From 2017 to 2019, revenues from Japanese display equipment makers took up half of the market, according to market research firm IHS Markit on Dec. 13. South Korean equipment makers, on the other hand, accounted for just 25%.
During these three years, the display equipment market was worth KRW 63.6 trillion. But from 2019 until 2021, the market will be worth 45.2 trillion won, IHS said.
Japanese manufacturers like Canon and Nikon were the top two firms in the display exposure equipment industry, with the two taking home a combined 98% market share over the past three years.
Nikon was the dominant player in the Gen-10.5 board exposure equipment. Back home in Korea, LG Display was applying the digital exposure equipment developed by LG Electronics’ PRI to its Gen-8.5 LCD production lines.
Japanese makers also took the majority stake in the evaporator equipment market as well, with Canon Tokki and Ulvac accounting for 55% and 11%, respectively. South Korean manufacturer Sunic System held a 12% market share, while SFA-SNU Precision had 6%. But recently, more and more orders are going to Canon Tokki, according to IHS Markit.
In the CVD equipment industry, US-based Applied Materials took the lead, posting an 84% market share over the past three years. Some localization did occur when LG Display applied some of South Korean manufacturer Jusung Engineering’s CVD equipment to parts of its TFT and TFE procedures. Jusung Engineering’s global market share stood at 8%.
PVD equipment is another area that both Japanese and US manufacturers have the lead, with Ulvac in first place with a 52% stake and Applied Materials in second with 22%.
Samsung Display’s supplier H&Iruja trailed in third place with 16%, while LG Display’s supplier Avaco had 7%
“Japanese manufacturers are still at the top when it comes to big ticket sales equipment,” said one industry watcher.
However, there were other areas where South Korean manufacturers excelled. For instance, in the ELA equipment market, AP System had the biggest 60% market share, followed by Japan’s JSW with 26% and LG PRI with 14%. Wet etching equipment was also dominated by local firms, with DMS and KCTech each accounting for 36% and 29% of the market. Samsung Electronics’ sister firm Semes had 8%.
Local firms had an edge in module manufacturing equipment, such as lamination and bonding equipment, mainly because much of the key technology was jointly developed by local display companies and their suppliers.
In 2006, Japan had a 66% market share in the display equipment industry, while South Korea posted18%and the US-Europe combined had 14%.
In 2017, following major scale investment in the related industries, South Korea’s market share jumped to 33%, while Japan’s fell to 46%. Equipment makers in the US and Europe remained at 18%.
Meanwhile, the Chinese display equipment industry has recently been showing significant growth on increased investment by the Beijing government. “Competition is expected to get fiercer, especially as the market begins to shrink,” said another market source.
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