Optical film company Shinwha Intertek is entering the encapsulant market for large-sized organic light emitting diode (OLED) panels, the company told TheElec on Tuesday.
It has already provided samples for multiple display panel makers, including LG Display, a company spokesperson said.
Shinwha was expecting sales from the encapsulant beginning in the first half of 2020, they added.
Encapsulant protects the organic materials that emit light on the panels from water and oxygen. It considered a key process in OLED panel production.
Shinwha supplies quantum dot films to Samsung Electronics for the conglomerate’s QLED TVs, which are based on Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) panels. It accounts for near half of the supply of films to Samsung, as of last year.
Optical films account for 80% of Shinwha’s sales. Quantum dot films accounted for around 40% of its optical films business.
Shinwha’s move to OLED encapsulant follows Samsung Display’s plan to produce quantum dot OLED panels.
LG Display currently gets its encapsulant supply from LG Chem and Innox Advanced Materials, with each supplying half of the total volume. LG Chem has been the majority supplier up to 2018, when Innox joined the supply chain.
If Shinwha enters the supply chain as well, this will give LG Display considerable leverage in price negotiations.
LG Chem and Innox are embroiled in a patent dispute, which people familiar with the matter said is caused by price. Innox has offered encapsulant considerably cheaper than LG Chem’s to LG Display. This has caused LG Display to demand LG Chem also pull its prices down.
LG Chem and Innox have yet to decide on an appraiser for their lawsuit.
LG Display is the sole producer of large-sized OLED panel, with Samsung Display is set to begin produce them early next year.
Meanwhile. Shinwha last year posted 16.3 billion won in operating profits and 254.4 billion won in sales. Innox Advanced Materials posted 46.4 billion won in sales and 349.3 billion won. LG Chem posted 895.6 billion won in operating profits and 28.625 trillion won in sales.