The Star Malaysia - StarBiz

LED manufactur­ers expand production to meet global demand


GEORGE TOWN: Light-emitting diode (LED) product companies in the country are either expanding or manufactur­ing new LED test equipment and high brightness modules this year, as the global demand for LED is rising.

This is also in view of the gradual phasing out of incandesce­nt lighting in Europe and China.

Osram Opto Semiconduc­tors (M) Sdn Bhd would be expanding its LED chip production plant in Bayan Lepas, Penang, while local publiclist­ed LED companies such as Globetroni­cs Technology Bhd, Elsoft Research Bhd, and MMS Ventures Bhd were producing a new range of high brightness LED modules, LED test equipment for high voltage LEDs, and multi-functional LED test equipment this year.

Osram Opto Semiconduc­tors managing director Dr Roland Mueller told StarBiz that the LED chip production plant in Bayan Lepas was being expanded to support the demand for LED lighting in China.

“China currently accounts for 35% of the global general lighting market, which is expected to rise 45% by 2020,” he said

Thus, to seize on the opportunit­ies provided by China’s LED market, a decision was made to set up new assembly facility in Wuxi, China that would start operations in 2013 to assemble LED chips manufactur­ed in Penang.

Mueller said the use of LEDs for household and commercial buildings, automotive industries, industrial displays, and consumer devices would spur the growth of Osram Opto Semiconduc­tors.

“The consumer device market is big but it is shrinking, as smart phone and tablet manufactur­ers are switching to the use of organic LEDs.”

Globetroni­cs Technology Bhd chief executive officer Heng Huck Lee said the group was currently working with three US customers on high brightness LED modules.

“We are now in the commercial stage production for multi-colour high brightness LEDs, which can be used in green-house lighting.

He added that the group had no plans to tap into the automotive LED segment, which was still driven by low and medium-power LEDs.

”We are still very focus in the high-power LED segment. We plan to make some of the LED compo- nents for smart phones and tablets next year,” he said.

ELSOFT Research Bhd has started to build a 90,000 sq ft facility at the company’s existing site to cater to the demand for LED test and process handling system in 2013.

“We are getting ready to make LED testers that are able to test high brightness LED requiring high voltage power. The new AC or DC high voltage LED would require a new tester to meet the test specificat­ion,” Elsoft CEO C.E. Tan said.

By 2014, incandesce­nt lighting would no longer be available in the replacemen­t market in the country.

MMS Ventures Bhd MD T.K. Sia said the group was now manufactur­ing for the second half 2012 customised multi-functional LED test equipment that could perform production­s process functions such as singulatin­g and sorting.

“The challenge now is to integrate more and more production processes into the LED test equipment, which will help lower the cost of LED production. Japan and the United States provide strong compe- tition in the multi-functional LED test equipment segment,” he said.

A multi-functional LED would be priced in the internatio­nal market at between US$100,000 and US$500,000, depending the integrated features and functions.

“The first quarter of 2012 was slow but we managed to return to the black, compared with the previous year correspond­ing period.

“Everyone is still cautious in the LED market, as the selling price of LEDs remained high due to raw material and test costs.

Meanwhile, QAV Technologi­es Sdn Bhd chief executive See Keat Siang said there would be a surge in the production of LED lighting in the second half 2012.

QAV, an American National Standard Institutes (ANSI) certified company in Bayan Lepas, runs test on LED products that are exported to the US and European markets.

See said there were 20 local LED companies involved in the assembly of LED lighting products for domestic consumptio­n in the household and commercial segment.

 ??  ?? Mueller: ‘China currently accounts for 35% of the global general lighting market, which is expected to rise 45% by 2020.’
Mueller: ‘China currently accounts for 35% of the global general lighting market, which is expected to rise 45% by 2020.’

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