Asahi Glass Co., Ltd. (Headquarters: Tokyo; President: Shinya Ishizu) has decided to further enhance and expand its production facilities for PDP (plasma display panel) optical filters. This expansion, with an estimated total investment of approximately \2 billion, is scheduled to be completed in September, 2002. With the new facilities, we expect to double our production capacity from a current 40,000 pieces to 80,000 pieces per month.
PDP, in other words, a new type of flatter and larger display, has become the focus of attention as the superb quality display device demanded in the progressive digital network era. Although current demand is primarily for commercial use, as represented by notice boards at airports or stores, as well as advertisement, PDP is expected to rapidly penetrate into private homes in the form of TVs, home theaters, etc. The worldwide production of PDP is predicted to make a quantum leap from 400 thousand units as of 2001 to 4 million units in 2005 to meet strong demand.
PDP optical filters, installed in the front panel of the display, are one of the most important components for PDP due to the following functions: 1) providing optical contrast in brightness and color reproduction, 2) minimizing unfavorable electromagnetic wave radiation and near-infrared light emission from PDP, 3) preventing external reflections to ensure clearly visible images, and 4) preventing breakage. The rapidly growing PDP market has an accelerating demand for PDP optical filters. Therefore, we decided to enhance and expand our current production facilities for PDP optical filters to respond to such needs.
The details of our expansion plan are as follows:
- Expanding facilities for laminating anti-reflective films to glass (at the company's Aichi Factory and elsewhere); and
- Establishing new facilities for sputtering deposition of transparent conductive coatings on polyester films (at the company's Chiba Factory).
We are the world's top manufacturer of PDP optical filters, currently holding a nearly 50% market share. Our competitive advantage is supported by the following factors: 1) cost reduction by producing anti-reflective films (product name: ARCTOP), one of the main components for optical filters, in addition to glass at our own facilities, 2) accumulated know-how of sputtering technologies, and 3) cross-divisional information sharing about PDP makers (customers), to whom the company are supplying not only optical filters but also various other components/materials such as glass substrates and glass frit paste.
We are planning to make further investment in production facilities for PDP optical filters to meet the ongoing demand growth, aiming to foster a lucrative business with sales of approximately ¥ 10 billion in 2004.
Structure of PDP optical filter
Manufacturing flow chart of PDP optical filter