Oct 1, 2019
Toray Textiles Central Europe s.r.o.
Tore Harms Announces his Retirement after 5 Decades in the Graphic Arts Industry
Toray will surely miss one of its European experts in Process Technologies. Tore Harms was a major contributor to the successful development and expansion of waterless plate technology in Europe. He was particularly influential in 2012, helping to establish the Toray production facility in Czech Republic, built at that time to supply Toray waterless offset plates to the newspaper industry in Europe.
“I have always been interested in process technology,” says Tore Harms. My career path started in the R&D laboratory and continued in process development. As a waterless ‘champion’ I consider myself most fortunate to have had the opportunity to finish a long and exciting career supporting Toray, the pioneer and leading supplier of waterless offset plates’. I will miss working at this special company. I have appreciated very much experiencing the Japanese civil and corporate culture at Toray. They have a strong sense of corporate responsibility and the loyalty between company and employees worldwide is exceptional. Despite the huge size of the company I have always felt part of a large family”
Tore Harms started his working life at Polychrome Corporation and was laterally in charge of printing plate manufacturing for that company in the US. He is also co-inventor and US patent holder of a CTP offset plate. After having been project leader for the world’s first CTP offset plate and managing the waterless offset pilot program for Kodak Polychrome Graphics LLC, he took the opportunity at Toray and moved to Europe joining his daughter who was living in Düsseldorf, Germany. Toray was looking for someone with Tore Harms’ knowledge, business acumen and linguistic skills to help bridge the European and Japanese cultural gap and engage with distributors, sales teams and customers across Europe helping to promote waterless offset technology for the mass markets.
“I had become an advocate of waterless printing during my previous assignment and was glad to take on the challenge of promoting this environmentally friendly printing method,” explains Tore. “After an initial focus on technical projects, I was soon involved in the business development side with the aim of expanding the waterless plate business across Europe. It was particularly gratifying to be contributing at this time as there was a drive by a leading manufacturer of newspaper presses to improve productivity as well as raise the standards for newspaper production.”
From left to right Roman Rumplík – General Manager of Production, Kaoru Ueda – Associate Director for Technology, Rinus Hoebeke – Sales and Marketing, Hans-Joachim Koch – Technical and Sales, Radovan Hromádka – Technical Support, Tore Harms – Customer Relations, Mitsunori Hayashi – Director, Noboru Kawanaka – Technical Manager, Akari Nakano – Sales, Mr. Kristian Ekvall – Technical and Sales, Seungyong Yi – Sales Manager
Tore found himself in a position to influence company business strategy and work closely with newspaper printers and press manufacturers to help solve technical problems. He helped grow Toray’s business in this new key, high volume segment for waterless printing. There was a clear need for a regional European supply of Toray’s innovative waterless plates specifically for the newspaper industry - not only from an environmental point of view but for raising standards of quality, efficiency and reducing waste. This all led to the establishment of Toray’s dedicated European production facility.
Asked to comment on the future of waterless offset technology:
“I see excellent opportunities for the future growth of waterless offset. In contrast to the situation in the conventional ‘wet’ offset market, the waterless business has been very stable due to strong demand in the market segments that have traditionally been waterless users. With the increased focus on sustainability and ‘green’ technologies globally, the introduction of chemistry free plate processing and the growth of E-beam curing technology for ink drying, waterless offset is positioned to be the technology of choice for additional segments. I see opportunity for strong growth in security printing and packaging applications.”
For the future Tore is planning to do some voluntary social work and engage in environmental protection activities. He is an avid skier, hiker and biker.
Mitsunori Hayashi, Director of the European head quarters states, “Tore has been a significant asset to Toray. We wish him a long and happy retirement. He is a special person - so knowledgeable and sensitive to the needs of others – very much a people person. Everyone at Toray is going to miss him. He will leave a real gap.”