updated 03:14 pm EDT, Mon June 18, 2012
Korean Electric error stops plant lines temporarily
Samsung Display suffered a power outage at an LCD manufacturing facility, potentially costing the company millions of dollars in productivity. The power interruption, caused by an employee at state-run Korea Electric Power Corp, forced all production lines to grind to a halt. Yonhap News Agency reports that the seemingly simple glitch had an exceedingly disruptive effect on plant operations.
The event occurred at around 9:05pm on Thursday and lasted around 11 minutes, though the KEPC has yet to disclose what exactly caused the power loss at an electricity substation connected to the lines. Samsung officials noted that an uninterruptible power supply system kicked in for the plant's key facilities, but it will take a much longer period to entirely normalize the LCD production line.
The company is currently restoring the facilities and estimating the extent of the damage, which is expected to reach several tens of millions of dollars. Many display panels that were in the middle of a manufacturing process when the power was cut are said to be headed to the scrap pile.
Samsung Display was spun off from Samsung Electronics in April. Originally a research-and-development arm for the firm, it instantly became the world's largest display manufacturer once established as a subsidiary. CEO of Samsung Display, Donggun Park, hopes to turn the company into a profitable enterprise, however $20 billion in 2011 sales resulted in a $665 million operating loss.