Kateeva has announced that it is expanding its Silicon Valley headquarters. The company has leased an adjacent building at its Newark campus, adding 75,000 sq. ft. that is zoned for manufacturing and business operations. This brings Kateeva's total campus footprint to 150,000 sq.ft. Kateeva moved to its current location in early 2015 to facilitate production ramp-up of its YIELDjet™ inkjet printing manufacturing equipment for the global flat panel display industry. Since then, headcount has nearly tripled to 330 people, and orders for YIELDjet systems have soared. With the new building, Kateeva's doubles its manufacturing footprint, providing ample space to accelerate production.
Leading flat panel display manufacturers use Kateeva's precision deposition equipment for cost-effective mass production of Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) displays. OLED technology is behind some of today's most popular smartphones and tablets. Already, OLED screens curve around edges to enable unique form factors. Soon, when tablets, notebooks and smartphones can bend, roll and even fold without breaking, it will be thanks to OLED technology. OLED technology enables the production of displays on plastic (entirely free of glass), making them flexible and paper-thin.
Kateeva's first product, the YIELDjet FLEX system, enabled a rapid transition from glass encapsulation to Thin Film Encapsulation (TFE) in new OLED production lines. The "freedom from glass" technology leap was the gateway to flexible displays. Each Kateeva inkjet printer is highly customized and built to extremely exacting specifications. Measuring approximately 2,000 sq.ft., the tool contains thousands of precision parts, and is differentiated by myriad innovations that are protected by 200 issued and pending patents. With the system, customers can achieve dramatically higher TFE yields and lower mass-production costs than what was previously possible with other deposition techniques. On an OLED mass-production line, Kateeva printers work in concert with tools from other leading equipment companies to process the panels.
Kateeva's tools are designed and engineered in Newark, so the expansion will support the company's growing R&D team. In addition, since Kateeva manufactures a majority of its products and components in Newark, the expansion will also support a large increase in its U.S. manufacturing capacity.
Kateeva's President and Co-founder, Dr. Conor Madigan noted: "Kateeva's manufacturing strategy utilizes a balance of production in Asia, as well as the U.S. This dual-region strategy generates optimum efficiencies and will continue as we grow. For now, our most complex and customized products will be built at our Newark facility where we can leverage our adjacent manufacturing and engineering teams to maintain highest quality while also satisfying our customers' aggressive delivery timelines. This is far more difficult to achieve when our manufacturing and engineering teams are separated and remote. Building these products in the U.S. also helps us safeguard the intellectual property that differentiates our technology solution."
Madigan listed other advantages of Kateeva's newly expanded Newark HQ: "By obtaining an adjacent building we can maintain the operating efficiencies of a single site," he said. "Also, in Newark we're next door to several international airports, which is imperative for a manufacturer of capital equipment bound for production fabs in Asia. Finally, our location situates us ideally to draw talent from all regions in and around Silicon Valley."
Source and top image: Kateeva
Learn more at the next leading event on the topic: Printed Electronics USA 2019 on 20 - 21 Nov 2019 at Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, USA hosted by IDTechEx.