By Paula Doe
WaferNews Contributing Editor
Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries and Tokki Corp. are investing in new capacity to make niche LCD tools.
IHI has just completed a $1.5 million (200 million yen) cleanroom facility in its Yokohama plant, giving it facilities to make 25 ion implanters a year for the LCD market. The big maker of ships and jet engines aims at sales of $75 million (10 billion yen) worth of LCD production equipment in FY03. The company says its new selective ion implanter uses a special mass separator to remove undesired ions from the ion beam, for selectively implanting only the desired boron or phosphorous, making volume LCD production easier. It says the tool has throughput of 30 substrates/hour. It aims to sell 15 units/year, at about $3 million each (400 million yen).
Tokki Corp. meanwhile, is expanding its production of coating and sealing equipment for electroluminescent displays. The engineering company is investing $980,000 (130 million yen) to purchase and retool a plant from vacuum equipment maker Niigata Keiso, and then plans to build new facilities as well. It says its tool assembly plant in Nagaoka is operating at full capacity. The new facilities will double its capacity for display equipment, to about $114 million (15 billion yen) worth a year.