Several potential South Korea clients have been testing the quality of DuPont’s quality of liquid PI for substrates, according to industry sources on Nov. 18.
“Frequent testing has been done at a number of companies, but a final decision doesn’t seem to have been reached yet,” said one industry watcher on the condition of anonymity.
The reports come about five months after the US cmpany began running PI-exclusive production lines for flexible OLED panels at its new plant in Cheonan Foreign Investment Cluster. As the plant is in close proximity with Samsung Display’s Asan plant, some industry sources to believe Samsung Display may reach out to DuPont to diversify its supplier portfolio.
Samsung Display produces mostly small and mid-sized OLED panels, such as for Apple’s iPhones from its A3 and A4 plants in Asan. Since 2011, SU Materials – a joint venture between Japan’s Ube Kosan and Samsung Display — has been exclusively supplying its liquid PI for substrates.
If Samsung Display goes with DuPont, it will mark the first time for the Samsung affiliate to tap a company outside of its original supplier circle, market sources pointed out.
Another potential client is LG Display, which produces flexible OLED panels from its E2 and E6 lines from Paju, and from its E5 line in Gumi. The firm is currently being supplied by Kosdaq-listed KM.
“We understand that all systems are ready to go at the Cheonan plant, which can now produce liquid PI, unlike in the past,” said another industry watcher. “They are waiting for the orders to come in.” Other specs of the plant have yet to be revealed.
DuPont emphasizes that it has been making wide investment into production and R&D facilities in Korea for the past two decades. “We take pride in the fact that we have successfully achieved localization in Korea,” said Kim Dae-gyu, an executive at DuPont Korea at a recent conference. “In fact, many of our clients categorize us ‘Korean’ and not ‘foreign’ or ‘multinational.’”
The Elec is South Korea’s No.1 tech news platform.