Roland DG History
Roland DG (Digital Group) was founded in Osaka, Japan in 1981 as a subsidiary of Roland Corporation, a world leading electronic musical instrument manufacturer. The early 1980s saw the rapid rise of digital technology and personal computers, and people of all nations marveled at the possibilities they held. Realizing the importance of computers to modern society, Ikutaro Kakehashi, founder of Roland Corporation, decided to take advantage of the digital technology they had developed through the production of electronic musical instruments and apply it to computer peripherals in order to cultivate a new market, thus forming Roland DG.
The Company first developed the CMU-800 Computer Music System which allowed the user to compose and automatically perform music using a personal computer, and also the DXY-100 pen plotter, which was initially developed to output musical scores for music created on the CMU-800 by moving a pen horizontally (X axis) and vertically (Y axis) across the surface of a piece of paper. In the 1980s, business grew rapidly as the market for pen plotters expanded to manufacturing design and development departments, and to construction offices and architectural schematics. During this time, the Company began exploring other product offerings. Replacing the pen with a cutter enabled Roland to begin development of vinyl cutting machines and, by adding height (Z axis), 3D milling machines and engraving machines.
The 1990s marked the time when the Company’s flagship products changed to vinyl cutting machines and shifted its focus to the sign and display markets. Realizing the importance of color signs, the Company developed and introduced the world’s first thermal transfer color printer/cutter in 1995. Currently the Company continues to focus on its color business with its wide-format inkjet printers and printer/cutters, which have secured more than 40% of the world market share in durable graphics, as well as the 3D business including 3D milling machines, 3D laser scanners, and engraving machines. In 1999, the Company received ISO 9001 certification, and in 2000 was granted ISO 14001 certification. Also in 2000, the Company listed on the Second Section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange and then in 2002, moved up to the Tokyo Stock Exchange First Section.