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Lumileds turns production line back on

It's all systems go again for Luxeon Rebel and K2 TFFC manufacturing, but even with several factors in Lumileds' favor it will still take weeks to rebuild momentum.

The Philips Lumileds LED packaging line that had been shut down due to problems with epoxy underfill was restarted on January 26th, the company has confirmed.

Production of Luxeon K2 and Rebel lamps, using thin-film flip chip (TFFC) technology, is now being re-validated at the company's Malaysian plant.

“We expect to deliver the first products at the beginning of March,” said Steve Landau, Lumileds director of marketing communications. “I would think by April we ll hit full volume, getting the line back to normal.”

Landau emphasized that production of the TFFC die remained unaffected, which will help the company ramp-up manufacturing of packaged products more rapidly than normal.

“Typical production process is about a twelve-week lead time, so we're probably cutting that in half, because we're not starting from scratch,” he said.

The problem epoxy had suffered unidentified contamination, which put the LED die under excess stress and caused cracking as the epoxy warmed up and cooled. This material has now been replaced.

The company is monitoring the first products to come through manufacturing from this batch closely, but is confident that there will be no further slips.

“As you might imagine we re paying very, very close attention to all of this, including additional tests to give everybody the comfort level that we think is appropriate,” Landau said.

“The engineering teams have done their job in close co-operation with the epoxy vendor, worked to [find] the root cause and put the checks in place so this situation is not going to occur again.”

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