APA Optics announced it has begun production shipments of its SunUV personal ultraviolet (UV) monitor to a California-based retailer of hiker's apparel and accessories. The monitor measures exposure to the sun's UV radiation, displays the UV Index, a measure of UV intensity, and sounds an alarm when the total exposure in a 24-hour period may exceed recommended limits. APA Optics, based in Blaine, Minn., makes products for fiber optic communications, including dense wavelength division multiplexing components and gallium nitride compound semiconductor-based UV detectors, instruments and consumer products. . . . NEC Corp. and SVA Co. Ltd. have established a joint venture company in Shanghai, China. The new company, Shanghai SVA NEC Liquid Crystal Display Co. Ltd., will make thin-film-transistor liquid crystal display (TFT-LCD) panels and modules for PCs, monitors and TVs for sale in China, where it will be the first facility capable of handling every phase of TFT-LCD manufacturing. The facility will employ about 1200. NEC spun off its LCD business in April into NEC LCD Technologies Ltd.