Corporate History

History and Future

"The Story of Maxell: Transformation and its DNA"
The documentary program focused on the full aspect of the driving force and DNA of Maxell, its feature changing toward the future.

Origin of Company Name

The company name Maxell originates from the brand name "Maxell" (Maximum Capacity Dry Cell=dry cell with the highest performance) created for the dry batteries that constituted its business at the time of foundation.


LOGO History

Maxell logo has been used worldwide in an unchanged design since the original design was renewed in 1970. In 2017, Maxell Red was adopted as a new color change.

Corporate History

■ Maxell history

■ World movement

  • 1960

    Established as Maxell Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.

    Start of color TV broadcasting

  • 1961

    The dry battery and magnetic tape divisions of Nitto Electric lndustrial Co., Ltd. (currently Nitto Denko Corp.), were set up independently as Maxell Electric lndustrial Co., Ltd.

  • 1963

    Commenced production of the first alkaline dry battery in Japan.

  • 1964

    Changed company name to Hitachi Maxell, Ltd.

    Hosting the Tokyo Olympics

  • 1966

    Commercialized the first audio cassette tapes into the Japanese market.

  • 1967

    Completed construction of the Kyoto Works.

  • 1968

    Established Maxell Seiki, Ltd.

    Opening of Tomei Expressway

  • 1969

    Established sales company "Maxell Corporation of America" in U.S..

    Apollo No. 11: First Lunar Landing of Humankind

  • 1970

    Commercialized UD series of audio cassette tapes.

    Established Kyushu Hitachi Maxell, Ltd.

    Japan Exposition (Osaka Exposition) held

  • 1973

    Commercialized the world's first high-performance zinc manganese battery.

    First Oil Crisis

    Transitioned to a floating exchange rate system

  • 1976

    Commercialized the first 8-inch floppy disk (FD-3200S) into the Japanese market.


    Commercialized Japan's first silver oxide battery.

    Established sales company "Maxell Europe GmbH" in Germany.

    Lockheed incident

  • 1977

    Listed on the 2nd sections of the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) and the Osaka Securities Exchange (OSE).

  • 1978

    Commercialized VHS video cassette tapes.

    Completed construction of Kyoto Research Laboratory.

    The second oil crisis

    Narita Airport opened

  • 1979

    Established manufacturing company "Maxell America lncorporated" in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A.

  • 1980

    Established sales company "Maxell (U.K.) Limited (currently Maxell Europe Ltd.)" in the U.K.

    Listed on the 1st sections of the TSE and the OSE.

    Completed construction of a video tape facility at the Kyoto Works.

  • 1981

    Commercialized coin-type lithium manganese dioxide (CR) batteries.

  • 1982

    Completed construction of the Tsukuba Works.

  • 1983

    Commenced production of the first lithium thionyl chloride (ER) battery for memory backup use in Japan.

    Tokyo Disneyland opens

  • 1984

    Commercialized 12-inch optical discs (OC301).

    Commenced production of IC cards and memory cards.

    Completed construction of "Maxell (U.K.) Limited" Telford Plant in the U.K.

  • 1986

    Completed construction of the Fukuchiyama Works.

  • 1987

    Commercialized the world's smallest *1 diameter (4.8mm) silver oxide batteries SR421SW and SR416SW.

  • 1989

    Launched audio cassette tapes Metal Vertex, the world's first cassette tapes using back-coated metal tapes.

    Released data cartridges (HS-4, HS-8) for computer use.

    Released the BETACAM SP/B-MBQ series and entered the professional broadcasting video tape market.

    Established manufacturing company "Maxell Electronics (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd.".

    Made Tohshin Seiko Co. Ltd. a consolidated subsidiary.

    Merged "Maxell Corporation of America" with "Maxell America lncorporated".

    The era name was changed to the Heisei era when the Emperor Showa passed away.

    The Fall of the Berlin Wall/End of the Cold War

    Commencement of consumption tax (3%)

  • 1991

    Commercialized 3.5 magneto-optical (MO) discs.

    Established the Recording Media Research Laboratory in Tsukuba.

    Outbreak of the Gulf War

    Collapse of bubble economy

  • 1992

    Launched computer backup tape DLTtape® III.

    Completed construction of the Ono Works.

  • 1993

    Commercialized digital audio MiniDiscs (MD-RM).

    Opening of the J-League

  • 1995

    Commercialized writable compact discs (CD-R).

    Commercialized the world's first optical modulation overdrive MO (RD-M230).

    Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake

    Subway sarin gas attack

  • 1996

    Commenced production of lithium ion rechargeable batteries.

