Samsung Doubles Plasma Production
South Korea's Samsung SDI is planning to almost double its production of Plasma Display Panels next year, the company says.
The company will invest $494 million between January and October 2004 to build a third production line at its plant in Chonan, south of Seoul, says Bryan Sohn, a spokesperson for Samsung SDI.
The new production line will be capable of turning out 120,000 PDP panels per month when mass production begins around October next year. That production added to the two existing manufacturing lines will take total production in Chonan to 250,000 panels per month, he says.
The bulk of the production at the new facility is initially expected to mirror existing manufacturing and be largely 42-inch and 50-inch panels although Samsung also offers panels in sizes 37 inches, 63 inches, and 70 inches, Sohn says.
Manufacturers of PDP and large size LCD panels are increasing production and planning new factories as demand for the products, particularly from the large-screen television sector, continues to grow. In Japan in the first 10 months of this year shipments of PDP-based televisions are 28 percent above year-ago shipments at 168,000 units while that of LCD-based televisions is 45 percent higher at 1.1 million units.
Local competitor LG Electronics is also increasing production and in October this year announced its own plans for a third manufacturing line. LG's two current lines at its facility in Gumi in central South Korea have a combined capacity of 65,000 panels per month.
LG will invest $279 million in the new line, which is scheduled for operation in September 2004 and will have a monthly production capacity of 75,000 panels to take total production at Gumi to 140,000 panels per month.
Last week Japan's Matsushita Electric Industrial, better known as Panasonic, said its PDP factory in Shanghai, China, has hit full production at 20,000 panels per month. The company's total PDP production is currently 50,000 panels per month.