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Sony’s Dothan Media Manufacturing Facility Celebrates 30th Anniversary


Sony Electronics’ recording media manufacturing and production facility here is celebrating its 30th anniversary today, as dignitaries from around the world took part in a variety of festivities to note the occasion.

Since beginning production in 1977, the facility has played an important role in the production of Sony professional, consumer and data storage media products for both U.S. domestic and international markets. The facility and its people have also remained a vital part of the Dothan, Ala., community by supporting a variety of non-profit organizations and educational institutions.

The anniversary was celebrated with a day of special events at the facility and marked by the attendance of several state dignitaries and Sony senior executives, including Dr. Ryoji Chubachi, the president and chief operating officer of Sony Corporation and CEO of Sony’s global electronics business, who is based in Tokyo, and Stan Glasgow, president and chief operating officer of Sony Electronics in the U.S.

“This facility has a distinguished track record of achievement, in terms of service to the audio and video industries, and also to the local community,” said Barry Singletary, president of Sony Dothan. “Looking toward the future, we are adding new formats to our production schedules and also putting in place new processes to keep our operations effective and efficient, and to help us respond to the needs of customers and suppliers as quickly as possible.”

The 880,000-square-foot facility produces a range of Sony magnetic and digital recording media, including consumer videotape and linear tape technology for data storage. Sony Dothan will also begin production of the Digital Betacam professional videotape format this month.

“This is the latest milestone in this facility’s long list of significant events,” Singletary said. “The successful production of Digital Betacam products will create the possibilities for us to move into other professional media products.”

Sony Dothan will provide all Digital Betacam products for the Pan American Zone, which includes the United States, Canada, Central and South America.

The Sony Dothan facility was the first in the United States to produce both VHS and 8mm videotape. Today, the plant continues to produce consumer and professional videotape, as well as audio voice and music grade media, along with digital data storage products.

About 65 percent of the plant’s production meets U.S. market needs, with the remainder exported to Europe, Central and South America, and Asia.

Singletary said that the Dothan operation is the only facility outside of Japan that has oxide, metal particle, and advanced metal evaporated coating technology.

A state-of-the-art chemical analysis laboratory is located on-site to help ensure that materials used in the production process meet Sony production standards.

Sony was the first Japanese company to establish operations in Alabama. Today, there are 65 companies located in the state.

Sony’s Milestones in Dothan

1975 –Incorporated in Alabama as Sony Magnetic Products, Inc. of America
1977 – Started Umatic/Beta Cassette Assembly
1978 - Started Magnetic Media Manufacturing
1983 - Started VHS Cassette Production
1991 - Started 8mm Video Cassette Assembly
1994 - Started D-8 Data Cassette Production
1997 - Started DDS Data Cassette Production
1998 - Started Metal Particle (MP) Media Production
1999 - Started Advanced Metal Evaporated Media Production
2004 - Began production of Digital Video Cassette media
2004 – Began production of LTO Data Storage product
Began production of Digital Betacam


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