3 December 2010

SAFC Hitech expands Taiwan plant to boost precursor capacity

Following March’s expansion of trimethylgallium (TMG) metal-organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) precursor production at its Bromborough, UK manufacturing site, chemical manufacturer SAFC Hitech of St Louis, MO, USA (a business segment of SAFC within the Sigma-Aldrich Group) has reinforced its commitment to the Asia-Pacific electronics markets by announcing plans to build a new, dedicated facility in Kaohsiung, Taiwan for transfilling, technical service and production of LED and silicon semiconductor precursors.

Expected to be operational by late 2011, the new facility will extend the firm’s ability to serve the Asian market, leveraging the knowledge and capabilities developed at its existing Kaohsiung facility.

The new investment will transition current operations into a new environment that is expected to expand SAFC Hitech’s transfilling and technical service base, as well as add significant capacity for the dedicated manufacturing of precursors to support the burgeoning high-brightness LED (HB-LED) market as well as atomic layer deposition (ALD) and chemical vapor deposition (CVD) precursors for the silicon semiconductor market.

Increased focus on improving efficiency and reducing energy costs through technology and design advances is driving the electronics sector to roll out more ‘energy-conscious’ products and systems, says SAFC Hitech. Due to the resulting exponential rise in demand for LEDs (particularly HB-LEDs used in applications such as backlighting in flat-panel TV sets and energy-efficient lighting), SAFC Hitech says that it is continuing to strengthen its position as a legacy supplier of precursors for the HB-LED market.

“As mass manufacturing continues its rise, we are experiencing significant increases in customer and partnership activities in the Asia-Pacific region, which aligns nicely with our core commitment to driving global expansion in the production of precursors for the rapidly expanding HB-LED market,” says SAFC Hitech president Philip Rose. “The expansion of our Kaohsiung presence is a logical next step that will help us to support these markets,” he adds. “By increasing our investment in local technical service capabilities and by leveraging our proprietary technologies and capabilities, we are able to increase our transfilling, production and technical services in these key markets.”

The existing SAFC Hitech Kaohsiung capabilities handle and characterize highly specialized laboratory-scale chemicals and features a dedicated customer support center. The existing site is ISO 9001 certified for quality and ISO 14001 certified for safety and environmental protocols. The facility was originally built to service semiconductor industry demands for ultra-high-quality precursors using proprietary technologies. The site also provides integrated inert-atmosphere transfilling stations, analytical instrumentation for the detection of ultra-low metallic- and oxygen-containing contaminants, and dedicated cylinder preparation and packaging areas. An extensive departmental infrastructure (health & safety, quality, shipping, sales) provides for adherence to the highest standards of performance, says SAFC Hitech.

See related items:

AkzoNobel to double TMG precursor capacity again

Dow Electronic Materials breaks ground on Korean TMG plant

Albemarle building Korean TMG plant to meet growth in HB-LEDs

Chemtura expanding MO precursor capacity and forming Korean JV targeting HB-LEDs

Dow Electronic Materials to expand TMG capacity to serve LED market

LED market explosion hampered by materials shortage

AkzoNobel doubling TMG production capacity

SAFC Hitech expanding TMG capacity in UK plant

Tags: SAFC Hitech TMG Precursors HB-LEDs

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