Japan’s Sumitomo Chemicals is investing 20 billion Yen (about 200 billion KRW) into Pyeongtaek in Gyeonggi-do to expand number of production of touch-panels for OLED (organic light-emitting diode).
According to industries on the 5th, Sumitomo Chemicals has decided to invest 20 billion Yen and extend its touch-panel factories in Pyeongtaek. It will extend facilities by October and start mass-production. Its goal is to expand current production size by 40%.
Products will be produced by Sumitomo Chemicals’ 100% affiliate called Dongwoo Fine-chem, which has factories in Posung Industrial Complex in Pyeongtaek.
Sumitomo Chemicals’ touch-panels will be used for OLED displays and they are parts that implement touch function in Smartphones, tablets and others. This investment is a response to rapidly move focus of Smartphone displays from LCD to OLED.
According to market research company called Ubi Industry Research, shipments of Smartphones with OLED Display this year will exceed 220 million, which is 40% higher than last year’s at 160 million. 220 million is a value that is equal to 15% of shipments of all Smartphones in the world.
It is expected that demands for touch-panels will rapidly increase as application of OLEDs expands even towards low and mid-priced Smartphones. Industries are very interested in a fact that this investment is in the background of expansion of trade with Samsung A person related to Dongwoo Fine-Chem said that its customers requested production increase.
<Panoramic view of Dongwoo Fine-Chem’s factories in Pyeongtaek>
After entering into touch-panel business for the first time in 2011, Sumitomo Chemicals has been supplying entire supply for Samsung Electronics’ Smartphones, and it is seen that its business with Samsung has grown again this time. Samsung Electronics has been expanding use of OLED, which was only applied for expensive Smartphones, towards low and mid-priced products. Samsung Display is currently expanding its suppliers for OLED to Chinese Smartphone manufacturers and others.
Sumitomo Chemicals’ touch-panels go through a process of going through Samsung Display and being finally delivered to Samsung Electronics. Not only is it close to Samsung Electronics, but its relationship with Samsung Display is also intimate.
If investment is completed, it is heard that 200 million touch-panels can be produced yearly. It is predicted that not only number of normal flat-type touch-panels will increase, but mass-production of edge-type touch panels that have left and right sides bent will also increase. It is heard that Sumitomo Chemicals is also preparing for touch-panels that have bendable screens.
Sumitomo Chemicals has Pyeongtaek as its main base for touch-panels, and there are high chances that it will invest more in the future.