The company invested 60 million euros in its second tank for display glass for flat panel displays and has created around 100 new jobs at SCHOTT Displayglas Jena GmbH. In all, the company has invested 110 million euros in the display glass business at the Jena site and created 170 new jobs there since 2003.
“This melting operation marks a further expansion of our Asian business strategy and also strengthens our site in Jena with a fully-modern high-tech production facility,” said Chairman of the Board of Management of SCHOTT AG, Prof. Dr.-Ing Udo Ungeheuer.
The new tank is part of a 150 million euro investment in the expansion of the company’s production of TFT-LCD substrates for flat panel displays. In November 2005, the company formed a joint venture with the Japanese technology company Kuramoto Seisakusho Co. Ltd. for the processing of large format substrates in Ochang, Korea. SCHOTT has invested 90 million euros in SCHOTT KURAMOTO Processing Korea Co. Ltd., which goes online officially at the end of February 2007 for the processing of Generation 5 and 7 substrates.
These 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 world market for flat TFT-LCD televisions has doubled in volume for the second year in a row to more than 40 million televisions in 2006, and it is expected to grow at an average annual rate of between 20 and 30 percent through 2010.
With the new float tank, SCHOTT is more than doubling its melting capacity for the top quality 0.7 millimeter thick TFT-LCD glass for “Generation 7“ substrates which measure 1.87 by 2.2 meters.