DNP Commences Operation of Metal Mask Production Line for OLED Manufacturing at Kurosaki Plant

Compatible with 8th generation glass substrates

Tokyo, June 12, Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd. (DNP) announces that in May 2024 we commenced operation of a new metal mask production line for manufacturing Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) displays at our Kurosaki Plant situated in Kitakyushu City, Fukuoka Prefecture. 

In response to the increasing demand for larger OLED displays that are introduced in various IT devices.

The new line will produce large-scale metal masks compatible with 8th generation (G8) glass substrates for larger OLED displays that are introduced in various IT devices. G8 substrates are significantly larger than the current 6th generation (G6) substrates, facilitating increased production efficiency. 

Kurosaki plant

Metal mask image (G8 at left, G6 in the center and right)

[Full-Scale Ops]

○OLED displays are increasingly being introduced into IT products such as smartphones, tablets, notebooks, and monitors. In particular, there is a growing need for larger displays, and OLED panel manufacturers are promoting mass production with large 8th generation glass substrates, which exhibit a higher production efficiency than the current 6th generation. Anticipating such needs, DNP has established a production system for the manufacture of metal masks compatible with the G8 size on the new line at our Kurosaki Plant.

○DNP is constantly optimizing its Business Continuity Plan (BCP) and strengthening responses so as to minimize the impact on the entire supply chain in event of natural disasters. We will further promote BCP with the start of operations of the new line at the Kurosaki Plant, making it possible to provide a backup for our existing metal mask production base at our Mihara Plant, in Hiroshima Prefecture.

○With the launch of full-scale operations at the Kurosaki factory DNP plans to double metal mask production capacity.

[DNP Metal Mask Initiatives]

In order to display vivid images on an OLED display, it is important to precisely and accurately position organic materials that emit light in each of the three primary colors, or red, green, and blue (RGB) on a glass or film substrate. DNP leverages proprietary photolithography and etching technologies with metal masks integrating precisely arranged microscopic apertures drilled into thin metal plates, which are then used in the process of arranging organic material on a substrate. Via a process referred to as Vapor Deposition, in which an organic material is evaporated within a vacuum device and attached to a substrate such as glass or plastic, the metal mask is used to paint each of the RGB colors, individually.

DNP began developing metal masks in 2001, and currently holds the top global market share, mainly in the area targeting smartphones. As part of the OLED display production process, Vapor Deposition in particular, requires advanced technology and know-how, while metal masks also require high dimensional accuracy. As a result, DNP’s high-quality products have developed a firm reputation with manufacturers around the world. We constantly push the boundaries of technological development to meet diverse needs, leveraging our strengths through a broad range of metal mask-related patents and know-how, including materials, manufacturing methods, and products, to supply high-quality, high-precision products in a stable manner. 

Schematic Diagram of Vapor Deposition Process

[Looking Ahead]

DNP will gradually increase facilities at the Kurosaki Plant, while constantly being aware of, and analyzing demand trends. DNP has designated the Digital Interface-Related business, including metal masks, as a growth area in its medium-term management plan for FY 2023 to 2025, and will strive to further expand business through concentrated investment of management resources. 

* Product prices, specifications and service content listed in this news release are current as of the date of publication. They may be changed at any time without notice.

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