Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Flooding in Thailand could affect hard disk drive manufacturing

Here's an interesting article in InfoWorld about how the severe flooding in Thailand will probably have a significant effect on the world's supply of hard disk drives.
Western Digital, the largest hard disk manufacturer, makes more than 30 percent of all hard drives in the world. Its plants in Ayutthaya's Bang Pa-In Industrial Estate and Pathum Thani's Navanakorn Industrial Estate together produce about 60 percent the company's disks. Both were shut down last Wednesday.

I didn't realize how significant Thailand had become in the manufacturing of electronic components:

Key disk component suppliers have also been hit. Nidec, which makes more than 70 percent of all hard drive motors, has temporarily suspended operations at all three of its plants in Thailand, affecting 30 percent of its production capacity. Hutchinson Technologies, which makes drive suspension assemblies, has also suspended operations due to power outages,

The Register offers some additional details, describing the extent of the flooding as "worse than feared":

"Over the weekend, rising water penetrated the Bang Pa-in Industrial Park flood defences, inundating the company’s manufacturing facilities there and submerging some equipment," WD said in a statement.

CNN has video, and Yahoo news is covering the question of whether the government initially under-reacted to the extent of the floods.

The world is very inter-connected; events in one area effect other areas. We are all one planet, one people.

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