Samsung SDI, a global leader in energy solutions and electronic materials, has signed a new contract to build up a polarizer film plant in China, a move aimed at increasing its share in the crucial Chinese market.
Seoul/South Korea – Samsung SDI plans to invest around 200 billion won to build a polarizer production in the Wuxi Industrial District with the annual capacity of 30 to 40 million square meter. The mass production will start in November 2016.
Polarizing films, attached to LCD panels, control brightness, contrast and other optical features by either blocking or letting pass light coming from the Back Light Unit. Polarizers are used in a wide range of display devices such as laptop computers, tablet PC and smartphones.
The plant is expected to meet the demand for around 20 to 30 million 48-inch LCD TV sets per year -- or the equivalent of about 5,000 soccer fields. Samsung SDI is currently running three polarizer production lines in Cheongju, South Korea, at full capacity. When the new Chinese production line goes into full swing next year, the total capacity will increase dramatically.
Growing polarizing film market in China
With the Wuxi production line, Samsung SDI is expected to meet the demand from Chinese customers without delay, strengthening its competitiveness in the global market.
The decision of the company to construct a new production facility in China reflects the growing importance of China in the polarizing film market for big-screen TV. The world’s polarizer film market is estimated at 312 million square meter in 2014, and is forecast to expand at the annual growth rate of 6 percent to 425 million square meter by 2020. In the following years through 2020, the demand from China will climb by more than 16 percent annually.
As 40-inch or bigger LCD panels continue to expand, Samsung SDI plans to set up a production line dedicated to super-wide polarizer so that its products can be applied to the eighth-generation LCD panels, whose size is currently the biggest on the market. Polarizing films to be produced at the Wuxi plant will be provided to global display makers located nearby in Suzhou.
New Technology for PET film
“With the Wuxi plant, Samsung SDI will be able to secure a polarizing film production base for big-screen TV in China, which is emerging as the key display market,” said Namseong Cho, CEO of Samsung SDI.
The company kicked off its polarizer film business by acquiring Ace Digitech in 2007. The company also developed a new technology that can utilize PET film with better optical characteristics instead of the existing TAC film as the material for polarizer, and successfully applied the world’s first solution to polarizing films for TV in 2013.