TV boom in China
With the inclusion of large 16:9 format screens in its production program, ACBC was right in line with market trends. The Chinese television market is showing the fastest growth rates worldwide. “By the year 2005, demand on the domestic Chinese market will double to 40 million TV sets”, reports Dr. Max Raster, Vice President of Marketing and Sales of the SCHOTT Television Division in Mainz, Germany. About a third of the 20 million sets sold in China today have a large-format screen. There is much evidence to suggest that the market in this segment is already undersupplied. Demand is focused on the high-tech models made by the major TV tube manufacturers in Japan, Korea and Europe, who are also all present in China through joint-venture production operations.
Active cooperation in the production of large screens commenced in mid-1999. The larger the screen dimensions, the more important the process management. The production process at ACBC was computer-simulated and potential for improvement was found through virtual test runs. Working with their Chinese colleagues, SCHOTT engineers drafted a detailed action plan specifying guidelines for the entire process and quality management system. By modifying the technical facilities and adding new control systems that ensure a fast response to any disruptions, the production process was stabilized and redesigned for greater efficiency. Then early this year, Chinese technicians came to Mainz for intensive training. This intensive exchange of experience helps both partners ensure joint success.