Some may not remember it, but back in October 2011 some serious floods hit Thailand, where many of the world's hard drive component and semiconductor manufacturing facilities are located.Western Digital was hit the worst, and Seagate lost some of its component sources, but Toshiba suffered as well.
In fact, Toshiba Semiconductor Thailand (TST) had to completely relocate, since repairing a facility inundated by flood waters and left clogged with mud and the like was not conductive for business.
The new factory that has become TST's new headquarter is located in the industrial park in Prachinburi, around 140km (87 miles) north-east of Bangkok.
Construction started in July 2012, but limited production only began this last April. Only now has the target capacity been reached.
The factory is 1.4 times larger than the flood-damaged plant and has better equipment. If nothing else, there is a silver lining in all this.
“We are all delighted that the new plant is now up and running. I thank the Thai authorities for all the support we have received for our relocation, the construction company for its dedication and efficiency, and, most of all, our employees, who have stayed with, made the move to this new plant and made every effort to get it up and running,” said Yasuo Ashizawa, the president of Toshiba Semiconductor Thailand.
“We have rebuilt capacity with more modern, more productive equipment, and we look forward to supporting a new round of expansion in Toshiba Group’s discrete business.”
TST handles the back-end processes, the assembly and packaging of small signal devices (control current and voltage in digital consumer products like smartphones and tablet) and photocouplers (used in inverters and other industrial products).
Now that the new factory is on, Toshiba doesn't have to outsource much anymore, and its branches in Japan and Malaysia can focus on other things.