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Japan firms unveil 'first' OEL panel biz

Posted: 30 May 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:OEL panel business? Lumiotec? electroluminescence panels? LED?

A group headed by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd (MHI), Rohm Co. Ltd, Toppan Printing Co. Ltd and Mitsui & Co. Ltd jointly established Lumiotec Inc. to assess the business viability of organic electroluminescence (OEL) panels for lighting applications. Said to be the first in the world dedicated to the OEL lighting panels business, the joint venture will sell sample panels in 2009.

Through provision of the sample panels, the joint venture will pursue new applications for OEL panels and explore the potential for new demand in addition to replacing conventional lighting devices while accelerating enhancements of the panel's performance. Initially, the venture will focus primarily on the assessment of the OEL lighting panel business viability.

The joint venture has a capital of $13 million (common stock and capital reserve). MHI furnished 51 percent of the requisite capital, and the remaining equity investment was shared by Rohm (34 percent), Toppan Printing (9.9 percent), Mitsui & Co. (5 percent) and Junji Kido (0.1 percent). Hisao Shigenaga, deputy general manager of MHI's Machinery and Steel Structures Headquarters, concurrently serves as president of the venture. The company, which has its head office in Yonezawa City in Yamagata Prefecture, will begin operations with 20 employees.

The OEL panel has advantageous features that neither conventional light sources, such as electric light bulbs and fluorescent tubes, nor LED provide, and therefore is expected to be a promising next generation lighting source.

First, OEL panels are light and thin and can create a new living environment through new, previously unavailable lighting designs and displays in residential houses, offices, stores and transporting vehicles, such as aircraft and trains. Second, OEL panels emit an even and uniform soft light free of ultraviolet rays. It is not only easy on the skin and eyes but also has the good color rendering property and is capable of providing safe and high-value-added lighting in museums, product display cases and dressers. Free of harmful substances such as mercury, the OEL panels are expected to outperform fluorescent tubes in power efficiency, ultimately contributing to the reduction of CO2 emission through energy savings.

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