FPD Lithography Business Unit
As of September, 2017
We will build a solid profit structure while seeking out new products in the display industry.
Senior Vice President
General Manager of FPD Lithography Business Unit
Q: How would you summarize the fiscal year ended March 31, 2017?
In the fiscal year ended March 31, 2017, we enjoyed the benefits of brisk capital investment from customers mainly in China. As a result of this investment, 92 units were sold during this fiscal year, double the figure from the previous fiscal year. We were able to fill such orders as promised thanks to our steadfast efforts to boost production capacity and conduct the mass production of new products in response to the massive increase in demand.
Our ability to augment production capacity in such a short period of time was due to the valiant efforts of procurement departments. Manufacturing FPD lithography systems requires several large components that must be custom-made with incredibly high precision, meaning that it is not easy to ramp up production. It is thus quite a feat how procurement departments were able to respond to our needs so quickly and flexibly, a feat that was accomplished by leveraging the departments’ strong relationships with business partners.
I also have much praise with regard to the fact that production, installation, and new product development were carried out on schedule, even as we moved forward with this rapid expansion of production capacity.
Q: Can you please explain some of the key points of the business strategies and the measures of the restructuring that will be implemented in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2018?
First of all, we will endeavor to ensure our ability to deliver and start the operation of Generation 10.5 plate FPD lithography systems. Considering one system can require dozens of trailers full of units and components, the first hurdle that needs to be overcome in this undertaking will be safely transporting all of these units and components. Next, we will accelerate our efforts to market products for manufacturing organic light-emitting diode (OLED) panels, which are anticipated to see increased use in smartphones and tablets. If small and medium-sized OLED panels can be made with higher definition going forward, it will contribute to increased competitiveness for Nikon products equipped with multi-lens projection optical systems.
The FPD Lithography Business serves a mature market, and it is therefore important to continue investing in new earnings sources. We are currently in the process of developing service infrastructure that will link customers’ systems to Nikon and enable us to provide services that inform customers of precursors of potential malfunctions as well as to offer them 24-hour online support. Being constantly linked to customers will strengthen our relationships with them and help us increase customer satisfaction. At the same time, it will become easier to understand customer needs, giving us insight into what new services they may want.
Nikon Group is in the process of restructuring, shifting toward a policy of prioritizing profits and not pursuing increased scale. Accordingly, the FPD Lithography Business will seek to maintain a structure that will enable it to consistently generate profits, no matter how sales may fluctuate. This will be done by developing products that boast high levels of value and carefully monitoring market trends. There are many areas in which the FPD Lithography Business can contribute given that the display industry is thought to be a field that will grow over the medium to long term. We therefore plan to actively seek out and invest in new technologies and products for this field to solidify the foundations that will allow us to continue supporting the display industry on into the future.
FPD lithography systems