Sep 15, 2016: The US-based supplier of sapphire substrates and products to the LED industry, Rubicon Technology, is shutting down its factory in Penang, Malaysia. The company announced that production activities at the facility will cease to operate from November 30, 2016 with the shutdown of the facility to be completed by the end of 2016.The Penang factory was primarily engaged in producing polished and patterned substrates for the LED market.
Focus on optical and industrial sapphire market
The company said it was closing down its operations in Penang because it wants to focus on the optical and industrial sapphire market. Rubicon believes that its high quality crystal, its optical finishing capabilities, and its strong customer base in the US, are its strengths to sustain in the optical and industrial sapphire market.
The sapphire industry is quite challenging as the prices of LED sapphire products continue to decline throughout this year, according to Rubicon CEO Bill Weissman.
Rubicon’sstrategy in such a competitive market be to build a business more focused on the optical and industrial sapphire market, which would differentiate the company from its competitors. The company is working hard to reduce costs to make products more profitable.
Rubicon shuts down substrates facility in Malaysia
The company believes that there are emerging applications in industrial sapphire market which will drive their revenue and margin growth in the near future, Weissman added. The company would also limit its product offering to six-inch diameter wafers where the competition is less, Weissman added.
Rubicon is an advanced materials provider specialising in monocrystalline sapphire products for optical systems and specialty electronic devices.