By Matthew Henry

KAMEYAMA CITY, JAPAN: Sharp Corporation will almost double the size of the glass substrates it cuts LCD panels from when the company begins producing eight generation LCD glass at its Kameyama number two plant in Japan later this month.

The new eight generation TFT-LCD production line will create LCD glass panels 2,160mm x 2,460mm, which will give the company a greater yield of large screen LCD TVs than the current sixth generation production line, which produces 1,500mm x 1,800mm panels.

“The massive eighth generation glass substrates will provide optimal efficiency in the production of LCD panels for the 40-inch and 50-inch class of LCD TVs,” said Sharp Australia deputy managing director, Denis Kerr.

“We are expecting production of large-screen LCD TV models equipped with these new panels to start this September for markets worldwide.”

According to Kerr, production lead times will be cut by 50 per cent when the new plant comes online, and Sharp has also developed more cost effective parts and materials for the key components used in the production of its LCD TV modules.

The original 100 billion yen Kameyama LCD plant was completed by Sharp in January 2004, and was the world’s first sixth-generation plant at the time.

The new Kameyama number two facility has been built next to the original plant, and incorporates new design features such as a production protection system to minimise the effects of natural disasters.

According to Sharp, a special ‘seismic damper’ has been installed to help absorb vibrations from major earthquakes, as well as advanced electrics protection to guard against power surges from lightning strikes.

Sharp has also continued its commitment to environmentally friendly manufacturing, with around a third of the plant’s electrical power generated from a range of on-site power sources including large-scale photovoltaic power generators on the roof, fuel cells and cogeneration systems.