The production line took the place of a TV cathode ray tube manufacturing line closed down several years ago. Already active in test operation since Q3/2012, the new OLED line started commercial production in mid-February 2013. A Philips spokesperson acknowledged that the production line is operative but declined to provide many technical details. He said the facility represents an investment of some 40 million euros – relatively little for a production line with a clean room area of 2000 square meters.
The spokesperson declined to elaborate on production capacity. He however said that the process is much faster than the one used in the former production line. "Lets put it this way", the spokesperson hinted "we can crank out about the same quantity of OLEDs in one day we produce on the old line in one week". He added that the yield is excellent since the process experts can build on the experience they gathered with the old production line. Which by the way will stay productive – a hint to the high demand for OLED lighting products. "OLED is a growth market which requires massive expansion", the spokesperson said.
In the meantime, research continues at Philips’ Lumiblade Creative Lab, co-located with the OLED production facilities. At the upcoming Euroluce trade fair (April 9 to 14, Milano, Italy), the company will show new achievements in OLED lighting. Of course, the spokesperson did not pre-announce anything, but he hinted that the researchers succeeded in significantly increasing the light intensity of this technology. "Hitherto, OLEDs have been attributed as glare-free", he said. "In the future, you can delete this attribute".