OSRAM Launches OLED Pilot Production
With the launch of the pilot production line for organic light emitting diodes (OLED) in Regensburg, Germany, on 30 August, leading light manufacturer OSRAM AG has set an important milestone on the road toward volume manufacturing. As a result of its scope of possibilities and its quality criteria, the plant is unique and the first of its kind worldwide.
The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF – Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung) played an important role with its OLED 2015 initiative. The purpose of OLED 2015 is to push the development of organic electronics forward. “Today Regensburg is sending out an important message for the high-tech location of Germany and the safeguarding of high-quality jobs,” said Wolfgang Dehen, chairman of the Managing Board of OSRAM. “The inauguration of this OLED production plant in Regensburg proves Germany’s leading position in the introduction of this future technology,” said the German Federal Minister for Education and Research, Annette Schavan. “This is also a success for our innovation policy and good news for consumers.”
Over the course of a year, OSRAM invested approximately 20 million Euros in building up the production site. Currently it employs more than 220 people at its Regensburg West location. The new pilot production line enables OSRAM to manufacture transparent OLED-panels, to double the brightness of the OLEDs and to further strengthen durability and efficiency. In the last stage of expansion the manufacturing costs are expected to decline by 90 percent.
“Two years ago, we were the first company to offer serial OLED products on the market. The new production is a major leap on the way to widespread use,” Martin Goetzeler, Member of the Managing Board and Chief Operating Officer of OSRAM AG, stated.
Apart from LED, which is already suited for mass-market distribution today, OLED is the lighting source of the future. OSRAM is the only company with production sites for both LED and OLED in Europe. Today, two-thirds of OSRAM’s investments in research and development are made in the field of LED and OLED. In the past 5 years OSRAM has invested approximately 50 million Euros in research and development of OLED. As with the light diode, OSRAM also covers all integration steps with regard to OLED. The portfolio includes OLED panels and modules as well as complete luminaires.
Viewed from a purely technical aspect, OLED, just like its affiliated technology LED, refers to semiconductors that convert electricity into light. But while LED emits light in a punctiform manner on the basis of a tiny shining chip, OLED panels generate a luminous surface. In order for OLEDs to produce light, different organic synthetic materials are evaporated onto a basic material. The luminous layer of OLED has a thickness of approximately 400 nanometres – one-hundredth the thickness of a single human hair. When switched off, OLED can either display a mirroring effect, be neutrally white or transparent, all depending on the basic material.
OSRAM (Munich) belongs to the Industry Sector of Siemens and is one of the two leading light manufacturers in the world. In the 2010 financial year, it achieved a turnover of €4.7 billion. OSRAM is a high-tech company in the lighting sector and 70 percent of sales come from energy-efficient products. The company, which is very much internationally oriented, has more than 40,000 employees worldwide, supplying customers in around 150 countries worldwide.