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Renesas restores production after Japan lightning strike

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

Renesas has restored full production at its Kawashiri wafer fab in the south of Japan after an instantaneous voltage drop caused by lightning.

There was some damage to the work-in-process from the instantaneous voltage drop, and the company expected to lose two weeks of material as a result.  “Based on further assessment, the amount of ruined work-in-process was less than anticipated, and the combined losses from ruined work-in-process and halted production will account for approximately one week’s worth of production,” it said.

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The outage happened after heavy rain caused by Typhoon Aere in Kumamoto City, Kumamoto Prefecture, saw lightning hit a power line feeding into the factory. This resulted in an instantaneous voltage drop, temporarily halting production equipment at the factory.

Renesas has been implementing contingency measures for instantaneous voltage drops, such as installing Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS). The voltage drop this time lasted longer than any incident that occurred in the past ten years and any estimation that Renesas had made, leading to a temporary suspension of approximately 90% of the production equipment.

Renesas saw production halted at its Naka plant after an earthquake earlier this year, after a major fire in 2021 that made the chip shortage for automotive production significantly worse.

www.renesas.com

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