More about history
Ultra-high-precision aspheric plastic lens for CD players is developed
Leveraging expertise gained from the development of camera lenses, Konica (named Konishiroku Photo Industry Co., Ltd. at the time) succeeded in developing the world's first aspheric plastic lens for CD drives for commercial use. Following this success, Konica began production of pickup lenses for various optical discs including DVDs and Blu-ray DiscsTM*, which are now among the most widely sold products in the world.
*Blue-ray DiscTM is a trademark of Blue-ray Disc Association.
Minolta 7000, Single-lens reflex camera with a professional-quality autofocus function, is launched
Minolta (named Minolta Camera Co., Ltd. at the time) became the first company in the world to offer a single-lens reflex camera with a professional-quality autofocus function when it introduced the Minolta 7000. This camera experienced explosive sales worldwide. Following the phenomenal success of this product, a host of single-lens reflex autofocus cameras were launched in succession by various other companies. Previously, single-lens reflex cameras had been difficult to use and designed only for professionals and camera enthusiasts, but had become user-friendly devices that allowed anyone to take clear photos easily.
Konishiroku Photo Industry Co., Ltd. is renamed Konica Corporation and all the company's products are offered under the “Konica” brand
Simple color-proofing system, Konsensus, is launched
To address the pressing need of the printing industry for simplification of the color-proofing process, Konica launched Konsensus, a simple color-proofing system utilizing silver halide color paper. Since its introduction, this product has been widely adopted in the printing industry.
Laser Imager Li-10, medical digital imaging output system, is launched
Since its inception, Konica has been engaged in the import, distribution and production of X-ray films for medical use and medical equipment. Backed by its proprietary imaging and material technologies gained from years of R&D in the field of photography, Konica began full-fledged efforts to address the needs for the digitalization of medical services that would accelerate in the 1990s. The Laser Imager Li-10, a device to laser-print digital data acquired from CT and MRI scans on photosensitive materials, led this trend.
Minolta fully enters the laser beam printer market with the introduction of a SP101, monochrome laser printer, is launched. Additionally, a CF70, digital full-color copier, is launched
Minolta (named Minolta Camera Co., Ltd. at the time) had been working to reinforce the office equipment business as its second pillar of management. To do so, it fully entered the laser beam printer market with the introduction of a compact monochrome laser printer, SP101, and also launched a full-color digital copier, the CF70, which was equipped with the proprietary Laser Intensity Modulation System (LIMOS) and thus capable of producing high-quality copies. In recognition of the excellence of this technology, Minolta was awarded the Outstanding Technology Prize by the Society of Electrophotography of Japan (presently called the Imaging Society of Japan) in the same year.
Minolta Camera Co., Ltd. is renamed Minolta Co., Ltd.
Fully launched business for TAC films for LCD polarizers
TAC films are one of the most important materials of liquid crystal displays that are widely used today in PCs, TVs, mobile phones and car navigation systems. Konica's TAC films, which are developed with the company's state-of-the-art photographic film technologies, are renowned for their thinness and uniformity, and demand for the films have increased rapidly with the expansion of the market. To cater to these increasing demands, Konica opened a TAC film factory in Kobe in the same year.
Konica Minolta Supplies Manufacturing Co., Ltd. is established as a joint venture for the production of polymerized toner
Konica Corporation and Minolta Co., Ltd. announced that they entered into a business partnership in the field of business technologies in April 2000, and as part of this partnership, Konica Minolta Supplies Manufacturing Co., Ltd. was established as a joint venture of the two companies in December 2000 to begin production of polymerized toner*, which was attracting attention a as next-generation toner.
*Polymerized toner is a high-performance toner produced by combining resins used to make plastics with color pigment particles through a chemical reaction.