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LG invests $1.75b in new production line for flexible OLEDs

28 Jul 2016 | Rasmus Larsen |

LG continues to invest heavily in OLED and a new 6-gen production line will make the company capable of supplying flexible OLED displays for watches, phones, tablets, and potentially bigger devices. Work is also underway on the new OLED TV plant.

Flexible OLED displays

LG.Display – LG’s screen manufacturing arm – acknowledges that while it is leading in large-size OLED TVs it has fallen behind in small-size OLED displays, where Samsung is leading. That stands to change, says LG.

- “A paradigm shift to OLED represents both a challenge and an opportunity for the display industry,” said Dr. Sang-Beom Han, CEO of LG Display. “LG Display is determined to become the leader in the fast-growing OLED market through timely investments to maximize efficiency.”

The company currently produces flexible OLED displays for devices such as LG Watch Urbane and Apple Watch at its E2 (4.5-gen) production line. LG.Display has already started construction of its E5 (6-gen) line that will begin mass production in the first half of 2017.

And now the company has announced that it will build yet another production line. The new E6 (6-gen - 1,500mm x 1,850mm) production line will be ready for mass production in the second half of 2018. LG.Display will invest 1.99 trillion Won – or $1.75 billion dollars – in the E6 production line that will be located at the P9 complex in Paju, South Korea.

The aggressive expansion is believed to be related to Apple’s plan to switch to an OLED display in the iPhone. If that were to happen, Apple would need a massive supply of OLED panels that the global production chain is not capable of supplying today.

Mother substrate glasses

New OLED TV plant

In addition to the new E5 and E6 lines, LG recently announced that it spending close to $9 billion dollars to build an entirely new P10 complex (with a 9-gen OLED line) dedicated mostly to OLED TVs.

The P10 complex will drastically expand LG’s OLED TV production capabilities once it is finished in the first half of 2018. It will allow the display manufacturer to produce larger and more advanced OLED TV panels. It will also reduce production costs.

See the future of OLED

LG.Display is currently manufacturing OLED TV panels at its P9 complex in Paju, South Korea, that has been optimized for production of 55- and 65-inch OLED TVs. Market research firm IHS (via HDGuru) noted that LG began significantly ramping up production of 65-inch OLED panels in the second quarter of 2016 as it aims to supply other TV manufacturers with OLED TV panels.

Loewe, Metz and Philips have already confirmed plans to launch OLED TVs later this year. Bang & Olufsen will launch its first OLED TV in 2017.

LG.Display is already the largest manufacturer of LCD displays but it sees OLED as the future. Once the new factories are up and running, LG will have invested more than $12 billion dollars in OLED.

- Source: LG.Display & HDGuru

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