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Samsung The Wall: High-tech Made in Europe

Galanta | In Slovakia, Samsung manufactures its MicroLED flagship The Wall for European customers – around the clock and under strict clean room conditions. invidis visited the factory for first-hands insights.

A spartan corrugated metal sheet building with a simple door and a sign above reading “Entrance The Wall”. The entrance is inconspicuous, but it leads into the most modern production facility on the Samsung factory site in Galanta, Slovakia. From here on, staff and visitors can only continue in a full-body protective suit. This is where the premium MicroLED product the Wall is produced – in Europe, for Europe.

The Wall is produced for Europe in Galanta, Samsung's plant in Slovakia. (Photo: invidis)
The Wall is produced for Europe in Galanta, Samsung’s plant in Slovakia. (Photo: invidis)

Compared to the rest of the Samsung factory, where around 1,000 employees work, the The Wall section is small, but has a lot to offer: 180 employees work around the clock here to manufacture The Wall because the complexity and high added value of the manufacturing process do not allow the machines to stand still. The LEDs are not just assembled, but manufactured from the ground up – MiniLED after MiniLED is placed on the board with high-tech precision.

The Wall as a flagship

Since the launch of the first series in 2018, sales numbers of Samsung’s MicroLED flagship solution have developed very well: The Wall has even become an industry synonym for high-quality LED walls, with pixel pitches between 1.68 and 0.63 millimeters. Today Samsung offers three series: IWA, IWB and IAB. In addition, Samsung has recently launched the IVC series, a The Wall solution for virtual productions.

The Wall in the Galanta conference room (Photo: invidis)
The Wall in the Galanta conference room (Photo: invidis)

In order to meet the increasing demand for the product, Samsung set up the manufacturing site in Slovakia in 2022. The implementation process, with support from the parent plant in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, took three months, with production starting in April 2023.

With the Galanta production site, Samsung has not only been able to increase production capacity for The Wall, but also brought the value chain closer together – Nearshoring: Manufacturing closer to the sales markets. This not only reduces the carbon emissions of transportation – it also guarantees more delivery security in an increasingly shaky political and economic climate.

One of three factories

Galanta is one of three factories worldwide that produces The Wall. Each location covers certain regions of the world: Ho Chi Minh City ships to Asia and the Middle East, Mexico to North and South America, and Galanta in Slovakia to Europe.

The Slovakian plant specializes on two products: The Wall IWA and the all-in-one solution IAB. This means Galanta covers more than 90 percent of The Wall solutions sold in Europe.

The all-in-one solutions of the IAB series are built in Galanta. (Photo: Samsung)
The all-in-one solutions of the IAB series are built in Galanta. (Photo: Samsung)

“Samsung has built up production to respond to market demands,” explains Ben Holmes, Marketing Director of Samsung Europe. “If the market changes, we will react to it again.” In other words: Currently there are no plans to manufacture additional The Wall products in Slovakia; If there is a need for it in Europe, that could change.

Samsung in Galanta

Samsung Electronics has been based in Galanta, around 60 kilometers from the Slovakian capital Bratislava, since 2002. The location is the largest Samsung production facility in Europe; the core business is the assembly of Samsung TVs in sizes beetween 40 and 85 inches.
The Samsung Galanta plant has been in production since 2002 (Photo: Samsung)
The Samsung Galanta plant has been in production since 2002 (Photo: Samsung)

Overall, the demand for fine pixel pitch LED is growing rapidly – as market data by Omdia, among others, show. While the proportion of solutions with a pixel pitch of less than 2 millimeters in the overall European dvLED market was 14 percent in H1 2019, it grew to 51 percent in the first half of 2023 – of which, according to Mark Taylor, European Head of LED, Samsung holds a market share of 38 percent.

When it comes to verticals, The Wall in Europe is experiencing growth in the corporate sector, among other use-cases – which also explains the popularity of the all-in-one solution. If other market areas grow strongly in the future, Galanta will respond.

The Wall in the Galanta showroom (Photo: invidis)
The Wall in the Galanta showroom (Photo: invidis)