Lisa: affected by the fire in the semiconductor factory, it will take four months to fully resume production


    According to Tencent technology news on March 31, Renesas electronics, a Japanese chip maker, predicted that a fire in a semiconductor factory of the company may take three to four months for it to fully resume production, which makes many large Japanese automobile manufacturers worry about the decreasing supply of key parts.
    “It is expected to take more than 100 days to resume full capacity production,” Hidetoshi Shibata, President and chief executive of Renesas, said in an online briefing with reporters and analysts on Tuesday
    Renesas is the world’s second largest auto chip manufacturer after NXP, and a major supplier of Toyota and Nissan. The shutdown of automobile manufacturers will have a significant impact on Japan’s economy. At present, automobiles account for about 18% of Japan’s exports and 15% of manufacturing output.
    On March 19, a fire broke out on the first floor of Reza factory in Ibaraki Prefecture, north of Tokyo. The accident damaged 23 machines used for chip production, Saida said on Tuesday. However, he is now “more certain” that production can resume in a month, as he said on March 21.
    But he admits there will be a shortage of supply for a month or two once Renesas runs out of the factory’s existing stock of semi-finished products. The inventory is expected to run out within a month of the restart of production, compared with 120 days to start producing chips from scratch. “We will do our best to shorten the supply shortage crisis,” Saida said
    In the wake of the Reza factory fire, the global supply of automotive chips has also been hit by other events. It is believed that the chip inventory of wholesalers should be able to support two to three months of car production.
    In the demonstration on Tuesday, Saida showed a picture of the factory workshop, where scaffolding was visible next to the chip manufacturing equipment. Mr. Saida said reinforcement of roof beams and other structures of the building had been completed and the debris had been removed.
    The fire broke out on the first floor of the factory. The second floor is intact. Wiring is only on the first floor. In the production process, the product moves back and forth between the first floor and the second floor, and production cannot be resumed without repairing the first floor. The fire destroyed 11 of about 390 machines on the first floor. After careful inspection, it was found that the other 12 also needed to be repaired. The machines were contaminated with soot and chlorine from the fire.
    The company is stepping up to check whether these semi-finished products can still be used. The clean room for production is being cleaned to ensure that there are no chlorides and other chemicals in the air. Most of the 23 damaged machines will be replaced in April and may. However, some of them will not be scrapped and will not be installed until June.
    Renesas will use the company’s other factories and other manufacturers to make up for lost production. Saida said he expected the loss of production to be made up in the third and fourth quarters. Renesas accounts for nearly 20% of the global market for microcomputers, which control cars and other machines.
    Masahiko Nozaki, head of production at Renesas, said the factory’s production load had reached more than 90% at the time of the fire. Renesas has said the fire was caused by an electrical overload, which has led to speculation that the company may have overloaded its plants to cope with global semiconductor supply shortages. However, the ultimate cause of the fire is still under investigation.
    Computer chip novel coronavirus pneumonia is the main reason for the global chip shortage. The demand for computers and servers is increasing because more and more people are working at home and using cloud services during the new crown pneumonia outbreak. The winter cold in Texas also affected chip production in the United States, making the situation worse. (Tencent technology reviser / Jinlu)