2019 is shaping up to be a dramatically-low investment year for the OLED industry. DSCC for example expects that the market will fall 88% in 2019 compared to 2018. Two companies reported their financial results this week, with interesting notes about the OLED market.
First up is France-based effusion cells and sources producer Riber. The company reported that H1 2019 revenues in its evaporator business fell from €10.4 in H1 2018 to only €1 million. The sharp decline is linked to the "freeze on investments in OLED screen production equipment following the major investments made in previous years".
Riber's current order book for its evaporation systems is completely empty - which means that it does not have any open orders for new evaporator going forward.
DSCC actually thinks that the OLED equipment market will rebound (461%) in 2020. Riber's data does not seem to bode well, at least for the near future. Another OLED equipment company, US-based vision systems developer Cognex seems to be seeing the same - Cognex says that it was expecting some major investments and orders as soon as 2020, but now it believes this will be pushed back.
Finally we have Coherent, who is supplying laser equipment for display producers. Unlike Riber and Cognex , Coherent sees the market starting to rebound. The company reported a new system order in the last quarter, which they believe market the beginning of a new phase of OLED capacity buildout. Coherent is tracking 20 new OLED fabs planned by 2023, mostly for flexible OLED production.
It will be interested to see how the market develops - it seems everyone agrees that new OLED fabs will be built soon, but it's not clear whether the rebound will come in 2020 or later.