TPK Holdings Co (宸鴻), which supplies touch panels to Apple Inc and other firms, yesterday said it plans to spend NT$14.17 billion (US$487.1 million) building a new factory in China to expand its production capacity in touch panels used in notebook computers, amid growing demand for PCs running Microsoft Corp’s Windows 8 system.
TPK currently only makes 1 million touch panels for notebook computers using one-glass-solution (OGS) technology via a subsidiary, MasTouch Optoelectronics Technologies Co Ltd (展觸光電), a figure lagging far behind consumer demand.
TPK made the remarks after its board approved the investment plan via a new Chinese affiliate, TPK Touch Solutions (Pingtan) Inc (宸鴻科技[平潭]), which will have NT$4.36 billion in initial capital.
The investment “aims to meet business demand,” TPK said in a filing with the Taiwan Stock Exchange.
“The new production line will be used to make touch panels ranging from 11 inches to 14 inches,” company spokesman Freddie Liu (劉詩亮) said by telephone.
The factory will start operations in September.
The new production line would be able to produce 1.2 million OGS touch panels a month.
Separately, TPK said its local touch panel subsidiary, Cando Corp (達鴻), plans to increase investment on a new production line by NT$1.4 billion, bringing the total investment to NT$5.4 billion from NT$4 billion, the company said in a statement.
The extra capital will be used to create a new joint venture between Cando and TPK to produce chemical strengtheners for LCD glass used in touch panels, Liu said.
TPK holds a 55 percent stake in Cando. Cando primarily makes touch panels for tablets and Ultrabooks.
TPK shares dropped 0.81 percent to NT$487.5 yesterday, underperforming the TAIEX which fell 0.19 percent, after the Chinese language Commercial Times reported yesterday that Apple Inc has cut 40 percent of its orders with TPK because of weak demand for its iPad 4 tablets.