.S. and Europe. DNP now operates the thermal transfer ribbon business on a global scale, and as a result of a high quality product lineup has captured a top class market share. We are seeing increased demand for thermal transfer ribbons used in bar codes at retail and manufacturing sites, particularly from the Americas that account for in excess of 40 percent of global usage, and further market expansion is expected going forward.

The manufacture of thermal transfer ribbons comprises two major processes, the manufacture of the jumbo roll, which takes film substrates and applies thermal transfer materials to them, and the post-processing phase in which the ribbon is cut to match desired product size then packaged. DNP mainly produces thermal transfer ribbons targeting the Americas market at the Pittsburgh plant, but has had to import additional jumbo rolls from Japan to meet demand so it has now been decided to add an additional coating line at this facility and double production capacity at the plant. DNP aims to strengthen its competitive powers in the Americas, where further market expansion is anticipated, by strengthening the integrated production system at the Pittsburgh plant, and achieving significant reductions in production lead time.

[Overview of the Pittsburgh Plant]

Company Name

DNP IMS America Corporation


1001 Technology Drive, Mt. Pleasant, PA 15666-1706, United States

Year of establishment


Total floor area

Approximately 142,000 m2 (following additional facilities)

Production capacity

Approximately 55 million m2/month (following additional facilities)

[Sales Targets]

DNP targets $90 million in the year ending March 31, 2015 from the sale of thermal transfer ribbons to the Americas market.


* Thermal transfer ribbons are manufactured by taking ink that mixes carbon and color pigments with wax based materials and applying them to the film substrate at a thickness of just several microns. When heat is applied to the film via a thermal head, only the heated area melts, and by attaching this to labels etc., it is possible to print bar codes or add dates and lot numbers to packaging.


** Product price, specification and service content listed in this news release are current on the date of the announcement. This data may change without notice. We apologize for any inconvenience.