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Semiconductor fab ravished by fire for more than three days
A fire broke out at Asahi Kasei Microsystem’s (AKM) semiconductor factory in Nobeoka, Miyazaki prefecture, Japan on October 20. The fire has completely shut down production and took three days to put out.
According to a press release from the company the fire broke out at a semiconductor manufacturing plant (Production Center No.2) of a wholly owned subsidiary around 16:45 on October 20, 2020. At the time of issuing the press release on the 21, the extinguishing work was still ongoing. The impact of the damage to the property and the business performance to the plant – which manufactures large-scale integrated circuits (LSIs) for audio equipment – is at this time unknown. However, the company says that there has been no personal injuries to employees. Local reports state that parts of the building structure collapsed on October 22 following the spread of the fire to the factory’s fifth floor. According to a report from SemiMedia, it took a total of three days to completely extinguish the fire. Production is now for obvious reasons completely halted, and the projection is that it will take at least half a year to recover. The company is now looking to increase the outsourcing of production to meet market demand. However there is currently no detailed information on the specific impact on production and supply, but it seams as if the fire has caused some concern within the supply chain, the SemiMedia report continues – citing Japanese new reports. What effects this will have on the market is as stated earlier sill unknown, but manufacturer Abracon, which uses products produced at the factory for many of its TCXO oscillator products, issued a press release saying “Please anticipate some delays in delivery. The Abracon team is currently evaluating the open backlog to understand delivery challenges. The team has placed all these devices on allocation until the supply chain is stabilized.” Abracon also stated that AKM had suspended accepting new orders for products produced at the facotry. John La Grou, CEO of Millennia Media, a manufacturer audio recording products, told Pro Sound News that “devastating” is not too strong a word when describing effects of the fire on the market. “It’s probably the most disruptive event in my 40 years of audio industry experience,” John La Grou told Pro Sound News. “Devastating is not too strong a word. Can 2020 get any worse?”
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