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A new era for the urethane masters bringing comfort to people’s lives

Article - July 17, 2023

Freshly independent company Archem is challenging itself to maximize the possibilities of chemical materials in the areas of seat pads, chemical products and office automation.

Commencing its business in August 2022 with its head office in Tokyo and development center in Yokohama, independent company Archem uses urethane materials to develop products across three areas: seat pads, chemical products and office automation (OA).

“We are a urethane specialty company that recently became independent from Bridgestone,” explains Satoru Kusano, Global CEO and Representative Director. “Archem is a coined word combining ‘Arc’ (signifying a comprehensive and broad range) and ‘Chemicals’.

“In order to establish Archem as the No.1 in the urethane industry, to build a foundation to be recognized by stakeholders in the world, and to be recognized as a first-class company, we are focused on building a growth strategy for Archem as a whole and to developing human resources who can meticulously assemble and execute PR strategies. We are looking to raise the talent that will bring about change, thoroughly promote DX, and build a strong, globally diversified team. A single company focused only on the urethane business also increases the potential for new use cases and new business ideas to come to fruition quickly.

“We plan to solicit and reward business plans from employees through an open application system, and this self-fulfillment of their own proposal will lead to happiness across the board.”

With a clear employee-centric strategy, Archem is looking to get the word out on their aforementioned three-pronged business focus.

“Japanese omotenashi is the culture of meeting the expectations of the customer, and also something we value,” says Mr. Kusano. “We are able to respond to our customers' needs through our integrated production process, from formulation to manufacturing technology and onto evaluation technology. We design products by quantifying the sensory and qualitative requirements of our customers through our evaluation technology.”

“The seat pad business accounts for a large portion of our sales, and we expect further growth,” he adds. “We are able to take the lead in joint design and development with our customers in many areas compared to our competitors. We have a huge simulator room with six axes which enables us to check the vibration and tilting, among many other properties. Customers rely upon these technologies.”

“We see our chemicals products business as most compatible with our vision of spreading comfort in every aspect of the world,” he continues, “targeting a wide range of fields, including automotive, home bedding and general consumer goods including residential use. For example, we are able to quantitatively evaluate comfort and sleep and use this information in product design for home bedding.

“In addition to growth in health-consciousness, and the impacts of COVID 19, there is an increasing need for comfort in daily living. We hope to deliver more suitable products by approaching consumers directly, not just in the B2B market.

“Our OA business also adapts to people's dramatically evolving lifestyles. Our strength lies in our product design and production technology that imparts electrostatic performance to urethane. The product mix is expected to change with teleworking more prevalent, resulting in demand for large office printers declining and that for home-use and small printers picking up. We are responding to these changes with agility, while utilizing our overseas bases in China and other regions where market growth is anticipated, transferring and expanding our operations to overseas production bases.”