This week, the German company Merck opened a new production facility for liquid crystal window modules in Veldhoven, near Eindhoven. With an investment of around €15 million, the leading science and technology company Merck took a step to further expand its expertise in future-oriented smart glass modules. A great addition to Brabant, as Merck is the world’s first supplier of this technology.
Our investment of €15 million shows how great our confidence is in this brand new product. We have equipped our headquarters in Darmstadt, Germany, with a trial series of the material and it looks great and is very convenient. The windows will give an enormous boost to the creativity of architects for both the construction and renovation of buildings, but as well for many other purposes.Kai Beckmann - CEO Performance Materials Merck
The technology that is used to create the smart glass has been developed by the University of Technology in Eindhoven (TU/e). In 2014, this start-up named Peer+ was acquired by Merck. The smart glass contains liquid crystals that regulate the light transmission and it serves either as sun or privacy protection. Both variants, which respond within seconds, offer maximum convenience. And it shows: the demand for smart glass is rising. “We recently started taking orders from customers for modules that will be ready for delivery as of early 2018. The industry interest in liquid crystal windows we’ve seen so far is very positive”, says Kai Beckmann.
Additionally, the potential of the new breakthrough technology has been recognized by Frost & Sullivan, a global consultancy agency. Last October, Merck received the “Technology Innovation Award” for its liquid crystal window technology. According to the jury, as a key innovation driver with significant competitive advantage in smart glass, Merck has the opportunity to establish itself as a market leader.