Asahi Glass restructures CRT funnel manufacturing

Asahi Glass Co., Ltd. has decided to restructure the funnel manufacturing facilities of its CRT operations. To this end, the company will stop operations of one funnel production furnace at its Takasa…

Asahi Glass Co., Ltd. has decided to restructure the funnel manufacturing facilities of its CRT operations. To this end, the company will stop operations of one funnel production furnace at its Takasago Plant (Takasago, Hyogo Prefecture) by the end of 2005. After shutting down the Funabashi Plant, which produced CRT glass, at the end of 2003, Asahi Glass integrated domestic CRT glass operations into the Takasago Plant to continue manufacturing panels and funnels. The company says it has endeavored to raise productivity and reduce costs of funnel production at the Takasago Plant. However, the effects of such efforts have been undermined by negative factors including a decline in sales prices, an increase in transport costs following the relocation of CRT producers“ manufacturing base overseas, and a surge in the cost of raw materials and fuel. As a result, profitability of funnel production at the plant has fallen, which makes the continuation of manufacturing at that site difficult, the company says. Meanwhile, global demand for CRT glass used in personal computers is expected to decline by nearly half to about 33.0 million units for the fiscal year ending December 2007 from around 63.0 million units for the fiscal year ended December 2004, affected by the growing shift to TFT LCDs. Although demand for CRT glass remains strong from television manufacturers in emerging markets, particularly Brazil, Russia, India and China, overall demand for CRT glass is forecast to weaken. To cope with the situation, Asahi Glass will enhance competitiveness of its CRT glass operations by closing one funnel production furnace at the Takasago Plant by the end of December 2005. Asahi Glass will continue manufacturing panels at the Takasago Plant, and panels and funnels in South East Asia, South Korea and China, while pursuing an optimal division of production that meets overall demand and the needs of customers“ manufacturing bases. With the closure of the funnel production furnace at the Takasago Plant, the company expects to incur an extraordinary loss of an estimated JPY 3.3 billion for the year ended December 2004.