According to ETNews, LG Display is aiming to start pilot production of ink-jet printed large-area OLEDs during the first half of 2017. This is just an initial step, and it may take one or two years to achieve mass production following the launch of the pilot line.
LG Display's pilot line will be an 8-Gen line and the company hopes that the new production technology will be more efficient than vacuum deposition - and will also enable LGD to produce "direct emission" RGB OLED TVs - which will offer lower-cost production, higher quality and more efficient displays and less components (no need for color filters).
Looking into the future LGD sees Ink-Jet printing as the best technology for OLED production, and aims to scale it up to 10-Gen production in order to compete with LCD displays on price in the medium-level TV market.
Ink-Jet printing pioneer Kateeva recently raised $88 million and seems to be leading the ink-jet equipment market for OLED production. It is likely that Kateeva is working with LG. In July 2016 the company's Korean branch VP stated that the company will supply OLED TV deposition system prototypes to customers in Korea, China and Japan. Kateeva's VP also said that he expects Samsung Display to start producing OLED TVs using ink-jet technologies by 2018.
In June 2016 we posted an interview Kateeva's Chief Product Officer, Eli Vronsky. Eli explains the company's business and technology.
Chinese display makers are indeed also looking into OLED ink-jet printing production. Earlier this year CSoT and TianMa established a new joint venture with an aim to industrialize printed OLED technologies. Guangdong Juhua Printing Display Technology will promote an "open innovation platform" guided by the Chinese government.