Dominique Numakura`s Newsletter from Japan
by Dominique Numakura
Apr 28, 2003
SARS effects electronics business in Asia.The new disease SARS has been expanding in Asia. There were no more new patients in Vietnam in the last three weeks. Possibly, Vietnam has been successful in the elimination of the disease. On the other hand, China and Hong Kong have been reporting more patients and deaths every day. More than one hundred people have been killed by this dread disease SARS in each country. It is not easy to estimate the effects of the disease on the economy. Of course, a traveling business such as airline companies and hotels has been having serious financial damage for the last two months. Electronics companies say there are no serious effects on the manufacturing in Asia. But the companies are not sure. Japanese companies are asking their employees in China to return to Japan. Many exhibitions and conferences were canceled in the last 2 weeks. The Japanese Government is asking their employees to cancel or postpone non-urgent trips to the areas. Fortunately, there were not many patients who were reported in the Shanghai Area, where it is the most crowded area for the foreign electronics companies. The companies can minimize the effects of the disease, but 3 new SARS patients were found in a major electric appliance manufacturer in South China today. Many factories will stop their operations temporarily, if more patients are found. A problem is that we do not have an exact method to identify and cure the disease, and we do not have any idea as to when we can have safe situations once again. China has been becoming the manufacturing center of global electronics market in the last several years, therefore, the economical effects on the business will be astronomical if we can not find an appropriate solution for controlling the disease very soon.Taiwanese electronics companies have been returning the production to their home county, and Taiwan plants have been getting very busy in the last few weeks. Major Japanese companies will transfer the manufacturing to Japan or the other countries. The manufacturing cost of the electronics products will be higher.On the other hand, several companies have been increasing their business. The manufacturers of electronic clinical thermometers are having more than ten times as many orders than the usual season in the last two months because a high fever is the first sign of the disease. The equipment will consume a big volume of thermocouples, circuit boards, LCD devices, etc. One family will buy one or more in the area. Thermography could be another required equipment to detect the people with high fever. The machine is very expensive, but many companies will buy the equipment. SARS is generating a huge business in the medical product market.Dominique NumakuraHeadline NewsIn Flow (Prototype PWB manufacturer) Started a prototype service through the Internet. The cost is less than four hundred dollars for each of design and manufacturing with standard specifications.Alpine (Car audio manufacturer) Released a series of car audio systems with a removable 16GB disc drive and a 1.15 pixel 7" TFT-LCD.Sumitomo 3M (Major TAB and connection product manufacturer) Developed a new interconnection technology for the high-density flex circuit using a pressing process to make dimple structures. Dai-Nippon Printing (Major printing company) Developed a new film substrate for the flexible EL display devices. The film has a high gas barrier performance.Nippon Zeon (Plastic material supplier) Has been certified as the supplier of base material for advanced compact disc developed by Sony and Philips. The company supplies the cyclo-olefin polymer resin.Kaneka (Major polyimide film manufacturer) Will install a new manufacturing line of the polyimide film "Apical" to cover the booming demands of flexible circuits. The total capacity will be 50% larger to 2000 tons per year in the next one year.Orix Information (Security research company) Released a new soft "OXPen", which provides the finance information of 1200 public companies in Shenzen and Shanghai in China.Mitsubishi Material (Material manufacturer) Started the manufacturing operation of the gold bonding wires in the new China plant. The plant will produce 100 million meters per month in the future. Nitto Shinko (Material supplier) Commercialized a new heat conductive PSA sheet, which is free from halogen and phosphorous compounds and antimony. Fuji Electric (Major electronics manufacturer) Had the German patent for three types of new lead-free solders. They have different melting temperatures. (140, 220 and 230 degree C) Fuji provides the license to solder material manufacturers. Fuji Electric (Major electronics manufacturer) Reached to 165Gbits per square inch in hard disc by the vertical record method.Japan Pure Chemical (Chemical supplier for the plating process) Started the supply of new electroless plating bath solutions for mother-board of cellular phones. The new solutions provide an excellent anti-shock performance of the circuit boards. Seiko Epson (Electronics manufacturer) Has a technical license agreement with Tessera for the CSP technology.JAE (Major mechanical component manufacturer) Rolled out a new push switch as the shutter switch of the digital cameras. The switch has two-step mechanisms. The module is wired by a high-density flex circuit.Ube Industry (Flex circuit material supplier) Purchased the all stakes of its subsidiary Ube-Nitto to strengthen the business of flexible laminate materials.Kyoto Elex (Paste material manufacturer) Developed a new silver paste for the high-density LTCC circuits. The new paste is available for 30 micron line/space traces. All original news items were written in Japanese. Volunteers are choosing the topics and translating to English for free delivery. We are not responsible for the accuracy of the news. Quick news is the first priority of the head-lines, therefore, we can not eliminate all of the mistakes in the translations.