LG Claims 30-Year OLED Lifetime

The Korea Times has visited an LG Electronics OLED TV manufacturing facility, detailing the testing that goes into each set – and finding an interesting tidbit about OLED lifetimes.

Reporters were invited to view the G3 and G4 lines at the Gumi factory, which produces around 10,000 OLED TVs each month. It is the base for LG’s inspection trials – only if such processes have been a success in the Gumi plant are they rolled out to other facilities.

Each set is subject to a two-track inspection process. First is an ageing test, which takes place on a conveyor belt. Employees spend 15 minutes to check the TVs for defects before packaging them. Next, the TVs are unpacked for a second inspection. This is purposeful, as it helps to double-check new devices from the customer’s perspective. Again, each TV produced at the factory goes through this. Random sampling tests are not allowed, said an official.

After being unpacked, the TVs are left turned on for 72 hours at room temperature. For new OLED TV models, this is extended to 168 hours (one week), only reduced to 72 hours after two to three months.

During the tour, LG spoke about OLED lifetimes. Lee Byung-chul is VP of the LGE’s TV and monitor production division. He said that OLED TV lifetime was around 36,000 hours when LG began production in 2013. Since then, the company has apparently raised it to 100,000 hours – equal to 30 years, if the TV is watched for 10 hours each day.

Analyst Comment

Lee’s comments did not clarify if the 100,000 hour lifetime applies to all OLED materials equally. Historically, blue OLED materials have aged faster than the red and green counterparts. It was a hot topic at the recent SID Display Week show! (TA)