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Kodak, Kingsbury ink deal with maker of touch screens

Rochester Business Journal
January 7, 2014

Eastman Kodak Co. and Kingsbury Corp. have signed an agreement to supply a Taiwan-based company with touch-sensor film based on their newly developed silver-based metal mesh technology.

JTouch Corp., a manufacturer of touch screen modules, is the first company to commercialize the technology into its products.

The company will purchase the output of silver-based touch-sensor film produced by a Kingsbury manufacturing facility at Eastman Business Park, officials of the companies said Tuesday. The facility is expected to ramp up production on a new high-volume line during the second quarter to meet demand levels required by JTouch.

The Kingsbury facility will use Kodak’s silver halide technologies to produce the metal mesh touch-screen film.

Kodak is supplying Kingsbury with chemicals, substrates and technical support to operate the facility, and also is partnering in marketing efforts, official said. Kingsbury will work with JTouch to integrate the new technology into its Asia-based manufacturing facilities. The new film will be produced on a roll-to-roll process manufacturing line, which offers lower production costs because of fewer manufacturing steps and lower resistance that enables larger-format displays.

“Kingsbury is pleased to provide the manufacturing capability that will allow JTouch to be the first company to commercialize Kodak silver-based metal mesh technology into their products,” Kingsbury CEO William Pollock said in a statement.
 
Kodak CEO Antonio Perez said the deal is another milestone in its functional printing business, which represents a major growth area for Kodak.

“This silver halide technology for touch-sensor film is one of the promising technologies that is enabling Kodak to partner with companies and broaden our participation in the rapidly expanding touch sensor market,” he said.

Founded in 2001, and now listed on the Taiwan Stock Exchange, JTouch offers touch-panel products using copper-based metal mesh touch screen and indium tin oxide ranging from 1.6 to 23 inches.

“We are always looking for the most innovative approaches to integrate into our touch panel solutions,” JTouch chairman Yu-Chou Yeh said. “We are pleased to be working with Kingsbury and Kodak, and to be able to offer an even broader portfolio of touch sensor solutions to meet the needs of our brand-name customers in Taiwan, China, Korea and Japan.”

Kingsbury has a 240,000-square-foot manufacturing space adjacent to and inside of Eastman Business Park. It is a century-old manufacturer of high machining centers and high-speed assembly machines. Kingsbury maintains an engineering center in Keene, N.H., where the company was established in 1890.

Manufacturing was relocated to Rochester when Pollock purchased the assets of Kingsbury for $3.1 million in February 2012, after Kingsbury filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition.

(c) 2014 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email service@rbj.net.


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