The electronics industry has a serious shortage of chaos

Nikkei News reported on Thursday that Japan’s electronic component production capacity has been disrupted by super earthquakes. Plants including capacitors, connectors, LCD panels, aluminum substrates, and panel exposure equipment have been forced to suspend operations, and continued power shortages have made it difficult to return to work. The assessment will jeopardize the overall electronic industry supply chain order.

In addition, Toshiba and Hitachi both said that the small LCD panel plant will be closed for one month.

On Tuesday, Canon decided that the digital camera factory in Oita Prefecture had been shut down for three days since Wednesday because parts such as capacitors and connectors had been used up. In addition, Canon’s optical lens factory in Utsunomiya City was immediately shut down after a strong earthquake, as its factory buildings and equipment were damaged.

Electronic components supplier Alps Electric suffered similarly. After the earthquake, the company immediately evaluated the situation of six factories in Miyagi Prefecture and Yeouido Prefecture. Although the building has not been severely damaged, due to the power shortage, it is difficult to assess whether the production line can operate normally, and it cannot be judged when to resume work. Alps Electric produces small converters and electronic packaging components for devices such as automobiles and smart phones.

The production of Clarion for automotive navigation systems, and the inventory of existing LCD panels and other necessary components, is likely to be used at the end of March. It is not yet clear when the supply of components will be available.

In addition, the production of hard disks has also been hampered by the shortage of aluminum substrates. Kobe Steel accounts for 60% of the world's market share for such substrates, and Furukawa Electric accounts for the remaining 40%. Both baseplate plants in Tochigi are currently unable to assess when they can resume work.

Nikon’s manufacturing facility in Miyagi has also been hit hard. It is also uncertain when it will be repaired, which will inevitably affect the panel plant's production capacity. The factory mainly supplies exposure equipment that is indispensable for panel makers, and has captured at least half of market share in such panel equipment.

Toshiba announced on Thursday that its small-size LCD panel assembly line near Tokyo will stop production for one month to repair damaged precision instruments. The factory mainly produces device panels for smart phones and other devices.

Hitachi also pointed out that in order to resolve the damage caused by the strong earthquake and the tight power supply, the small-sized LCD panel plant near Tokyo will be suspended for one month.