South Korean display equipment maker KPS has unveiled a new fine metal mask (FMM) for use in the production of 15.6-inch notebook OLED panel.
The company said it used what it calls a hybrid method to manufacture the FMMs.
The prototype was made by assembling cell-level hole masks into one larger mask.
Like FMMs currently used for Gen 6 (1500x1850mm) OLED panels, the mask is a stick-type but as it is modular cell-level hole masks can be swapped out depending on if they will be used for red, green or blue organic materials.
For Gen 6 OLED FMMs, one cell-level mask being defective meant the hole FMM bust be replaced but KPS’ can just swap out the defective part.
This will allow companies to save on cost, the display equipment maker said.
KPS also said its FMM can be used for any type of hole production. Currently, etching is used for most Gen 6 OLED FMMs, a method used by market leader Dai Nippon Printing.
For Gen 8 OLED FMMs, various companies are adopting different methods for punching in the hole such as laser patterning and electroplating.
KPS is likely aiming to capitalize on the shift towards Gen 8 OLED panels by display makers.
Gen 8 (2200x2500mm) __ companies call it Gen 8.5 or Gen 8.6 __ essentially means a larger mother glass is used to cut out display panels during production.
This is convenient for productivity, while also allowing companies to make more units of larger panels from one mother glass.
Samsung Display and LG Display are developing Gen 8 technologies to ramp up their production of OLED panels aimed at IT products besides smartphones such as tablets and PCs that use larger panels.
KPS said it is planning to collaborate with display panel makers, deposition equipment makers, and mask makers to test their FMM for Gen 6 and Gen 8 OLED production.
It plans to test the FMMs for 15.6-inch OLED panels with a South Korean deposition equipment maker during the first half of the year. It will also start developing a Gen 8 FMM with a local panel maker as well during the second half.