Spin-less photo-resist application equipment developed for manufacturing liquid-crystal displays

March 05, 2003

Spin-less photo-resist application equipment developed for manufacturing liquid-crystal displays
- Support for 6th generation technology and beyond: companies cooperate to construct dedicated production line -

TAZMO CO., LTD. (head-office: Ihara-city, Okayama Prefecture, President: Toshio Torigoe) and Sumitomo Heavy Industries, Ltd. (head-office: Shinagawa-ward, Tokyo, President: Yoshio Hinoh) have successfully developed and commenced distribution of a spin-less photo-resist application equipment designed for the latest large liquid-crystal displays. Major domestic and overseas manufacturers are already incorporating the new devices in their manufacturing processes.

Demand for next generation large-screen TVs using liquid-crystal display is growing rapidly, and major Japanese and Korean manufacturers will start production of 6th and 7th generation TVs using large liquid-crystal display sometime this year. As expected, a growing number of inquiries about the new photo-resist application equipment are being received.

In order to meet this increase in demand, TAZMO, which enjoys the top share in this market, and Sumitomo Heavy Industries, which specializes in manufacturing the ultra-precision XY stage built into the equipment, have agreed to construct a new single assembly line for the device at the Okayama works of Sumitomo Heavy Industries (Kurashiki-city in Okayama Prefecture). The new line has already started constructing and is scheduled to be completed in late March 2003.

The equipment applies photo-resist to glass and forms element and electrode patterns or color filter patterns. This involves applying a thin film of 1 to 3 ┬Ám thickness evenly to the substrate board to maintain optimum exposure. The conventional method of doing so, called the spin coater method, involves dispensing the photo-resist onto a substrate to spread it out using centrifugal force. However, over the years this method has started to reach its limit in terms of usefulness, as substrates grow much larger. It is thus fairly certain that the spin coater method will be replaced by our spin-less photo-resist application method, which uses a scanning method, and our product is now the only
product adopted for full-scale use in a variety of manufacturing operations.

TAZMO and Sumitomo Heavy Industries will work jointly to shorten production times by using this cohesive and dedicated line to improve competitiveness, and by cooperating will seek synergy in all production processes and promote the development of technology for even larger liquid-crystal displays.

In anticipation of increased orders, we TAZMO have also formed a partnership with TOKYO OHKA KOGYO CO., LTD. through which we plan to aggressively market the device.