Samsung and Corning - Thirty-Five Years of Working Together

The Challenge
One of the most successful equity companies in international business today is the one between Samsung and Corning. In 1973, Corning and Samsung, a rising industrial corporation in Korea at the time, formed their first partnership, Samsung Corning, to manufacture and market cathode ray tube (CRT) glass for black and white televisions. No one could have predicted that this partnership would eventually lead to Samsung’s and Corning’s leadership positions in today’s Korean active matrix LCD glass market.

In the 1990s, the information display market started to demand a new kind of flat panel display, principally for mobile applications, requiring thin, high-technology glass substrates with pristine surface quality.  Samsung decided to invest boldly in the future and pursue this opportunity. Corning proposed and Samsung agreed to establish an independent equity venture, Samsung Corning Precision Materials Co., Ltd. (SCP), based on the Samsung Corning collaboration model. The company’s first LCD glass substrate manufacturing facility opened in Gumi, Korea in 1996.

The Breakthrough
In response to this market challenge, Samsung’s world-class manufacturing expertise and Corning’s knowledge of advanced materials proved to be a powerful combination.

Corning’s proprietary fusion process, invented in the 1960s, was originally intended to manufacture safer windshields for cars. But by refining the process, Corning scientists and engineers were able to develop an extraordinarily precise, and eventually highly automated, draw process to produce glass substrates with exceptionally clean, smooth, flat surfaces and inherent dimensional stability qualities essential in the manufacture of LCD screens. The process is fully scalable – an extremely important attribute as the LCD industry continues to demand larger and larger glass for improved efficiency.

By employing Samsung’s manufacturing expertise and adopting Corning’s fusion technology, SCP has built world-class production lines since its foundation and has successfully produced large-sized glass substrates to meet the technical and quality requirements of its customers.  SCP, with the support of Corning’s technologists, has also been an industry leader in the introduction of next-generation glass substrates, rolling out the world’s first Gen 7 and Gen 8 substrates.

The Impact
When SCP was established in 1995, Samsung and Corning did not hesitate to invest in the future, anticipating a promising future LCD market. SCP built its second facility in Cheonan in 2002 and has continued to grow that facility into one of the largest LCD glass facilities in the world. SCP’s ability to manufacture the highest quality glass substrates for the Korean display industry has been a strong competitive advantage for Samsung and Corning. Customers expect more from Corning and SCP, and they get more – leading technology, quality, size, supply, and service that they need.

Going forward, SCP should maintain a leadership position in Korea’s display industry, while working toward a bright future through the strong partnership between Samsung and Corning.

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