Toshiba Corp. has announced that Toshiba Semiconductor Thailand (TST) has completed its relocation to a new semiconductor manufacturing facility and started mass production, marking the company’s full recovery from the devastating flooding of 2011.
The new factory is located in in the industrial park in Prachinburi, around 140km north-east of Bangkok. Construction started in July 2012, limited production began this April, and the facility is now operating at its current target capacity. The whole site is 135 000m2 large and the building has floor space of 40 000m2. At 1.4 times the size of the flood-damaged plant, the new facility and its cutting-edge production equipment will allow TST and Toshiba Group to secure greater operating efficiency and higher productivity, while at the same time offering room for expansion that will allow the company to respond quickly and flexibly to growth in market demand.
TST carries out back-end processes, the assembly and packaging of small signal devices and photocouplers, both product areas where strong demand growth is anticipated. Small signal devices control current and voltage in digital consumer products and are essential components of such popular products as smart phones and tablets, and photocouplers are widely used in industrial products, including inverters.
“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. 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,” said Yasuo Ashizawa, the president of Toshiba Semiconductor Thailand.
TST was forced to halt production in October 2011 when its factory in the Bangkadi Industrial Park in Patumtani, immediately north of Bangkok, was inundated by flood waters. During this forced suspension of operations, Toshiba transferred production to its facilities in Japan and Malaysia, and utilized outsourcing. With the opening of the new TST facility, Toshiba plans to gradually reintegrate these relocated operations.
Toshiba Group is revitalizing its discrete device business by boosting efficiency to secure improved profitability. Measures to date include adopting to larger wafers and securing higher output in the front-end process, and accelerating the overseas transfer of the back-end process. The new TST facility will improve cost competitiveness in the back-end process, strengthen the bottom line and contribute to the overall strength of the discrete business unit.