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© merck Business | February 16, 2018

Merck opens production fab for liquid crystal window modules

Science and technology company, Merck, ended 2017 with the opening of a new production facility for liquid crystal window modules in Veldhoven, near Eindhoven, in the Netherlands.
Science and technology company, Merck, ended 2017 with the opening of a new production facility for liquid crystal window modules in Veldhoven, near Eindhoven, in the Netherlands.

The investment of EUR 15 million is another step by Merck to expand its expertise by moving into other applications beyond televisions, laptops, smartphones, and tablet PCs. In 2016, an independent business field was set up for liquid crystal window technology in order to achieve faster market penetration. Merck now claims to be the first supplier of this window module technology, which in comparison with previous technologies, offers new application possibilities and regulation within seconds.

Deliveries are set to start this year

“This new facility is a milestone in our strategy to capture new attractive and future-oriented application fields for liquid crystals beyond displays,” emphasized Kai Beckmann, Member of the Executive Board of Merck and CEO Performance Materials, during the inauguration attended by around 100 invited guests from business and politics. “We recently started taking orders from customers for modules that will be ready for delivery as of early 2018. The industry interest in liquid crystal windows we’ve seen so far is very positive.”

Globally, the demand for smart glass is rising. In particular, the construction and automotive industries are looking for long-lived elements that can be integrated both aesthetically and functionally in many shapes and colors. Merck does not see itself as a competitor to glass and window manufacturers, but rather will supply the modules enabling them to make these smart glass elements, windows and façades.

In smart glass, liquid crystals regulate light transmission. It serves either as sun or privacy protection. Both variants respond within seconds.

The liquid crystal materials, which are marketed under the licrivision brand, are also to be used in vehicles in the future. Research is currently underway for further application possibilities, for instance in air and sea travel.

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July 18 2018 5:55 pm V10.0.0-2