    Commenced production of coin-type lithium manganese dioxide (ML) rechargeable batteries.

    Commercialized nickel-metal hydride rechargeable batteries.

    Established manufacturing company "Wuxi Hitachi Maxell Co., Ltd.," in Wuxi, China.

  • 1997

    Commenced production of button-type titanium carbon lithium (TC) rechargeable batteries.

    Developed Write Once and Reliable Data Security (WORDS) technology.

    Consumption tax increased to 5%

  • 1998

    Commercialized the world's first rewritable DVD-RAM disc.

    Commercialized glossy photographic papers for inkjet printers.

    Commercialized CD-R and CD-RW discs for music.

    Environmental ISO14001 Certification Acquired at All Manufacturing Sites.

    Nagano Olympics

  • 1999

    Launched the Dynamic series of high-performance alkaline dry batteries.

    Commercialized high-capacity polymer lithium ion batteries.

    Completed construction of Battery Development Laboratory (Osaka).

  • 2000

    Commercialized 4.7GB DVD-R discs.

    Commercialized 4.7GB DVD-RAM discs.

    Commercialized 2.8GB compact (8cm) DVD-RAM discs for video camera.

    Developed a new alkaline battery with a power tank construction.

    Commenced shipment of LTO Ultrium1 data cartridges.

    Commenced shipment of Super DLTtape®I.

  • 2001

    Commercialized Coil-on-Chip RFID.

    Developed new alkaline battery with a power tank construction.

    Commenced production of 3.8mm-thin lithium ion rechargeable batteries.

    Commenced shipments of thin-film filter samples for optical communications.

    Opening of USJ

    Simultaneous terrorist attacks in the United States

  • 2002

    Launched 9.4GB DVD-R/-RW dual discs for long time recording.

    Launched the New Dynamic series of alkaline dry batteries with power expander technology.

    Commenced production of Digital Pen and research and development of next generation products, with Anoto in Sweden.

    Commenced shipments of LTO Ultrium2 data cartridges.

    Completed construction of the Maxell Tokyo Building.

  • 2003

    Obtained the world's first qualification certificate of Super DLTtape® II cartridge.

    Commenced shipments of DAT72 data cartridges.

    Commenced shipments of camera lens units for cellular phones.

    Launched Blu-ray Discs for recordings.

    Commenced production of pickup lenses.

  • 2004

    Commercialized heat-resistant, coin-type lithium manganese dioxide batteries.

    Launched a brand-new alkaline battery, Epsialpha.

    Launched the alkaline dry cell New "dynamic" which attained industry first, and use recommendation term 4 years (JIS standard).

    Developed the bismuth system phase change record film which made rapid recording of the recordable DVD possible.

    Commenced shipments of commercial-use pigment inks.

    Commercialized the world's first 5X DVD-RAM disc.

    Commenced shipments of LTO Ultrium3 data cartridges.

  • 2005

    Launched the first in the world, alkaline dry cell "Epsialpha" with 100% of zinc particle "micro zinc" use.

    Launched the alkaline dry cell New "dynamic" which attained industry first, and use recommendation term five years (JIS standard).

    Commenced shipments of camera lens units for vehicles.

    Commenced shipments of the near-infrared resonance simple substance film for plasma displays.

    Launched 3590Extended data cartridge.

    Commercialized a silver oxide battery that is completely mercury-and lead-free.

    Commercialized lithium manganese dioxide (CR) cylindrical batteries.

    Held Aichi Expo

  • 2006

    Developed the volume record type optical storage technology by a nanoimprint thin optical discs.

    Became the world's first qualified DLTtape manufacturer and commenced shipments of Maxell DLTtapeR S4 data cartridges.

    Launched rewritable type HD DVD-R disc with a storage capacity of 15 GB at the first in the world.

    Launched a write-once BD-R disc and a rewritable BD-RE disc.

    Merged "Maxell Electronics (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd." with "Tohshin Precision (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd." to establish a new company: Maxell Tohshin (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd.

  • 2007

    Became the world's first qualified LTO manufacturer and commenced shipments of Maxell LTO Ultrium4 data cartridges.

    Launched world's first iVDR-standard hard disc drive, iV, capable of recording copyright-protected high-definition content.

    Commenced shipments of DAT160 data cartridge.

    Developed technology for high-capacity tape media that uses ultra-thin, high-density nano-granular magnetic film.

    Launched the world's first 7.5GB (8cm) BD-R/RE discs for video cameras.

    Made Sliontec Corporation a consolidated subsidiary.

  • 2008

    Launched Dynamic Voltage high-performance alkaline dry batteries that are long-lasting and have triple-power.

