Recently, I had the great pleasure of speaking with Mr. Andy Hannah, President and CEO of Plextronics Inc. Headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA. Plextronics specializes in polymer-based materials and technologies for key applications of printed electronics such as organic light emitting diodes (OLED), specifically OLED displays and lighting, as well as organic photovoltaic cells (OPV). Their products include Plexcore polymers and printable inks that are used in developing next-generation, power efficient displays, low-cost, easily available plastic solar cells or item-level radio-frequency tags.
When I asked Mr. Hannah how business is in general for Plextronics, he had a one-word answer: "Great!" How great? They are looking at 2011 revenue that is double that of 2010. Hannah went on to explain "We are seeing continued strong demand worldwide for OLED products used in the development of solutions processed OLED flat panel displays. Examples would be larger versions of OLED displays that Samsung, LG Displays, and others have recently introduced for smart phones."
Founded in 2002 as a spinoff from Carnegie Mellon University, Plextronics has grown to around 70 employees, and is selectively adding to its staff this year. Right now they are looking for people who can help them with the scale-up that would come with their aggressive growth plans. They were recently given a boost with an investment from Solvay, their largest minority shareholder.
Looking forward, Hannah is excited about the prospects for OPV technology as well. "The technology is still emerging, but the opportunities for energy harvesting applications are exciting. Examples include e-labeling, e-packaging and retail store shelf displays."
"We continue to have the same vision," says Hannah. "You'll see our polymers and ink products in hundreds of different products in the next few years, particularly in the next generation of displays and lighting applications. First and foremost, we're about achieving profitability so we can be self-sufficient. We are working to achieve that milestone."
I want to thank Andy for his time, and for sharing more good news for our industry. If you would like to see good news about your company in a future blog, please contact me.
Paul Sturgeon is business manager with KLA Industries based in Cincinnati, OH, an executive search firm specializing in plastics and polymer technology. If you have a topic you'd like to see discussed, a company that is growing, or other ideas for his blog, e-mail Paul at [email protected].