LONDON Flat panel displays are expected to become significantly more environmentally friendly over the next few years, and 70 percent of FPD shipments will tout a variety of “green” features by 2012, according to market research group DisplaySearch.
The researchers suggest that last year just 20 percent of FPD shipments could be said to have boasted environmentally conscious features, and that by 2014, all FPDs will boast green credentials.
DisplaySearch (Austin, TX) defines green flat panel displays as those which meet one of the following conditions: using environmentally friendly components and materials; achieving lower power consumption by using new components or technologies; compliant with environmental regulations such as waste disposal; using production processes that reduce energy and materials consumed; completely or partially recyclable after useful life; or use of green or eco-friendly concepts in product design, packaging methods or materials.
In a report on green FPDs, DisplaySearch found that FPD suppliers and supply chain participants work on green FPD for many reasons: cost reduction, meeting environmental regulations, corporate social responsibility, and even prevention of future damages or customer claims.
On the question of cost reduction, the researchers suggest that while not all green FPD technologies represent cost reductions for panel makers, as long as the technologies improve and more suppliers adopt them, green will eventually lead to lower costs.
The environmental regulations, such as the Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) legislation, Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE), Energy Using Products (EuP), Energy Star, and TCO, will play a key role in the shift about to take off.
According to David Hsieh, Vice President of DisplaySearch and author of the report: "Energy savings is a hot topic globally, whether the economy is good or bad. Displays often have the highest power consumption of any component in electronics products."
Hsieh notes that for FTF LCDs there are four main methods to implement green displays:
* Green panel design, like new cell structures that increase panel transmittance or new technologies like PSA, COA, AMVA and SHA;
*Energy-saving production processes, like photomask reduction, ink-jet printing of color filters, roll-to-roll production, and replacement of toxic gases in production ;
*Green components, such as glass, color filter, liquid crystal, optical films, driver ICs and LED backlights;
* and packaging, like space-saving containers for better transportation efficiency and recyclable packing materials.
DisplaySearch defines OLED as a naturally green technology, due to the simpler structure, reduced materials consumption, and lower power consumption. For plasma, there are said to be three ways to implement green: high luminous efficiency, eco-friendly materials with lower EMI, and new manufacturing processes for materials reduction.
The report also takes a close look at the green activities and technologies adopted by 12 major companies: Samsung, LG Display, AUO, CMO, CPT, Sharp, Sony, Lenovo, HP, Philips, Apple, Dell, Panasonic and LG Electronics.