90 years of experience in paints for aircraft and automotive soundproof technology

Paints for aircraft must feature advanced characteristics to protect the aircraft body from harsh environmental elements such as intense ultraviolet rays, sudden temperature fluctuations, strong wind pressure, and air attrition. Nittoku began developing paints for aircraft in 1929. In the 90 years since, the company has amassed an array of technologies and created a wide variety of paints in a broad range of colors.

In 1953, the NITTOKU-UNDERSEAL automotive soundproof and rust-proof coating was developed. For the past 53 years we have pursued aggressive research into soundproofing materials and the science of acoustics. Nittoku now supplies products to all automakers in Japan, and is expanding production bases to North America and Asia.

Color and sound are Nittoku's specialties. As a paint maker, we are continually exploring uncharted areas of paint technology. This approach is reflected in our corporate principle of ingenuity, a principle embodied in Nittoku's long history of achievements in color and sound.

A pioneer in paints for aircraft ── ingenuity at the heart of business

Nittoku was established as a limited partnership company on June 1, 1929, by the late Tashichi Nakanishi, who carried out extensive research on paints suitable for aircraft. The company's first product was its TT METAL PAINT, designed for use on the aircraft body. Development of this product reflected remarkable foresight, as the metal aircraft body was still in the research stage. The TT METAL PAINT offered superb performance: it was lightweight, with high adhesion and excellent oil resistance. This benzyl cellulose paint proved to be a groundbreaking product for metal surfaces.

When the use of metal for aircraft became standard, the Japanese army and navy adopted the TT METAL PAINT. Nittoku then rolled out a series of new products, steadily solidifying its reputation for advanced technology in the field. Along with this growth in demand, the company was reorganized in 1936, from a limited partnership to its current stock company structure. Production was focused on paints for aircraft.

Shortly after the company finished construction of the Kyushu Plant in Kurume City in Fukuoka Prefecture in May 1945, the Second World War came to an end, on August 15. With the postwar prohibition on the manufacture of aircraft, Nittoku was temporarily forced to suspend operations. In January 1948, however, the company resumed activity by leasing out the Tokyo Plant and Kyushu Plant, which had miraculously survived the war unscathed. The two plants were reconsolidated with the head office in January 1950 under the broad aim of rebuilding the company. Management continued to face difficulties, but the prospects for the company brightened upon release of the SLECOAT paints for cement roofs in 1951 and the NITTOKU-UNDERSEAL automotive soundproof and rust-proof coating in 1953.

Nittoku, the color specialist ── Development of paints for enhanced appearance and protection

The SLECOAT marked the company's rebirth as a color specialist in the production of general paints, followed by the development of a variety of products for the construction industry based on its established expertise in aircraft paints. The company introduced its PROOFLON waterproof roof coating in 1966, and the U-TACK series of floor-coating products in 1973. Nittoku's reputation was further solidified through the introduction of a variety of high-tech products (such as the HI-PROOF superelastic waterproof wall-coating products developed in 1983), a range of floor coatings, coatings for interior and exterior surfaces, and an array of additional waterproof coatings. These products not only enhanced the appearance of buildings with attractive colors but also provided superb protection against the elements.

A paint product, hardened into a coating film, delivers the intended performance strictly as a function of the quality of the underlying materials and technology. To ensure the continuing high quality of its products, Nittoku teamed up with leading Japanese construction companies and retailers to form the National HI-PROOF Association in 1984. This then became the Nittoku Amenity System Association in 1994, which began handling the entire range of Nittoku products. In 1995, Nittoku dealers, in nationwide Nittoku Groups, established the National Nittoku Society. The high quality of Nittoku products is thus supported not only by the company's advanced technologies, but also by the cooperative efforts of its many contributing members.

