Samsung Display is planning to use inkjet equipment from US firm Kateeva for use in its Q1 production line, which manufactures Gen 8.5 (2200x2500mm) quantum dot (QD)-OLED panels, TheElec has learned.
Samsung Display will place the order to HB Solution, which adds software to Kateeva’s inkjet equipment before delivering them to the South Korean display panel maker. HB Solution will oversee repair and maintenance of Kateeva’s equipment.
The inkjet equipment is used to form the QD color conversion layer of the QD-OLED panel, sources said.
The use of equipment from Kateeva, which initially failed to win any orders for Samsung Display’s Q1 line, was due to problems the panel maker faced from Semes’ equipment.
Semes, the fab and display equipment making subsidiary of Samsung Electronics, was given the entire order for inkjet equipment by Samsung Display back in 2019.
At the time, Kateeva had offered its kit and lower prices than Semes, but Samsung Display chose its affiliate over the US firm.
However, the performance of Semes’ equipment wasn’t meeting Samsung Display’s standard as of the current time, sources said. They were however still in use and are continued to be improved, they added.
Meanwhile, Semes is internally blaming Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology, which assisted in the development of the equipment, the equipment’s lackluster performance.
Samsung Display had previously used Kateeva’s inkjet equipment for the thin-film encapsulation process in Gen 6 (1500x1850mm) OLED panel production.
It then gave some orders to Semes, which bench-marked Kateeva’s equipment. Ultimately, Samsung Display later gave all the orders to Semes.
HB Solution, meanwhile, is planning to later manufacture its own inkjet equipment.
This plan will need for Kateeva’s equipment to perform well at Samsung Display’s Q1 line.