Coherent expects OLED orders to remain weak in 2019, growth to return only in 2020

Photonics-based solutions provider Coherent reported its financial results for Q2 2018. Revenues were $482.3 million and a net income of $67 million. Coherent says that demand for OLED displays remains robust, but market growth remains hindered by pricing and availability.

LTPS laser annealing photo

Coherent sees this as a short-term dynamic, and once OLED producers will be able to compete with Samsung, this will change. Coherent says that 2019 will be another slow year, but investments will return in 2020. Coherent estimates that fiscal 2019 (which ends on September 2019) will likely be down 15% to 20% before recovery starts in fiscal 2020.

Canon says demand for its OLED production equipment is lower than expected

Starting in 2016 or so, the world's leader in OLED vacuum evaporation equipment Canon Tokki, say a surge in OLED orders - which prompted the company to double its production capacity in 2016. But in 2018 the OLED market experienced a strong slump. OLED production started to recover in June 2018, but a recovery in the OLED equipment sector is still not here.

Canon ELVESS OLED production system photo

Canon today posted its Q2 earnings, and while profits increased, the company cut its full FY2018 outlook and said that demand for its OLED production equipment is lower than previously expected.

Everdisplay starts to install equipment at its 6-Gen flexible AMOLED line in Shanghai, announces its first flexible OLED panel

In 2016 China-based Everdisplay (EDO) started to construct a 6-Gen flexible AMOLED fab in Shanghai. In August 2017 EDO said that it finished the building's main steel frame roof, and yesterday EDO announced that it has finished constructing the building and the cleanrooms, and it has started to install the production equipment - a month earlier than it originally planned.

Everdisplay 6-gen flexible AMOLED fab in Shanghai, equipment installation

EDO's new fab will have a capacity of 30,000 monthly substrates (1500 x 1850 mm) and will be used to produce small and medium sized flexible AMOLEDs (1 to 15 inch). EDO aims to begin trial production in January 2019 and mass production in 2021.

CLSA: it is too soon to talk about an OLED recovery

DSCC recently said that SDC's OLED fab utilization is starting to improve as production starts for next-gen iPhones and Galaxy phones, and UBI Research also says that the market recovery is starting. CLSA, however, says that it is too soon to talk about OLED recovery.

CLSA agrees that SDC's fab utilization will rise from about 35% to 80% in the second half of 2018, but CLSA also believes that Samsung is not even considering the A4 fab (30,000 monthly substrates) which will remain idle, which means that actual utilization will be lower than stated.

DSCC: OLED equipment spending to continue and decline, strong demand to return only in 2020

DSCC updated its forecast for display equipment spending, saying that in 2018 OLED spending is expected to fall 28% compared to 2017 to $10.8 billion (while LCD spending will grow 22% to $11.4 billion). China-based display makers will account for 90% of all display related equipment spending in 2018.

Display equipment spending by technology (2016-2021, DSCC)

2019 will see another down year for OLED spending that will drop 31% to $7.4 billion (LCD spending is also expected to fall by 32%). Chinese display makers will again lead in spending (77% of the market).

Applied Materials sees lower-than-expected OLED equipment revenues in the near future, but long-term outlook remains strong

Applied Materials reported its financial results for Q1 2018 last week - the semiconductor equipment maker's revenues increased 29% from Q1 2017 to reach an all-time record. The company's outlook, however, was weaker than expected.

Applied Materials PECVD chamber photo

Commenting on the display market, Applied believes that TV equipment orders will remain strong - but it says adoption of OLEDs in mobiles is slower than previously expected, as is the ramp-up in production. Applied expects its 2019 OLED related revenues to be lower than its 2018 ones (but still up nicely from 2018). In the longer term, Applied Materials maintains a positive outlook for its OLED business.

Meidensha developed a new process to cost-effectively produce bendable barrier films

Japan-based Meidensha Corporation announced that it has developed a new technology to deposit barrier films for bendable displays and electronics. The new process is done at very low temperatures (30 C) which can significantly lower energy costs compared to current plamsa-based processes (usually run at 100-150 C).

The new technology uses a 100% ozone environment. Together with Japan's AIST, Meidensha developed a device that continuously generates pure ozone. This technology was patented earlier this year.

DSCC: OLED equipment spending to fall 30% in 2018

DSCC says that OLED equipment spending will fall 30% in 2018. OLED spending will outpace LCD spending and OLED will hold a 60% share of all display equipment spending from 2019-2021, but OLED spending will not reach the high levels of 2017 in the foreseeable future.

Display equipment sales (2016-2021, DSCC)

According to DSCC, China is driving display (LCD + OLED) spending and will account for an 83% share of OLED equipment spending in 2018.

LG Display orders the deposition equipment for its Gen-10.5 line in Paju (P10)

Towards the end of 2015 LG Display announced that it plans to build a new OLED fab (P10) in Paju in a $8.7 billion investment to produce both mid-sized flexible OLED and large-sized OLED TV panels. LGD considered for a while whether this new fab will be based on Gen-8 production or Gen-10.

LG Display production hub in Paju

According to a new report from Korea, LGD has ordered its first batch of deposition equipment for the P10 line, which will be Gen-10.5 (2940 x 3370 mm). The first line will have a production capacity of 30,000 substrates per month, which will greatly increase LGD's total OLED TV production capacity. LGD finished the construction of the building and the fab is expected to be complete in the first half of 2018.

V-Technology to start producing next-generation OLED fine metal masks, acquires OLED lighting maker Lumiotec

V-Technology announced that it is establishing a new organic electronics subsidiary that will develop a next-generation OLED deposition technology that V-Technology refers to as fine hybrid mask (FHM). Total investment in this new company is estimated at 5 billion Yen ($46 million USD) for the next 2-3 years. The facility is scheduled to be completed in August 2018 and V-Technology will start shipping mask samples in October 2018.

V-Technology FHM mask demonstration (Feb 2018)

V-Technology's FHM is based on an electroforming method and the masks have a non-tension structure. V-Technology says that the total mask weight will be one tenth of current regular FMM masks, which will lower bending dramatically. V-Technology's already demonstrated an FHM that achieves 738 PPI.

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