As soon as civil aviation began operations after the war, Nittoku returned to its roots to reintroduce paints for aircraft under the SKY-HULLO brand. Our products have continued to sell well in this market, adding attractive colors to the jets used by commercial airlines as well as those used by the government. Nittoku paints are also used on the H- Ⅱ A rockets developed by Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. Our products are quite literally soaring into the skies of Japan and around the world.

Nittoku, the sound specialist ── From automotive soundproof coatings to various sound-insulating materials

NITTOKU-UNDERSEAL is an innovative product that provides a superb soundproofing effect with a simple coating application. The development and launch of this product in 1953 marked Nittoku's first step as a manufacturer of soundproofing materials. As no domestic company was producing soundproof coatings at that time, the NITTOKU-UNDERSEAL was quickly adopted by the automakers and train manufacturers of Japan.

Approximately ten years later, as Japan was enjoying rapid economic growth, Nittoku created a completely new soundproofing material based on the NITTOKUUNDERSEAL technology. The material was marketed in 1964 as vibration-damping sheets for automobiles under the name MELSHEET. The MELSHEET reduces vibrations transmitted through the floor panels of a moving vehicle, minimizing interior noise. Not only did this innovative product bring significant progress to the automobile industry, it transformed our own company as well: in addition to its established role as the “color specialist,” Nittoku became the industry's “sound specialist,” entering full-scale production of anti-corrosive soundproofing materials.

Transcending the framework of a traditional paint manufacturer, we rose to a number of technical challenges in a range of unexplored fields. Results of intense R&D in these new areas were seen in the NITTOKU-UNDERSEAL and MELSHEET products, with the soundproofing technologies developed with these two products then applied to the creation of various automotive sound-absorbing and sound-insulating materials, the IDIKELL series and BOUON-KUN series of soundproof products for buildings and structures, sound-insulating products for home appliances and office equipment, and soundproofing materials for railway tracks. The success of these products firmly established Nittoku's reputation as a specialist in sound.

Expanding production facilities and enhancing R&D

Having made a new start in the fields of color and sound, Nittoku was listed on the Second Section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange in 1961. The company then set about an ambitious program of plant construction to boost its production capabilities. These efforts and others were rewarded in 1991, when the company achieved its longstanding goal of being listed on the First Section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

Nittoku built the Aichi Plant in 1960, the Hiratsuka Plant (relocated Tokyo Plant) in 1965, the Hiroshima Plant in 1968, and the Shizuoka Plant in 1969. In 1987, the Kyushu Plant moved from Kurume City, Fukuoka Prefecture, to Miyaki Town in Saga Prefecture. In 1991, the company built the Higashi Kyushu Plant in Yukuhashi City, Fukuoka. With six plants in operation, Nittoku successfully boosted its production capacity for paints, coatings, and automotive soundproofing materials.

In Nittoku's products, advanced technologies lead to advanced functions. To establish an appropriately sophisticated system of research and development, the company constructed its R&D Center in 1991. An R&D Laboratory for paints and coatings was established within the R&D Center in 1998. Through energetic research and development at the Center, Nittoku continues to refine its expertise in the fields of color and sound.

Worldwide perspectives ── Active global business development

While expanding the domestic production and R&D systems, Nittoku has also looked overseas to promote an active strategy of globalization.

We began early to establish fundamental technologies in the field of soundproofing. In 1967, Nittoku signed a technology agreement with Matec Holding AG (presently Autoneum Holding AG, former Rieter Automotive Systems), a leading manufacturer of soundproofing materials based in Switzerland, for the production of the TACA and TACAPOR sound-absorbing and sound-insulating materials. The results of this research and development were applied to the development of the Dash Insulator (automotive sound-insulating material), the Bonnet Liner (sound-absorbing material), and the Dash Outer Insulator (sound-absorbing and sound-insulating material). In 2001, Nittoku succeeded in commercializing an innovative lightweight noise-control system under the brand name RIETER ULTRA LIGHT TM. This product is 30% to 60% lighter than comparable conventional products.

