By Craig Zammit
OSAKA: Sharp Corporation will develop a “manufacturing complex for the 21st Century” which will combine state-of-the-art production facilities for LCD panels and solar cells, while inviting material and production equipment manufacturers to join the site.
The new state-of-the-art LCD panel plant and solar cell plant for the mass production of thin-film solar cells will be built on the existing Sakai City, Osaka Prefecture site, with Sharp Corp inviting a number of leading material manufacturers such as glass substrate and color filter makers to set up plants adjacent to Sharp’s new LCD panel plant within the manufacturing complex.
“The aim is to achieve vertical integration that transcends the barriers between companies by pushing the vertically integrated business model created at the Kameyama Plant, from LCD panels to LCD TVs, further upstream in the supply chain,” said Sharp in the recent press release.
“This will create an unprecedented, revolutionary business presence offering advantages such as reducing distribution costs and unifying operations, including production planning.
“In addition, the close collaboration of Sharp engineers working with material and equipment manufacturers who have superior technical capabilities can be expected to engender new technical innovations through the fusion of knowledge and know-how.”
Construction on the 380 billion yen ($A3.7 billion) LCD panel plant, which will focus on production of large-screen LCD TVs in the 40-, 50- and 60-inch class, and the solar cell plant is slated to start in November of this year, with production operations scheduled to commence by March 2010.