Planar represents a rare U.S.-based ``pure play`` investment in the flat-panel display industry. The market fundamentals of this industry are driven by three key growth factors:
- replacement of CRTs with flat panels,
- the proliferation of display products, due to both the increase in ``smart`` devices throughout modern life and flat panels` versatility for a wider range of uses, and
- the ongoing trend of displays to be done by specialist firms. Planar is positioned to capitalize on opportunities these factors create
Planar operates at the end of the industry`s value chain closest to the customer - where margins tend to be higher and strong customer relationships tend to have sustainable value. Well-known companies that produce manufacturing equipment, specialized controller chips, or the glass-panel components themselves (often with multi billion-dollar plant investments) are more often Planar`s vendors than its competitors. Planar`s specialty is to apply its display heritage, expertise with markets and closeness with customers to optimize commercially viable technology for specific applications targeted for growth.
The company has fostered diversification in many critical aspects of its business:
- Technology - allowing flexibility for the best display components made in the world to become part of Planar`s end-user-driven products.
- Supply Chain - a valuable network of manufacturing specialists across the globe is continuously optimized for the benefit of Planar`s customers and channel partners.
- Markets - the different business models of the company`s new initiatives and its medical, industrial and commercial business units complement one another while moderating risk
- Channels - versatility in delivering products directly to customers, through value-added resellers or through online channels accommodates wide-ranging needs of OEMs and end-users.
Planar also derives strength and competitive advantage from its corporate culture. It focuses on hiring and retention on star employees who are in the top quartile of available professionals - finding that top pay for top productivity is a very good investment. Attention to stewardship of shareholder interests has created progressive internal corporate governance that has garnered national attention. Another pillar of the company`s cultural strength is a commitment to fiscal discipline at all levels in the organization.
The company has demonstrated profitability every quarter since 1999, excepting accounting charges for non-operating and/or non-recurring events. The company`s balance sheet reflects ongoing fiscal discipline in management of working capital and the benefits of effective cash flow generation. Largely due to these strengths and credible track record, Planar enjoys more research coverage than most companies its size. Please refer to those analyst reports, or contact the company`s Investor Relations office listed below, for more information.
MEDICAL BUSINESS UNIT
Planar`s MBU develops displays and products specifically designed for medical imaging, patient monitoring and patient care. Our products include radiological and medical-grade flat-panel displays, point-of-care workstations, monitoring and calibration software, analog display controllers and software development toolkits.
At Planar, we know the demands patient care makes on displays. Well sell more medical grade flat panel displays than anyone else in the world. And we offer the most comprehensive suite of display solutions designed specifically for hospitals. So you can put your focus where you need it most - on your patients.
At Planar, we know display technology so you don`t have to. Whether existing or emerging technology, we understand the unique benefits and limitations that each technology provides. That`s why we can deliver the right solutions to help you see things how you need to, where you need to.
AMLCDs (active-matrix liquid crystal displays) offer bright images, excellent focus, less distortion and no flicker. They are small, light and produce less heat. Low power consumption makes them cost-effective to operate.
EL displays are commonly used in harsh and demanding industrial environments. Compact and lightweight, they are totally solid-state structures with superb shock and vibration resistance.
LCDs (passive-matrix liquid crystal displays) are ideal for simple monochrome displays that need to show the same information over and over. They use a simple grid to supply the charge to a particular pixel on the display.
Plasma display technology gives you rich, accurate color in a large format, flat display. It allows for excellent image quality and large screen sizes that are thin enough to hang on the wall.
We understand our customers` needs and deliver what we promise. We continually improve our products, processes and systems. Planar`s Beaverton, Espoo, and Waltham sites have obtained ISO 9001:2000 registration and throughout our organization there is a commitment to continual improvements. In addition, Planar`s Beaverton and Waltham sites have obtained ISO 13485:2003 registration.