What role does air liquide play in the flat screen display market?
What are the main challenges of operating in this market ?
Innovation is absolutely essential in this fast-growing sector. It’s all about responding to expanding demand for smartphones and tablets, and expectations for continual progress in screen visual comfort and performance, in terms of parameters like resolution, size, contrast and flexibility. Added to that, screens consume around 45% of the energy used by these devices, so a lot of effort is being focused on screen energy efficiency.
What makes Air Liquide distinctive in this market ?
It’s our innovation, our comprehensive range of structured and environmentally-friendly products, and our physical presence at local level. In fact, our Electronics division is located in Asia, as are most of our Electronics Centers, because this is where the great majority of industry players are based. The Group provides an effective response to demand for ultra-pure carrier and electronics specialty gases from industrials. These gases are used either directly in the manufacture of the various screen layers or to ensure that manufacturing environments are totally clean. We also offer the equipment required to use these products, backed up by on-site gas management services tailored to the needs of each customer.
What are the prospects for Air Liquide in this market ?
They are good, because this is an expanding market. For example, the TFT -LCD screen segment in China is growing by between 20% and 30% per year. So to seize the opportunities created by this growth, we are developing a large number of partnerships in a range of advanced screen technologies, including those based on metal oxides and organic components, like OLEDs. We are also concentrating intensely on innovation through alliances like the one we have with the Solvay Group, where we have set up a joint venture to produce fluorine gas that has zero impact in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, and through new contracts to supply five new cutting-edge plants in Asia.