AOI equipment used for small and medium-sized OLED inspection is non-contact inspection equipment that analyzes the presence of defects by irradiating the product with light and measuring the difference in the amount of the reflected light. The AOI equipment detects not only pattern defects by recognizing the difference through comparison of repeated patterns but also foreign objects on mask and substrate before and after LLO process.
As a result, AOI equipment is used in almost all OLED processes such as TFT pattern inspection, mask particle inspection, OLED pixel inspection, encapsulation inspection, and pre-and after LLO substrate inspection.
HB Technology, DIT, and LG PRI are major AOI equipment manufacturers. HB Technology, DIT and LG PRI produce almost all AOI equipment used for OLED process, whereas HIMS mainly produces AOI for mask foreign object inspection.
According to the ‘2017 Inspection and Measuring Equipment Report for OLED Mobile Device’ recently published by UBi Research, the market for inspection and measuring equipment in the entire OLED equipment market is estimated to be US $ 6.63 billion (about KRW 7.3 trillion) from 2017 to 2021. Among them, AOI equipment market is expected to be US $ 2.33 billion.
When it comes to processes, the AOI equipment market for TFT process is expected to create the biggest market of US $ 1.36 billion, and the AOI market for OLED pixel process, encapsulation and cell process will be US $ 430 million, US $ 390 million and US $ 160 million, respectively.
UBi’s Researcher, Yoon Dae Jeong said, “We can discover the added value of AOI equipment in that AOI equipment can improve yield by detecting and repairing defects during the OLED process and reduce the quality cost by preventing the further process of defective products.“ “With the technological development of AOI equipment, panel manufacturers are also actively introducing AOI equipment, and the AOI market is expected to grow even larger, as the inspection items are increasingly being strengthened.”