Latest Expansion to Meet Surging Demand for Polyimide Film Used in Flat Panel Displays
TOKYO, April 12, 2006 _Ube Industries, Ltd. today announced that it had begun the ninth expansion of its production facilities for polyimide film, which it sells under the brand name Upilex® The latest expansion is driven by surging demand for polyimide film used in thin panel televisions including LCD and plasma televisions. The expansion will take place at the Ube Chemical Factory in Yamaguchi Prefecture, and is expected to go online in October 2007. Once completed, the latest expansion will increase Ube's production capacity for Upilex® by 20%. The company will also implement changes to increase and strengthen its production of the monomer raw material used for polyimide film.
Polyimide film offers excellent heat resistance and is used in circuit boards for electronic and information devices. The company expects future demand for polyimide film to grow by more than 15%, driven by the increasing sophistication of mobile phones, PCs and digital appliances and the growth of these markets.
Upilex® polyimide film offers excellent dimensional stability and is considered the industry standard for tape automated bonding (TAB), a method for mounting ICs. Upilex® holds a dominant market share in the TAB segment, whose major applications are for use in LCDs and plasma displays. Upilex® is also highly sought after in the chip-on-film (COF) segment, as the method gains ground for use in large LCDs whose trend is toward higher resolution panels. Ube Industries is currently in the midst of construction for its eighth expansion of production facilities for polyimide film, which is scheduled to go online in September 2006. The company expects that the current rapid growth of the LCD and plasma display markets will continue, with demand growing significantly moving forward. Ube Industries will actively expand and strengthen its Upilex® production capacity to ensure a stable supply.
The company is also forecasting a significant increase in demand for polyimide film as a base film for flexible dual-layer copper clad laminates (CCL). This segment is being driven by the increasing sophistication of portable devices including mobile phones and digital appliances, and the growth of these markets.
In the flexible printed circuit (FPC) market, the trend toward multi-layer and modular products is expected to fuel greater demand for Upilex®, which has outstanding dimensional stability and ideal elasticity.
Based on these market conditions, Ube Industries has already taken steps to examine the expansion of production facilities for polyimide film beyond a tenth round of expansion. Expansion of production facilities for monomer raw materials is also being considered. Moving forward, the company will make every effort to ensure a stable supply of Upilex®, while strengthening and expanding the foundation of its polyimide film business as a critical business segment.