ROCHESTER, NY and THE WOODLANDS, TX--(Marketwired - Apr 16, 2013) - Eastman Kodak Company and UniPixel, Inc. (NASDAQ: UNXL), have entered into a manufacturing and supply agreement to produce next-generation touch sensors based on UniPixel's UniBoss™ multi-touch sensor film.
Under the agreement, Kodak and UniPixel will open a new manufacturing facility within Eastman Business Park in Rochester later this year to produce touch screen sensors for the dynamic and growing touch module market that is predicted to more than double to $32 billion by 2018.
"Our agreement to this manufacturing and supply chain partnership with Kodak represents another major milestone in the commercial roll-out of UniBoss and in scaling up UniPixel's supply chain for touch module customers," said Reed Killion, UniPixel's president and chief executive officer. "Kodak will play a pivotal role in the immediate, high-capacity scale-up of UniBoss touch sensor production. Kodak's unparalleled expertise and core competencies in materials science, deposition technologies and large-scale commercialization and manufacturing allow us to vertically integrate the use of base materials that are utilized in the manufacturing process, thus offering the most synergistic and aligned infrastructure in the world as it relates to our flexible printed electronics."
Antonio M. Perez, Kodak's chairman and chief executive officer, said: "This agreement with UniPixel is a major advance for Kodak's functional printing initiative... Functional printing is a key growth area for Commercial Imaging... and Commercial Imaging is Kodak's future. In UniPixel, we have linked-up with an innovative and effective partner, and Kodak brings to the relationship proprietary technologies that enable printing systems to deposit materials on a wide variety of substrates with a high degree of accuracy, precision, repeatability and speed. With this agreement, we continue to execute on our strategy to develop a roadmap of offerings that answers the growing market need for alternative touch sensor solutions."
UniPixel and Kodak have already begun to construct a state-of-the-art manufacturing and testing facility with nearly 100,000 square feet of manufacturing space for the UniBoss roll-to-roll printing and plating lines. In 2013, $24 million will be allocated to improve and equip the facility, which includes the installation of two printing lines and 15 plating lines. Located in Bldg. 326 of Kodak's Eastman Business Park, a more than 1,000 acre technology center and industrial complex, the site provides an established infrastructure for roll-to-roll manufacturing and offers significant space for capacity expansion to meet the anticipated growth and demand for UniBoss touch sensors.
UniBoss offers the unique advantages of metal mesh touch sensors based on an additive, roll-to-roll, flexible electronics process, as compared to the traditional subtractive ITO-based and subtractive ITO replacement-based touch sensor solutions. These advantages include higher touch response and sensitivity, superior touch distinction, better durability, lower power requirements and extensibility to many sizes and form factors.
As an additive manufacturing process, UniBoss is more efficient and sustainable, promising lower production costs versus standard ITO-based touch technology, by way of lower material costs, fewer steps in the manufacturing process and a more simplified supply chain.
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Kodak is transforming into a B2B company focused on its Commercial Imaging business. Kodak will be centered on commercial, packaging and functional printing solutions and enterprise services, markets in which it offers customers advanced technologies that give them a competitive edge. The company also offers leading products and services in Entertainment Imaging and Commercial Films. Its Personalized Imaging and Document Imaging businesses are being marketed for sale. For additional information on Kodak, visit kodak.com.
Headquartered in The Woodlands, Texas, UniPixel, Inc. (NASDAQ: UNXL) delivers Performance Engineered Films to the Lighting, Display and Flexible Electronics markets. UniPixel's high-volume roll-to-roll or continuous flow manufacturing process offers high-fidelity replication of advanced micro-optic structures and surface characteristics over large areas. A key focus for UniPixel is developing electronic conductive films for use in electronic sensors for consumer and industrial applications. The company's newly developed UniBoss™ roll-to-roll electronics manufacturing process prints conductive elements on thin film with trace widths down to ~ 5um. The company is marketing its films for touch panel sensor, cover glass replacement, protective cover film, antenna and custom circuitry applications under the UniPixel label, and potentially under private label or Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) brands. UniPixel's brands include Clearly Superior™, Diamond Guard™ and others. For further information, visit www.unipixel.com.