Western Digital extends suspension of operations in Thailand

Competitor Seagate has warned of component shortages because of the floods

Western Digital said its primary manufacturing facility in Thailand was flooded over the weekend, with its secondary site also at risk, raising the possibility of a global shortage of hard disk drives (HDD) in the current quarter.

The company said Monday that it has decided to extend the suspension of its operations in the country announced last week.

Flooding has killed over 290 people in Thailand since July, according to reports.

Seagate Technology, another disk drive maker with operations in Thailand, said last week that disruption in the supply of components could lead to constrained supply of drives in the fourth quarter, although its factories in the country were in operation. An update on the situation is expected from the company on Thursday.

The floods in Thailand, the second largest exporter of hard disk drives after China, could potentially lead to a shortage of HDD supplies during the current quarter that may last into the first quarter of 2012, said research firm IHS iSuppli on Monday.

Besides Western Digital, the largest maker of hard disk drives by volume by iSuppli estimates, Toshiba has also halted production in Thailand. The Japanese company has extended closure of its semiconductor and storage devices factories in Thailand, with a review expected later on Tuesday.

Western Digital said on Monday that rising water penetrated the Bang Pa-in Industrial Park flood defenses over the weekend, inundating the company's manufacturing facilities there, and submerging some equipment. At the other manufacturing location in Navanakorn Industrial Park, the park flood defenses were breached on Monday morning local time, and water had begun to flow into the park threatening the company's facilities there, it said.

Western Digital said it expects that the flooding of its Thailand facilities, combined with flood damage to its supply chain in Thailand, will have a significant impact on the company's overall operations and its ability to meet customer demand for its products in the December quarter.

It said it will provide further updates on the situation during an investor call on Wednesday. In the quarter to July 1, Western Digital shipped about 54 million hard drives from its facilities in Thailand and Malaysia, with about 60 percent coming from its sites in Thailand.

A number of electronics companies have halted production in Thailand, including Nidec which according to iSuppli supplies more than 70 percent of all global HDD motors, and is a supplier to major HDD manufacturers like Western Digital, Seagate, Hitachi Global Storage Technologies, Toshiba and Samsung.

Nidec said in a regulatory filing last week that it temporarily suspended operations at factories in Thailand making HDD motors and motor components.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags storagetoshibaseagatehddwestern digitalComponentsDrivesNidec

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Ribeiro

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?