If everything goes well, the company will start to install manufacturing facilities in May 2011 and begin volume production in the fourth quarter of 2011. It is now training engineers and testing production, He said.
In regard to the engineers of the joint venture, it employed 200 college graduates. After finishing training courses, they are now being trained at its partner companies in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, etc.
The test production is carried out at other companies' manufacturing plants while the engineers are trained there. By taking all possible measures, the joint venture intends to ship products soon after the new plant starts operations, He said.
Champ Shin, executive director of LG Display, reflected on the year 2010 and showed a perspective on the year 2011. He mentioned this year's oversupply of panels and said that it occurred because, despite the growing market, suppliers boosted their production capacities through capital investments. He also said that the oversupply is now slowing down.
Shin predicted that the company will start off on the right foot in 2011 because (1) many makers are planning to release products having concepts similar to that of Apple Inc's "iPad" tablet PC, (2) the demand for energy-saving LED panels is expected to grow and (3) 3D TVs are expected to become more common.
Yanshun Chen, president of BOE Technology Group Co Ltd, summarized the eight years past since the company's entry into the FPD industry and discussed its current growth strategies. BOE started to manufacture LCD panels in 2003. Since then, through hard times, the company has steadily grown its FPD business by, for example, establishing manufacturing bases in Beijing, Hefei and Chengdu.
Currently, BOE is constructing an 8.5-generation line in Beijing in the aim of drastically expanding its production capacity. By 2013, it intends to increase the capacity to 1.08 million panels per month, which is about seven times higher than the current 150,000 panels per month. Also, the company plans to conduct research and development in collaboration with its partners at its well-equipped research facilities in Beijing, Chen said.
After the keynote speeches from the panel makers, Kiyoshi Sato, vice chairman of Tokyo Electron, introduced future FPD technologies and delivered a lecture on how the company will approach new technologies as an equipment maker. Then, Yuhang Li of Hefei Lucky Science & Technology Industry Co Ltd discussed the current status of optical films for FPDs. For the last lecture in the morning, Yusuke Nagai, general manager of Marubeni Corp, made a speech on the roles of general trading companies in the Chinese FPD industry, the potential of the industry and so forth.