LG Display says its new OLED manufacturing plant in Guangzhou, China, is set to begin mass production by the end of the month, following an unexpected delay.
The company first opened the 8.5-Gen fab in August last year, but last month revealed it was facing technical issues that meant its original start date for mass production in October had to be postponed until the first quarter of this year.
Now, The Elec says LG Display has fixed those technical issues and managed to optimise production yields at the new fab ahead of schedule.
LG Display has previously said it intends to ship over 6 million OLED TV panels this year, including the smaller 48-inch displays it showed off at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this month.
The new fab will be essential to hitting that target, as it has a capacity of 60,000 substrates at present, and will be expanded to 90,o00 by next year. The Guangzhou plant is said to be similar to LG Display’s existing OLED facility in Paju, South Korea, although the company has adopted a few new technologies in order to improve productivity. They include multi model glass, or MMG, which The Elec said was the main reason for the low yields. In addition, LG Display has opted to use a new stack in the Guangzhou plant, as well as new equipment made in China, instead of the Korean-made equipment it uses in Paju.
LG Display believes the new fab will not only boost production yields but also reduce its costs, thanks to lower wages in China, government subsidies and the new technologies it’s using. Display Supply Chain Consultants has said LG Display could lower its costs by as much as 65% in the long run, while the new plant could also have the unexpected bonus of allowing it to circumvent a recent ban by the Japanese government on experts to South Korea.