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Nov 2, 2006
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Media Contacts: Akira Kadota, International PR Tel: +81-3-3578-1237 Fax: +81-3-3436-6766 Panasonic News Bureau Tel: +81-3-3542-6205 Fax: +81-3-3542-9018
Panasonic Becomes World's First to Eliminate Lead
In Display Panel for All Plasma TVs
Osaka, Japan - Panasonic, the leading brand for which Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. is best known, has become the first company in the world to achieve the elimination of lead in Plasma Display Panels (PDPs) used as the central picture component in its Plasma TVs and Plasma Modules(*1). Non-use of lead content for manufacturing Plasma Display Panels (PDPs) began with Panasonic's new Plasma-TV lineup launched in Europe and U.S. in Spring 2006. With the recent introduction of the world's largest Plasma HDTV, the 103-inch PDP-TV, Panasonic has avoided the use of lead in all of its Plasma TV models for 2006.
In conventional manufacturing processes for Plasma Display Panels, lead oxide glass is used as a key component for the dielectric layer(*2), electrodes(*3), seal frit(*4) and other structural elements to form the panel. Until now, lead oxide glass was essential for adjusting the softening points(*5) of several different materials to build dielectric layers. If no lead oxide glass were used for PDP manufacturing, it would be hard to optimize the softening points of each material for stable production yields and quality. Also, development of an alternative material for lead oxide has been considered to be extremely difficult.
Panasonic has now successfully completely avoided the use of lead oxide glass with the application of the following innovative methods;
|(1)||Development of new materials for the dielectric layer, electrodes and other parts whose characteristics and reliability are similar to those of lead oxide glass. This has been made possible by the use of uniquely developed additives(*6) for certain elements(*7) with characteristics similar to lead oxide glass, and refined material composition of the non-glass components(*8).|
|(2)||In the Plasma Display Panel manufacturing process, heating conditions(*9) in every process have been optimized, thus enabling secured stable production yield and quality levels.|
|These new methods have been introduced at every Plasma Display Panel manufacturing plant and all of Panasonic Plasma TV models for 2006 are made with lead-free Panels.|
|In addition to becoming the first to avoid the use of lead in Plasma Display Panels, Panasonic has aggressively taken the following environmental initiatives in the manufacturing of its Plasma TVs and other electronic devices.|
Environmental Initiative at the state-of-the-art "Amagasaki" Plasma Display Panel manufacturing Plant
|(2)||Improvement of packaging and transportation efficiency for Plasma TVs. (*10)|
|(3)||Improvement in product development and design of Plasma Display Panels|
|(4)||Reduction of Power Consumption (*10)|
|(*1)||Including commercial applications and modules for OEM sales.|
|(*2)||Dielectric layer: Transparent glass layer which covers electrodes|
Electrodes: Composed of transparent electrodes and silver electrodes. In the past, the silver electrodes used to contain lead.
|(*4)||Seal Frit: Parts where two glass substrates are sintered together in the edge.|
|(*5)||Softening Points: Temperature at which contained glass material starts to soften.|
|(*6)||Additives: Metal oxide|
|(*7)||Certain Elements: Metal elements such as bismuth.|
|(*8)||Material composition of the non-glass components: Solvent, flux and others.|
|(*9)||Heating conditions: Highest temperature setting, heating time and others.|
|(*10)||Japanese models only|
Best known by its Panasonic brand name, Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. is a worldwide leader in the development and manufacture of electronic products for a wide range of consumer, business, and industrial needs. Based in Osaka, Japan, the company recorded consolidated net sales of US$76.02 billion for the year ended March 31, 2006. The company's shares are listed on the Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and New York (NYSE:MC) stock exchanges. For more information on the company and the Panasonic brand, visit the company's website at http://panasonic.net.