    Developed a high-activity catalyst that enables higher performance fuel cells.

    Began mass production of glass pickup lenses for Blu-ray Disc drives.

    Developed heat-resistant separator that improves the safety of lithium ion rechargeable batteries.

    Commenced shipments of power-source-type cylindrical lithium ion rechargeable batteries.

    Lehman shock

  • 2009

    Launched "New Voltage", an alkaline dry battery designed to prevent electrolyte leakage*2.

    Commenced shipments of high-power cylindrical lithium ion rechargeable batteries that use significantly less cobalt.

    Developed the world's smallest*3 micro-camera lens units, which incorporate piezo actuators.

    Completed construction of electrode plant in Kyoto Works.

    Merged Tohshin Seiko Co., Ltd., and Nagano Optics Laboratory Corporation to create Maxell Finetech Ltd.

  • 2010

    Commenced shipments of LTO Ultrium 5 data-cartridge.

    Developed the 45.0 Gb/inch world highest*4 surface recording density (= 69.8 Mb/mm2) magnetic tape technology.

    After delisting at Tokyo and Osaka Stock Exchange first section, it becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd.

  • 2011

    Launched the wireless charger air voltage based on "Qi (Chee) standard" first in domestic market.

    Launched the world's first wireless charger air voltage for iPad2 which adopted the electric field connection type.

    Hitachi Maxell Energy Ltd. is newly established by partition of corporation, and a part of manufacturing and sales operations of a battery are transferred.

    The Great East Japan Earthquake

  • 2012

    Launched the portable storage battery "Energy Station (energy station)".

    Commenced shipments of LTO Ultrium 6 data-card ridge.

    Merged five domestic consolidated subsidiaries.

    Opening of Tokyo Skytree

  • 2013

    1 million total shipment achievement of the projector for China.

    Merged Hitachi Maxell Energy Ltd.

    The foreign general operations is transferred to Hitachi Maxell Global Ltd. (Hong Kong).

    Established Maxell Smart Communications, Ltd.

    In connection with merger with Hitachi Consumer Electronics Co., Ltd., transformed Hitachi Joei Tech Co., Ltd. and Hitachi Digital Products China Co., Ltd. into consolidated subsidiaries.

  • 2014

    Developed receiving orders for the world's smallest and lightest HEMS compatible energy storage system and dedicated controllers.

    Launched the electric-power-wholesale by photovoltaic generation (large-scale solar power system).

    Listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange first section.

    Invested 1.8 billion yen to increase production capacity of CR-coin batteries for Automotive.

    Invested 800 million yen in Malaysian manufacturing base to increase production capacity for automotive optical components.

    Consumption tax increased to 8%

  • 2015

    Developed sheet-like Lithiumion Batteries with a thickness of 0.4mm.

    Launched "the OZONEO series" Low Concentration Anti-bacterial deodorizer series.

    Developed 10μm Thin Film Polymer Film with Highly Transparent adhesive tape.

    Entered into the multi-copter market with high-performance, high-reliability Lithiumion Batteries packs.

    Developed an LED-projector equipped with a solid-state light source engine employing HLD LED technique.

    Developed Lithiumion Batteries's high-capacity ULSiON.

  • 2016

    Developed cellulose nanofiber Foam molding technique.

    Launched limited quantities of "UD" design restoration version, a model commemorating the 50th anniversary of the release of cassette tapes.

    Two types of lithium-ion rechargeable batteries for robots acquired safety certification based on international standards.

    Hitachi Maxell begins operations at Heisei Chikuho Railway (Tagawa County, Fukuoka Prefecture).

    Migrate to Company with an Audit and Supervisory Committee.

    Adopt a Tokyo/Kyoto twin head quarter structure by newly setting up Kyoto Head Quater.

    Kumamoto Earthquake

  • 2017

    Joint development of Intelligent Battery for agricultural drones.

    Developed a high-definition hybrid mask for organic EL display panel deposition.

    Aqua Park Shinagawa Naming Rights Acquired from Shinagawa Prince Hotel.

    Developed RIC FOAM (Rich Form), a proprietary injection Foam molding technique.

    Developed "Glasses-free 3D-Display" technique for displaying stereoscopic images on curved screens.

    Launched Beauty advisor skin check application hada more Biz.

    Developed high-performance Lithiumion Batteries technology that combines solid-electrolyte and silicone-based negative electrode materials.

    Excluded from the company's equity-method affiliate due to a change in its capital relationship with Hitachi, Ltd.

    Company name changed from Hitachi Joei Tech Co., Ltd. to Maxell Joei Tech Co., Ltd.

