Sumitomo Metal Mining to Expand COF Material Capacity by 40%

Sumitomo Metal Mining announced on Monday it would increase the output of double layered copper clad substrate, S’ PERFLEX, which is packaging material integrated circuit driving large thin film transistor liquid crystal display. The firm builds new plant in Niihama, Ehime, where the copper and nickel smelters are, to expand the annual output capacity by 40% to 6.5 million square meters in fiscal 2006 starting April 2006 from the end of fiscal 2005. The firm starts the construction for around 7 billion yen in February starting the operation in October. The firm produces the double layered substrate at Isoura plant, which is the major production base for the advanced materials unit, and at the subsidiary, Niihama Electronics. The firm will have 4.6 million square meters of annual output capacity for around 8.2 billion yen. The firm builds new plant near Niihama Electronics and Niihama Electronics operates the new plant. The firm builds the 2 stories new plant building with steel structure and 7,200 square meters of floor space on 19,850 square meters of land. The packaging of liquid crystal driving IC shifts from traditional tape carrier package with triple layered structure to chip on film with double layered, which is better for fine pitch wiring, when liquid crystal panel is getting larger and more high-definition. Sumitomo Metal Mining expects the COP packaging will increase to 90% of the total market in fiscal 2008 from estimated 60% now. The firm’s double layered substrate has around 90% of share in the COF materials market for large liquid crystal. The substrate supply is getting tighter as the packaging shifts to COF and large liquid crystal panel demand surged for television. The firm considers expanding the output capacity to 9.5 million square meters by the end of fiscal 2008 after the expansion to 6.5 million square meters.