Thursday, March 17, 2011

Earthquake / Tsunami Impacts Camera Manufactures

The earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan this past week has impacted production at all of the major camera and lens manufactures. Thankfully reports from these companies say that only a few employees suffered injuries. Although there was earthquake and water damage to some locations the bigger problem now could be with the nuclear power plant issues, there could be a shortage of electricity to resume production once the facilities have been repaired. This could impact availability and the launch of new products to market.

Canon: Has reported injuries to 15 employees, and “significant” damage at a number of sites located in Utsunomiya  – about mid-way between Tokyo and Sendai. Operations at the company’s Optical Products Plant and Optics R&D Center at Utsunomiya are suspended, Canon saying that there is likely to be a delay before any operational resumption.
Canon has also suspended operations indefinitely at its Optron subsidiary in Yuki where the company produces optical crystals used in stepper, camera and telescope applications. Canon added that if operations at any of these sites were likely to be affected for more than a month, it would be able to transfer some activities to alternate facilities.

Nikon: has suspended operations at a number of key locations. These include its Tochigi Nikon Precision Co., Ltd and Miyagi Nikon Precision Co., Ltd subsidiaries, which both produce high-quality lenses for applications in lithography steppers and scanners used in IC and LCD manufacture.
Also impacted are the company’s Sendai locations which manufacture the D3S, D3X, D700 and the F6 they've been forced to close due to damage to equipment and to the building themselves.

Sony: Operations at 10 Sony Corporation factories and 2 Sony R&D centers have been shut down by the Pacific Coast of Tohoku Earthquake and tsunami. Sony is monitoring the status of each of these sites on an on-going basis, while also considering the most effective recovery measures. Sony also has responded to reports of widespread power outages by voluntarily suspending operations at several sites. No significant injuries have been reported to employees working at any of these sites when the earthquake or tsunami occurred.

Epson: One factory had been hit by one meter high tsunami and two factories close to the nuclear plant have been closed down. Three other manufacturing facilities are being impacted by rolling blackouts. Main production facilities are located in China and elsewhere and supplies to customers should not be affected.

SanDisk: Who's operations were withing 500 miles of the epicenter have not been affected and production resumed Friday morning.

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