    Established Maxell System Tech Co., Ltd. by aquisition of part of business of Renesas Semiconductor Package & Test Solutions Co., Ltd.

    Concluded a contract on capital and business alliance with I-O DATA DEVICE, INC. .

    Changed company name to Maxell Holdings, Ltd. following transition to holding company structure and established Maxell, Ltd. as operational company.

    Established New Maxell brand logo, Brand Slogan and brand statement.

  • 2018

    Developed an embedded high-performance image recognition system that realizes edge AI.

    Received an order from the National Printing Bureau for IC sheets for passports.

    Launched the V-Series Shaver, IZUMI's first 5-blade electric shaver.

    Announced llexam, a new brand for beauty appliances.

    Developed Air Patch Battery batteries for medical/healthcare patches.

    Acquired specialty business within industrial batteries and power sources business of GS Yuasa International Ltd.

    Made Izumi Products Company (currently Maxell Izumi Co., Ltd.) a consolidated subsidiary through acquisition of shares.

    Established Ube Maxell Kyoto Co., Ltd.

  • 2019

    Launched Ozone Water Generator OZONEO AQUA watermix.

    Commercialized AR Head Up Display for automotive applications.

    Commenced shipping samples of coin-shaped All Solid State Battery using sulfide-based solid electrolytes.

    Launched FUKUGEN DRYER, a CALEA that renewed the restoration dryer.

    Commenced mass production of high-definition hybrid masks for organic EL display panel deposition.

    Launched UB-2 magnetic sensor-type finger tapping device.

    Commenced receiving order for Lead-free Galvanic Cell-type Oxygen Sensor using weakly acidic electrolytes.

    Launched "Energy Station" MES-TR470, a large-capacity, high-output portable power supply.

    Launched easy-to-use ”llexam Hada camera” for beauty advisers.

    Made Kureha Elastomer Co., Ltd. (currently Maxell Kureha Co., Ltd.) a consolidated subsidiary through acquisition of shares.

    Commenced joint investment in Vehicle Energy Japan Inc.

    Maxell Digital Products China Co., Ltd. Started construction of a new plant in China.

    From Heisei to Reiwa

  • 2020

    Developed contactless HMI (human-machine interface) "Advanced Floating Image Display".

    Launched the industry's first 6-blade Izumi ”V-Series” shaver.

    Commenced shipping samples of galvanic cell lead-free oxygen sensors.

    Merged Maxell Joei Tech Co., Ltd. and Maxell System Tech Co., Ltd. and changed their name to Maxell Frontier Co., Ltd.

    Established Maxell Group MVVSS (Mission Vision Value Spirit Slogan).

  • 2021

    Developed high capacity cylindrical type lithium manganese dioxide battery “CR17500AU” suitable for IoT devices.

    Participated in the United Nations Global Compact.

    Developed world’s first Mountable Sulfide Based All-solid-state Battery.

    Developed lead-free galvanic cell-type oxygen sensor enabling measurement of high oxygen concentration and suitable for medical use.

    Commenced shipment of world’s first samples of sulfide based all-solid-state battery specialized in high voltage and high output.

    Announced support for the recommendations of Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).

    Developed Advanced Floating Man-machine Interface evolved from AFID.

    Maxell Holdings, Ltd. merged Maxell, Ltd. and changed its company name to Maxell, Ltd. after dissolving holding company structure.

    Hosting the Tokyo Olympics

  • 2022

    Concluded agreement between Kyoto Institute of Technology on comprehensive technology exchange.

    Announced image recognition solution “iXAM Vision Series” combining image processing and edge AI.

    Transitioned from First Section to Prime Market in Tokyo Stock Exchange following the restructuring of stock markets.

*1 Based on Maxell's investigation about the silver oxide batteries as of 1987.
*2 When you observe warning and notes and electrolyte leakage is carried out for AA and AAA type alkaline dry cell within a use recommendation term, battery exchange or apparatus is fixed and exchanged.
*3 Based on Maxell's investigation about the micro camera Lens unit as of September, 2009.
*4 Based on Maxell's investigation about the data storage tape media of a linear recording model, as of April, 2010.
*DLT, DLTtape, DLTSAGE, and those logos are the trademarks or registered trademarks of Quantum Corporation in the United States and other countries.
*Linear Tape-Open, LTO, a LTO logo, Ultrium, and a Ultrium logo are the registered trademarks of Hewlett Packard, IBM and Quantum Corporation in the United States and other countries.
*"iVDR" is a trademark showing being based on a "iVDR technical standard".*"Qi (Chee)" is a registered trademark of Wireless Power Consortium.
*iPad is a registered trademark of Apple Inc. in the United States and other countries.