[ET NEWS] LG Display has decided to roll out OLED displays at its new manufacturing factory, called P10, in Paju, ditching its original plan to produce large-sized LCDs, according to sources on June 18.
The Korean display firm initially planned to produce 10.5-generation LCDs at the new factory first, and then transition the manufacturing lines into those for OLED later. The global LCD supply bottleneck caused by fast-growing Chinese display companies and negative outlook on competitiveness of Korean firms in the global LCD segment has forced LGD to make the switch.
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The decision was made at a recent conference of LG Group’s affiliates.
Consequently, the installation of display manufacturing equipment has been put off with the recent change of plans.
“We had been ordered to supply manufacturing facilities in the third quarter this year, but LGD recently postponed the schedule to around the second quarter next year,” an official from firm’s contract partner said.
The investment in P10 is being delayed partly because the display giant has not decided whether to adopt inkjet printing technology, which allows organic materials to be deposited more evenly and precisely on a glass sheet than the traditional evaporation method.
The inkjet printing process is also cost efficient and Samsung Display, the largest mobile OLED maker, as well as Chinese firms, including BOE and China Star are competitively conducting development projects to deploy the technology.
Despite efficiency and high yield, the inkjet printing technology is still considered immature.
“It is true that investment in P10 has been delayed, but the company will soon make a decision on the matter and what type of manufacturing technology it would adopt,” an LGD official said.
The Korean firm posted an operating loss of 98.3 billion won (US$89 million) in the first quarter due to seasonal factors and a slowdown in the LCD market, and is expected to lose more money in the April-June period because of the weak market demand.
By Bae Ok-jin (firstname.lastname@example.org)
This story was co-produced by ET News and The Investor