The company is investing 60 million euros (80 million dollars) in a second melting tank for large format TFT-LCD (Thin Film Transistor-Liquid Crystal Display) glass substrates used in flat panel displays. The expansion at SCHOTT Displayglas Jena GmbH is creating 100 new jobs and brings the companys investments in the display business at the Jena site to a total of 110 million euros (146 million dollars) and 170 jobs since 2003.
The highly complex production is remaining in Germany and the processing will be done close to our customers in Asia, said SCHOTT AG Chairman of the Board of Management Dr. Udo Ungeheuer. We were able to chose this model especially due to the support of the Freestate of Thuringia and Minister President Dieter Althaus.
With the new float tank, which will be ramped up in autumn of this year, SCHOTT is more than doubling its melting capacity for the 0.7 millimeter thick TFT-LCD glass substrates. Here top quality Generation 7 substrates measuring 1.87 by 2.2 meters are produced with a thickness of merely 0.7 millimeters.
The expansion in Jena is part of a 150 million euro investment (195 million dollars) in the production of TFT-LCD substrates for flat panel displays. In November 2005 the company formed a joint venture with the Japanese technology leader Kuramoto Seisakusho Co. Ltd. for the processing of large format substrates in Korea.
The substrates are used by manufacturers of flat panel displays for computer monitors, notebook computers and televisions, all of whom are located in Asia. The booming market for large TFT-LCD televisions is pushing the demand for large format glass substrates of Generation 7 and higher. These allow flat panel TV manufacturers to produce more TFT-LCD panels in one production step, thereby bringing manufacturing costs down. The market is expected to grow at an average annual rate of between 20 and 30 percent through 2010.