To take advantage of an industry the companies expect to more than double over the next five years, UniPixel (NASDAQ: UNXL ) and Eastman Kodak (NASDAQOTH: EKDKQ ) have entered into a manufacturing and supply chain agreement to produce touchscreen sensors for the touch module market.
UniPixel and Kodak have already begun constructing a "state-of-the-art" manufacturing and testing facility in Rochester, N.Y., with nearly 100,000 square feet of manufacturing space for UniPixel's UniBoss roll-to-roll printing and plating lines. The facility is expected to open later this year. In 2013, $24 million will be allocated to improve and equip the facility.
The agreement announced yesterday will allow UniPixel to take advantage of Kodak's expertise and capabilities in the high-capacity scale-up of UniBoss touch sensor production while Kodak gets what it terms a "major advance" for its functional printing initiative, which it sees as key to future growth.
Kodak CEO Antonio Perez was quoted in the company press release as saying, "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."
UniPixel CEO Reed Killion said Kodak's capabilities in "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."
The companies said the touch module market is expected to grow to $32 billion by 2018, more than double its current size.