Konica Minolta, Inc. (Konica Minolta) and Pioneer Corporation (Pioneer) entered into an agreement to found a joint venture, Konica Minolta Pioneer OLED, Inc., in May 2017 to accelerate the launching of the Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) lighting business, focusing on automotive lighting.
In light of the fact that there has been an increasing demand for design sophistication – one of most important value-added features – in the automotive component market, high-end luxury cars have started adopting OLED lighting for tail lamps. Going forward, even smaller and lighter automotive components will be required not only for better design but also for the improvement in the overall energy efficiency of cars. In addition, since tail lamps are very relevant to safety, the manufacturers must own high-level quality control technologies.
OLED has also been more and more in demand for new applications that have never existed before, such as advertisement lighting, which integrates lighting with paper, and package and beauty lighting, which utilise high-level colour rendering properties of OLED.
Responding to the market requirements, this strategic alliance will combine Konica Minolta’s roll-to-roll method of flexible panel manufacturing equipment and production technology with Pioneer’s achievement in OLED panel mass-production and market rollout and its car electronics OEM business know-how. In entering into the agreement, the companies expect that the joint venture will be able to provide lighting with new values for customers.
The new company to be founded will integrate business and product planning, product development, production technology development as well as the marketing functions of both companies’ OLED lighting business in order to carry forward its initiatives.
The new company’s business will be focused on the new field of automotive lighting, in addition to the lighting for indicators and for advertisement that Konica Minolta advanced and special lighting applications for the beauty and medical market that Pioneer promoted. By building up a strong position in flexible OLED lighting, the jointly invested company will aim to achieve revenue of 25 billion yen on a medium to long-term basis.
Joint Venture Company Overview
Konica Minolta Pioneer OLED, Inc.
Planned date of founding
Hamamatsucho Building, 1-1-1 Shibaura, Minato-ku, Tokyo Japan
490 million yen (Investment ratio: Konica Minolta 50%, Pioneer 50%)
Development and sales of OLED lighting panels
Achievement of OLED Lighting Business at Konica Minolta and Pioneer
Konica Minolta utilised its core technologies in the world’s first commercialisation of OLED lighting panels, using all phosphorescent emitters in 2011. In 2014, the company announced the paper-thin, lightweight and flexible plastic substrate OLED lighting panel, featuring the world’s first colour tunable function, the world’s thinnest OLED lighting panel and, with the white OLED lighting panel, the world’s highest luminous efficacy. These technical advancements have made Konica Minolta a front runner in the industry.
Pioneer started mass production and shipment of OLED displays for the first time in the world in 1997. With the development and market launch of OLED displays for automobiles in 2004, the company has sold a total of more than 140 million OLED displays and accumulated a wealth of OLED-related technologies. In 2012, Pioneer started shipment of the world’s first OLED lighting modules with adjustable color and brightness. In 2014, Pioneer followed with the world’s first mass production and shipment of the OLED lighting module with a wet coating process for a light-emitting layer, permitting significantly lower manufacturing costs. Owning mass production technologies and facilities for OLED lighting panels, Pioneer has been introducing applications on a broad and diverse basis, such as lighting for beauty and medical fields, as well as offering lighting for automobiles.