The firm’s strategy
counts on China’s expansion in the global LCD market, and in two ways. First, because the country’s demand for ITO targets will increase as it heads towards becoming the largest manufacturer of LCD panels in the world by 2017; and, second, because as more Chinese companies invest in new production lines, it is likely that their machinery will use rotary, rather than planar, targets.
To this end, Umicore has moved on from having only one ITO-specific plant, in Providence, USA, and is forging a joint venture this year with Chinese materials company Vital
The joint venture, known as Umicore Vital Thin Film Technologies (UVTFT)
, will produce both rotary sputtering targets and traditional planar targets, as well as providing recycling services, Umicore told Metal Bulletin last year.
Umicore is forecasting growth in rotary target demand to about 300 tpy over the next three...