Nittoku has continually sought technical affiliations with leading overseas paint and coating companies. Beginning with a cross-license agreement signed in 1982 with Protective Treatments, Inc. (now EFTEC) in the United States for the production of automotive anti-chipping coatings and paints, Nittoku has been active in introducing overseas technologies to Japan. These technologies include the aircraft coating production know-how of U.S.-based Deft, Inc. in 1984, as well as technology introduced through the cross-license agreement with Ems-Togo Holding AG (now EFTEC) in Switzerland in 1988 for the production of automotive rust-proof and protective coatings. With acquisition and licensing of advanced technologies in a variety of fields, Nittoku has been developing the world-class technological capabilities.

Responding to globalization ── Establishment of overseas production bases

America, actively establishing local production facilities. To respond to the needs of these Japanese automakers operating in North America and to ensure that they received a smooth supply of automotive products, Nittoku founded its first overseas company, Uni-NTF, Inc., near Chicago, Illinois in 1984. Uni-NTF then established a joint venture company, UGN, Inc., together with Globe Industries, Inc. (now Autoneum North America, Inc.) in 1986.

In the 1990s, the automobile markets in Thailand and other Asian countries began to heat up. In 1994, Nittoku teamed up with Summit Auto Seats Industry Co., Ltd. in Thailand and established a joint venture company, SNC Sound Proof Co., Ltd. Nittoku established two joint venture companies in China, Autoneum Nittoku (Guangzhou) Automotive Sound-Proof Co., Ltd. in Guangzhou in 2003 and Tianjin Autoneum Nittoku Automotive Sound-Proof Co., Ltd. in Tianjin in 2004. Furthermore, the second joint venture company, SRN Sound Proof Co., Ltd., was established in Thailand in 2005, and Nittoku has been expanding production bases in China and Asia. Also in India, Nittoku established a joint venture company, Autoneum Nittoku Automotive Sound-Proof Products India Pvt. Ltd., at Chennai in India in 2008, and started operation in 2010. Nittoku established Autoneum Nittoku Asia Pacific Co., Ltd. in Japan in 2007 to assist these joint venture companies in Asia for promotion of business with Japanese Automakers operating in Asia. In 2010, Wuhan Nittoku Autoneum Sound-Proof Co., Ltd. was established in Wuhan, China. P.T. Tuffindo Nittoku Autoneum was established in 2012.

Caring for the environment ── Protecting people and the earth

Today, companies must not only observe standards of corporate social responsibility, but must also meet international quality standards and implement environmentally responsible policies. Committed to satisfying its corporate responsibility, Nittoku actively addressed the acquisition of certifications for the ISO international quality standards.

IIn 1997 the Aichi Plant obtained certification under the ISO9000 series of international standards for quality management systems, with all of Nittoku's business facilities following suit by 2001. In terms of environmental operations, the Hiratsuka Plant, Shizuoka Plant, and Higashi Kyushu Plant had begun operating recycling lines from early on, and by November 2002, all six of Nittoku's plants had obtained certification under the ISO14001 international standard for environmental management.

In compliance with these international standards, Nittoku has been promoting the development of zero-VOC paints and paints free of formaldehyde or other harmful substances. At the same time, the company is marketing paints and coatings offering specialized functionality. These products include the PARATHERMO (thermal-insulating paints for roof and exterior walls), the N-TIO (photocatalytic coating) and the NT DANNETSU COAT (multifunctional elastic thermal-insulating system paints). In the field of automotive sound-insulating materials, the company is aggressively contributing to environmental preservation through the development of innovative products such as the RIETER ULTRA LIGHTTM (lightweight noise-control system), which allows for dramatic reductions in fuel consumption, as well as through the extensive use of recycled components in products.

Nittoku continues to explore the worlds of color and sound in harmony with the global environment, striving to remain true to its corporate principle of ingenuity not only in its business activities but also in its contributions to society and the environment.