Capacity to increase for TFT LCD glass substrates in 2011 -

TFT LCD TV panel demand is slowing down as the move to flat panel TVs nears completion DisplaySearch has found.

The analyst company said that demand had decreased by 41 percent in 2010 to 8.3 percent at the beginning of 2011. On the other hand TFT LCD panel area demand is expected to increase 10.4 percent in 2011, resulting in an 11 percent growth from 2010 the company said.

It added that capacity for this technology is also expected to continue increasing, forecasting a 13 percent year on year growth in 2011. However, it warned that with panel makers cutting back on utilisation, an oversupply situation in Q1’11 could occur with a glut of 12.8 percent.

Capacity is expected to grow because according to DisplaySearch each investment is enormously expensive. It said the recent increase in capacity had been largely accomplished through increases in existing tank capacity driven through improvements in production yields and increasing the speed of production processes.

It added that for fusion glass makers, a key part of the improved productivity had been a shift to thinner glass substrates—most importantly from 0.7 to 0.5 mm in Gen 6 and larger fabs.
DisplaySearch said that fromm Q2’09 to Q2’11, the quarterly area capacity of TFT LCD glass production is expected to increase by 42 percent. The growth would be accomplished with a 15 percent increase in the number of tanks.

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Tadashi Uno, Director of Materials and Component Research for DisplaySearch, said: “Out of the forecasted 13 percent growth in 2011 capacity, new tank investments will account for 7 percent of the growth, while existing tank capacity increases will account for the remaining 6 percent.”

“As a result, glass makers are going to supply an 11 percent demand increase with 7 percent new tank investments. The increase in capacity of existing tanks should lead to stronger financial results,” he added.