Depending on the device type, packaging can represent 40% to 60% of LED total cost. As such, packaging represents the single-largest opportunity for cost reduction, which is required in order for the industry to access the “Holy Grail” that is General Lighting. However, if you’re expecting this cost reduction to come from standardization, you can abandon all hope. The creativity of LED engineers and specificities of each application have led to an infinite number of package type and formats: Single or multiple chips, low and middle-power Plastic Leaded Chip Carrier (PLCC), ceramic-based high-power LED street lights, small and large arrays, Chip On Board (COB), etc. This profusion of styles is inhibiting LED manufacturing cost reduction by multiplying the Stock Keeping Unit (SKU), thus preventing standardization of the manufacturing process and the associated economies of scale.
In this context, LED lights supplier are reacting by developing new manufacturing philosophies/concepts, such as:
- “Design for manufacturing”, which consists of trying to simplify and standardize elements whenever possible, and push differentiation as far downstream as possible in the manufacturing process.