Joined by customers and government officials, Corning unveiled the first of the new melting operations and marked the official commencement of hot glass operations at the plant.
The first unit of melting capacity at the Tainan facility, part of a phased $180 million expansion announced by Corning in July 2003, is a key milestone in Corning's long-term strategy for continued leadership in LCD glass manufacturing. The rest of the melting capacity additions planned under the $180 million expansion will come on line throughout 2004. Looking ahead, Corning will continue to significantly increase its LCD glass manufacturing capacity to keep pace with anticipated industry demand and the expected shift to larger glass substrates by LCD manufacturers. This was most recently demonstrated by the February 2004 announcement of a $600 million expansion at the company's Tainan and Shizuoka, Japan facilities. Capacity from that expansion will begin producing in late 2004 and throughout 2005.
"Today's commencement ceremony marks a key milestone for Corning and our customers in Taiwan," said Donald B. McNaughton, senior vice president of Corning's Display Group. "The new production capacity we have recently announced will continue to come on line through 2005, maintaining Corning's position as the world-leading supplier of LCD substrates."
Continuing to demonstrate the scalability of the company's fusion technology, Corning is a leading supplier of Generation 5 glass substrates and, in June 2003, became the first and only commercial supplier of Generation 6 substrates. Further, Corning is now building Generation 7 fusion manufacturing in its Samsung Corning Precision factory in Cheonan, Korea and commercial shipments are planned for the second half of 2004. Corning is already in the early development stages for Generation 8, preparing to support the industry's continuing migration to larger glass substrates.
Corning is the world's leading supplier of glass substrates for active matrix LCDs used in desktop monitors, notebook computers, LCD-TVs and consumer electronics products. The company expects that annual glass market volume growth may be as high as 30 percent to 50 percent over the next several years, with a significant amount of this growth centered in Taiwan.