SAFC Hitech Well Positioned for High-Brightness LED Manufacturing Boom
SAFC Hitech, a business segment within SAFC, a division of the Sigma-Aldrich® Group today announced it plans to invest $2m (approximately 1.2m pounds Sterling) in expanding production of trimethylgallium (TMG) at its Bromborough, Wirral, UK manufacturing plant. The investment, which was supported by Wirral Council and The Mersey Partnership (TMP), who helped secure additional funding of 300,000 pounds from the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA), is expected to enable SAFC Hitech to strengthen its position as a leading global supplier of TMG and satisfy the growing demand for the material in the production of high brightness LEDs (HBLEDs) for use in applications such as backlighting in flat panel television sets and energy efficient lighting.
Reducing energy consumption and extending energy efficiency are trends driving the global electronics industry to provide more energy-efficient products and systems. Demand in the lighting industry, for example, has seen improvement with the deployment of LEDs to replace currently ubiquitous systems – incandescent light bulbs, fluorescent lighting and its compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) derivative. As a result, the electronics market is at the start of a phase where mass manufacture of HBLEDs is occurring.
TMG has been manufactured at SAFC Hitech's Bromborough facility for a number of years, primarily for supply to the global semiconductor industry. However, as TMG also fulfills the technical criteria for devices designed for the LED, laser, communication and other markets, the boom in demand for LEDs has led to the conclusion that expanding the plant – with its expertise and specific manufacturing knowledge for this process – was the ideal business solution to meet customer demand. The 300,000 pounds Grant for Business Investment (GBI), which was awarded by the NWDA, is part of 'Solutions for Business', the UK Government's package of publicly-funded business support designed to help companies start and grow.
"Expanding our TMG capacity not only draws on our Bromborough facility's core competencies, but also reinforces Sigma-Aldrich's overall strategy of leveraging proprietary technologies and capabilities into new, fast growing market segments, thus differentiating ourselves and our materials offerings through technical innovation," commented Dr. Geoff Irvine, VP, Business Development, SAFC Hitech. "This investment is expected to accelerate the delivery of TMG to a growing market position and reinforce our position as a leading global manufacturer and distributor for the growing LED market worldwide, as well as create jobs in the area, which is positive news given the current economic climate."
For further information regarding SAFC Hitech's portfolio of products and services, go to www.safchitech.com.