Display equipment maker Philoptics will aim to supply fab equipment for new growth, the company CEO said on Monday at its shareholders’ meeting.
Philoptics CEO Han Ki-soo said the company was preparing to manufacture and supplying wafer bonding equipment and was aiming to win an order for them within 2021.
Wafer bonders are used to separate the chip from the wafer and attach it to a substrate.
Philoptics is already supplying bade side align (BSA) direct image (DI) exposure equipment to some customers. However, sales from them remain small and the company is expecting bonders to contribute more meaningful sales.
Philoptics’ main sales currently come from laser equipment used in OLED panel production. It is hoping to expand to batteries and semiconductors for new growth.
This year’s sales will be led by equipment for batteries, the company said. Philoptics president Kim Kwang-il said it is expecting over 100 billion won in sales from them this year. The company accrued remaining orders of 110.1 billion won for battery equipment as of the end of 2020, Kim said.
Philoptics’ total sales this year will be level to that of 2020 or slightly higher, the president added.
The company had a total of 144.5 billion won in remaining order as of the end of 2020. Battery equipment accounted for 110.1 billion won __ six times of the 18.6 billion won in order it had at the end of 2019. Orders for display equipment fell from 115.6 billion won to 32.7 billion won in the same time period. Samsung Display and Chinese panel makers are expected to spend conservatively in equipment this year. Philoptics’ main customer for battery equipment has been Samsung SDI.
Han told the meeting that the firm will continue its fine metal mask (FMM) business. FMM is used in OLED production. Last month, the company failed to win the national project for FMM against rival APS Holdings for non-etching method production. In etching, Poongwon Precision won the order for the project.
Despite Han saying the company will continue on the business, it will need to win customer approval before spending billions of wons in production.
Philoptics recorded 188.8 billion won in sales and 1.7 billion won in operating income in 2020, an increase of 34.5% from 2019 in sales. The company returned to profitability. Laser equipment for OLED accounted for 84.9% of sales, while battery accounted for 11.1%. Han said equipment for foldable and punch hole displays increased in 2020 compared to 2019. Philoptics is the sole supplier cutters and hole in active area (HIAA) kits to Samsung Display, used to make foldable and punch hole OLED panels.