Sharp to speed up LCD factory expansion

Sharp is planning to increase production at its two LCD factories in Japan in response to anticipated soaring demand for flat-panel LCD TVs, it said Wednesday.

Sharp is planning to increase production at its two LCD (liquid crystal display) factories in Japan in response to anticipated soaring demand for flat-panel LCD televisions over the next few years, it said Wednesday. The company also expects to report record sales in 2006.

Sharp will invest YEN 15 billion (AU$173.5 million) to expand production at its Kameyama No.1 factory from the current 51,000 glass sheets per month to 60,000 sheets per month by March 2006. Each sheet can be used to make several LCD panels.

The No.1 plant can handle so-called sixth-generation glass, which measures 1.5 meters by 1.8 meters, and is most cost-effective when used to make 30-inch class panels.

The company's second plant in Kameyama, west Japan, is currently under construction and due to begin operations in October this year. It will be able to handle larger eight-generation glass that measures 2.16 meters by 2.4 meters and can accommodate eight 45-inch or six 50-inch LCD displays. The plant will start with a capacity of 15,000 sheets per month. Sharp had previously said it would expand this to 30,000 panels per month by the end of 2007 although this is now expected to be completed by March 2007.

Taken together, the expansion should mean the two factories will be able to process up to 90,000 glass sheets per month when they hit full capacity. This is equivalent to 20 million panels for 32-inch televisions per year, assuming maximum yield, said Katsuhiko Machida, president of Sharp, at a Tokyo news conference.

Behind the faster than anticipated expansion is surging demand for flat-panel televisions and competition in the LCD market between Sharp and other manufacturers and wider competition between LCD and PDP (plasma display panel) manufacturers.

Sharp estimates 20 million LCD televisions of screen size 10-inches or above were shipped worldwide in 2005, up 123 percent on 2004, and that the market will grow by 80 percent this year to 36 million television sets. In contrast, the company sees PDP shipments in 2006 at 7.5 million, rear-projection TV shipments at 5.5 million and old-fashioned CRT (cathode ray tube) sets at 123 million units.

While LCD is outpacing PDP, competition is fierce around big-ticket 40-inch class televisions where the two technologies overlap.

On Tuesday, Matsushita PDP Company, a joint venture between Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. (Panasonic) and Toray Industries, announced plans for its fourth PDP plant. The YEN 180 billion plant will have a production capacity of 6 million panels per year, based on full yield and a 42-inch screen size.

Within the LCD market, there is also fierce competition between Sharp and competitors including Samsung Electronics Co. and LG.Philips LCD Co. Last week both companies opened new production lines in South Korea that are focused on 40-inch and 46-inch screens. Both will be able to process up to 45,000 sheets of mother glass per month when they reach full output.

Sharp has set a record net sales target of YEN 3 trillion in its 2006 fiscal year, which runs from April 2006 to March 2007, said Machida. The company expects to sell 6 million LCD TVs during the year, up from 4 million in the current fiscal year, he said.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?