© Renesas Business | March 31, 2021
It will take Renesas 100 days to get back on track after the fire
While the company still aims to complete the recovery of the damaged cleanroom at the N3 Building of the Naka fab within one month as initially announced, the company is also aware that it might that much longer.
It was at At 2:47 am on March 19, 2021, that part of the N3 building of Renesas Naka factory caught fire. The N3 building of the Naka factory, which is located on the Ibaraki prefecture, houses the 300mm line. An initial investigation the following day confirmed the cause of the fire to be the plating equipment on the first floor of the N3 Building. The casing of the equipment and the plating tank have relatively low resistance to heat, and the equipment ignited due to overcurrent. The following day, March 21, an investigation led by the manufacturer of the equipment was held, and on March 23, 2021, a detailed investigation led by external specialists dispatched by the equipment manufacturer was also held. Adding to this, the fire department revisited the site to conduct an investigation on March 25 but was unable to determine why the equipment caught on fire and the cause is still under investigation. “We are receiving tremendous assistance from customers, equipment manufacturers, partner companies and construction companies, and they are working with Renesas employees to recover the clean room as early as possible,” Renesas writes in a new update regarding the recovery from the accident. The company says that the procurement of materials used in clean rooms such as filters as well as the clearing of soot and so on, is progressing mostly on track. Renesas currently expects the clean room to be recovered by around mid-April. Around three-quarters of the work-in-process products being manufactured in the N3 Building were not damaged and can be turned into finished products. In its initial updates regarding the damages caused by the fire, the company stated that 11 units of equipment had been damaged. Upon further investigations Renesas uncovered an additional 12 units of equipment that had been affected by the fire. Within the total of 23 units, 11 units are to be procured within April. The even worse news in all of this is that some equipment may not be procured until after June. “We are in discussions with equipment manufacturers to procure the equipment at an earlier date where possible,” the update reads. As stated earlier, the company is aiming to recover the clean room of the N3 Building by around mid-April and resume production within one month – as the company stated in previous update. However, this all hinges on if the company is able to procure all necessary manufacturing equipment by the end of April. If so, Renesas expects to begin product shipment – utilising the remaining work-in-processes from the first floor of the N3 Building – to customers in about 60 days after the fire. And in about 90 days after the fire, the company expects to begin product shipment of the remaining work-in-process of the second floor of the N3 Building. If this plan hold, that would mean that the company would make a 100% recovery of product shipment of products manufactured at the N3 Building in about 100 days after the fire. However, Renesas stresses that this is only viable if all the necessary manufacturing equipment can be procured by the end of April. If there are any delays in the procurement of the equipment, the recovery process will also be delayed.
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