1 Oct 2003
LCDs & LEDs(HKTDC Electronic Components & Parts, Vol 04,2003)
Vol 4, 2003
LCDs & LEDs
Transformer & Power Supplies
Intech LCD Group Ltd sources liquid crystal from Taiwan, Japan and the Chinese mainland to produce various types of LCD modules
The market for LEDs and LCDs seems to know no bounds, thanks to new applications in cutting edge technology and an insatiable desire to bring functionality and a hi-tech veneer to low-end consumer products.
This burgeoning demand is being met by leading Hong Kong companies such as RCL Display Ltd, which boasts the technical expertise and customer service skills necessary to meet client needs.
RCL produces more than six million units of LCD panels and modules a month at its 100,000-square-foot, 1,500-worker factory in Dongguan on the Chinese mainland.
The factory has full TN, STN, FSTN and HTN capabilities, and the ISO 9001-certified firm's 20-man R&D team is also at the forefront of COG and TAB technology.
The 22-year-old company's LCDs are used in high-end telecommunications and automotive products, as well as ordinary items such as watches.
Marketing manager Vijay Trivedi says RCL is very customer focused and this gives it an edge. "We specialise in custom design LCDs and modules and work very closely with our customers," he explains.
Depending on complexity, RCL can turn around a sample in 2-3 weeks and go to mass production in 3-6 weeks, which is helping RCL grow in several overseas markets including Japan, Korea, Europe and the US.
"Hong Kong has been our core market and we are now looking to balance this out," says Trivedi. "The market for LCDs is very promising and interesting and I think we will continue to see growth."
However, Intech LCD Group Ltd is moving in the opposite direction. "Our primary market has been North America followed by Europe, but we are now looking closer to home," says marketing manager Henry Fok. "The Hong Kong market is very big, and we are also looking at India, South America and the Middle East."
Intech employs 1,100 engineers, operators and staff at three factories in Dalian, Xiamen and Shenzhen on the Chinese mainland that together have an annual production capacity of more than one billion square inches of LCD panels and four million modules.
Order numbers are flexible with no fixed minimum, and the ISO 2000-certified company can deliver approximately three weeks after order confirmation. "We differentiate ourselves by providing premium service before, during and after sales," claims Fok.
As well as in-house R&D, the company has joint development projects with several universities, including the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and City University of Hong Kong.
"We currently focus on all kinds of monochrome LCD products," Fok explains. "This is still a growing market with more and more uses being found for them."
TN, HTN, STN, FSTN LCD panels and modules also feature prominently at Casil Semiconductor Ltd, a subsidiary of China Aerospace Int'l Holdings Ltd.
"Our main markets are in the US and the Chinese mainland, but we are expanding into India and Eastern Europe, where many low-end products that need TN LCDs are produced," says sales executive Chase Cheung.
The company's factory in Huizhou on the mainland has ISO 9001 certification and can deliver minimum orders of 5,000 LCD panels or 1,000 modules 4-6 weeks after order confirmation.
Another company benefiting from the increasing demand for a commonplace component, in this case LEDs, is two-year-old Optosupply Technologies Ltd.
Its ISO 9001-certified factory in Shenzhen on the Chinese mainland produces 15 million LED lamps in a range of colours every month, and can deliver minimum orders of 10,000 pieces 1-10 days after order confirmation.
"Our capacity tripled last year and we expect it grow 2-3 times this year," notes general manager Victor Cheung. "About 80% of the production goes overseas and of this 70% is for the US. We have a very technical focus and concentrate on good quality for a reasonable price."
Half of the company's lamps are used in Christmas lights and, when combined with a printed circuit board, integrated circuit or photo sensor, they can produce an array of special effects.
The low cost, power consumption and heat emissions of LED lamps are driving Optosupply's development team to work on a single multi-chip lamp with an integrated circuit that can switch between red, green and blue.
Combined with a micro-controller, these lamps will make a reasonably priced alternative to high cost LCDs for colour screens in toys and games. "We expect to get the price down to a realistic level to make them viable sometime this year," adds Cheung.
As new uses continue to drive LCD and LED demand, buyers are sure to find a ready supply of high quality products from Hong Kong's technologically advanced and customer focused companies.
WRITTEN BY ALISTAIR WADDELL
Optosupply Technologies Ltd
Kwong Sang Hong Centre
151-153 Hoi Bun Rd
Kwun Tong, Kowloon
Progress Components Ltd
Flat 10, 2/F
Kam Hon Ind Bldg
8 Wang Kwun Rd
Kowloon Bay, Kowloon