Case Study: Plastic Electronics supply chain: DuPont Teijin Films - Wilton
DuPont Teijin Films is an equal and global joint venture between DuPont (USA) and Teijin (Japan). Based across the world from the Americas to the Far East, it is a world leading specialty producer of PET and PEN polyester films, with combined sales of about $1.5 billion and production capacity over 280,000 tons per year, employing over 3,000 people worldwide. DuPont Teijin Films manufactures Mylar® brand, Melinex® brand, Teijin® Tetoron® brand, and Teonex® brand films.
Set up around 10 years ago after DuPont bought ICIʼs polyester business, DTFʼs Global technology centre at Wilton, on Teeside, supports its global business in research and development of new short and long term market applications and uses for their products. The employees include a research team of chemists, physicists, material scientists, engineers and a commercial team.
Traditional markets for their polyester films were found in videotape, x-ray film, overhead projectors, floppy discs, instant Polaroid etc. Over recent years these markets have all but disappeared and with an increasingly competitive landscape from other film manufacturers, DTF has had to continually innovate to develop new market opportunities such as LCD TVsʼ which can contain up to up six layers of polyester film and solar cells which use polyester in the backsheet.
These new markets have been made possible by innovation in the functionality of the film. The basic polymers are still the same with an inert stable substrate as the foundation to which the functionality is added by customising and tailoring for use in different and diverse applications.
Identifying printed electronics as a new market, DTF to made a joint investment at itʼs Wilton site with the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) in an open access Flexible Electronics Substrate Facility, comprising a pilot scale roll-to-roll vacuum sputter coater, situated in a Class 1000 Clean Room, capable of handling films with widths up to 400mm and thickness in the range 12-250um.
This investment has enabled DTF to work more closely with with leading players who are developing complementary technologies, allowing them to keep in house capability and work directly with OEMs, whilst having the means to further research and develop their own branded products.
Winning the Queenʼs Award for industry: Innovation in 2008 DuPont Teijin Films see printed electronics as an exciting new market with significant potential, where products today made on glass or silicon wafers will be replaced with flexible films with some of the same characteristics.
DuPont Teijin Films UK Limited
The Wilton Centre
Tel: +44 (0) 1642 572037
Global New Product & Process Development