© osram Business | November 24, 2017

Osram’s new LED chip factory goes into operation in Kulim

In November 2015, as part of its Diamond innovation and growth initiative, Osram announced plans to build the new LED chip factory in Kulim, Malaysia, and to have it up and running by the end of 2017.
The facility will now start operation - On time. “We are both on schedule and within budget,” pointed out Olaf Berlien, CEO of OSRAM Licht AG. “Given our enormous recent growth rates of 19 percent in the LED business, we are pleased to have the new production capacities. Our investment in Kulim also attests to the technology shift and our transition to becoming a high-tech corporation: At the beginning of this decade, conventional lighting still accounted for 80 percent of Osram's business. Today, two-thirds of our sales are based on optical semiconductors.”

The modular, expandable factory has now been put into operation just two years after the announcement one and a half year after groundbreaking. A total of EUR 370 million were invested in the first stage of completion. Osram can expand the factory in two additional stages, entailing total investment costs of up to one billion euros including expansion of the LED assembly capacities in Osram’s global factory alliance.

The Osram factory in Kulim will produce blue LED chips which, by means of a converter layer, can generate white light. They are produced for general lighting purposes, such as public street lighting, but also for façade lighting, private and commercial interior and exterior lighting, or for billboards – as well as for special applications such as horticulture lights. The global LED market for general lighting is estimated to be EUR 6 billion in 2018, roughly 6% of which is for street lighting. The plan is to also produce LED chips in Kulim in the medium term for premium applications, such as automotive lighting and video projection.

Osram is currently investing worldwide in the expansion of the existing six sites in its LED production network. Therefore, Osram is also expanding its plant in Regensburg, which currently has about 2’500 employees, and will additionally hire up to 1’000 employees. Premium LED chips and laser diodes, which are used, for example, in high-quality car headlights, will be manufactured there as well as infrared diodes for sensors that can be used in applications including facial recognition in mobile phones, or in cars for intelligent assistance systems.

The company says it will also expand its site in SchwabmĂĽnchen. In the future, Osram will manufacture LED primary materials in clean rooms there. In addition, Osram also has another plant for LED primary products in the U.S. city of Exeter. In Wuxi, China, Osram is expanding its capacity for assembling LED chips into complete LEDs. In Penang, Malaysia, located near Kulim, LED chips are also manufactured and assembled.
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