The expansion represents work that was originally planned for fiscal 2007 being advanced into fiscal 2006 in response to the significant demand for the product's use in large LCD TVs. Concretely, while annual production capacity for optical film rolls will be increased to 40 million square meters, the annual production of new ZeonorFilm® (stretched film) will be expanded to 30 million square meters. The expansion work is already underway and part of the new facilities have already started operations.
Anticipating even greater demand for the product, the Company began considering construction of a second plant for manufacturing optical film rolls and new ZeonorFilm®.
ZEON Corporation became the first company in the world to manufacture optical film using the melt extrusion process in October 2002 and began marketing ZeonorFilm® as a polarizing roll film. The second phase of production capacity expansion was completed in February 2005.
ZeonorFilm® exhibits superior optical properties, including high transparency, low double refraction, low dispersion, and low photoelasticity. ZeonorFilm® also features low moisture permeability and high heat resistance and provides excellent durability as optical film for LCDs.
In addition to superior optical properties and durability, the new ZeonorFilm® is characterized by high polarizing performance that is produced by stretching ZeonorFilm®. Among other features, the product: (1) provides both polarizing and polarizing plate protection performance (2) supports the production of polarizing plates using roll-to-roll pasting technology and (3) contributes to improved screen stability.
The outstanding characteristics of the new ZeonorFilm® reduce the number of parts and streamline the production process. In terms of quality, the product improves the durability of polarizing plates and prevents contrast deterioration caused by glow leakage from the surrounding screen area, leading to the expanding use of new ZeonorFilm® for large LCD TVs.