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Taiwan panel, touch solution providers seeing rush orders for healthcare applications

Taiwan-based flat panel makers and related touch solution providers expect demand for healthcare applications, such as those for ventilators and blood oxygen machines, to stretch in the third quarter of 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic remains severe in most part of the world, according to industry sources.

Panel makers including Innolux, AU Optronics (AUO), HannStar Display, Emerging Display Technologies as well as touch panel solution providers such as Mildex Optical and Higgstec have been experiencing strong pull-ins for short lead-time orders recently coping with urgent demand arising from the pandemic, said the sources.

Innolux usually maintains a two-month panel inventory for medical applications, but has been forced to shorten its lead time to avoid supply chain disruptions for virus-control efforts in the first half of 2020, according to company president James Yang.

Innolux even managed to ramp up by 3.6 times its output of flat panels for production of ventilators from its normal production of 1,000 units a month, Yang revealed.

Innolux has been a major supplier of display products for production of surgical operation devices, ultrasonic treatment equipment and diagnostic devices, Yang said.

AUO also reported that it has been receiving more panel orders from the IT, medical, sports and educational sectors from Europe and the US recently.

HannStar Display has been receiving more windfall orders for its 0.96-inch panels for production of blood oxygen machines thanks to the pandemic. The 0.96-inch panels are originally designed for production of wearables.

Small-size panel supplier Emerging Display and touch solution providers Mildex and Higgstec are all experiencing strong sales in the current quarter and expect their order visibility to extend to the third quarter.