Stock Disruptions Expected as AKM Factory in Japan Burns
News has emerged from Japanese media outlets over the last 48 hours of a significant fire at the Asahi Kasei Microsystem (AKM) factory in Nobeoka City, Japan.
For those not familiar with the AKM brand, it's one of the largest and most important semiconductor manufacturers with its IC components employed by most of the leading manufacturers of hi-fi and home cinema electronics. Predominantly, AKM manufactures and supplies both DAC and wireless Bluetooth chipsets.
The fire is reported to have burned for more than two days and caused extensive damage across multiple levels of the building. While AKM produces many types of IC components at numerous factories, it's understood the Nobeoka plant is solely responsible for DAC and ADC products..
Global supplies of the following DAC chips have been confirmed as affected: AK4332, AK4331, AK4432, AK4382, AK4385, AK4373, AK4396, AK4431, AK4456, AK4490, AK4493, AK4495 series - as well as the following being reported as 'potentially affected': AK5384, AK5385, AK5386, AK5397, AK5534 series.
Anthem announced their long-awaited new product line-up this week. While their entire range of processors and receivers utilises AKM chipsets, it appears their selected models are not included in the above list.
It is unknown yet just what levels of inventory that manufacturers keep in stock, and how long that stock may last before it could potentially interrupt production. It has been reported that it will take at least six months before Asahi Kasei Microsystem will be able to resume typical production capacity.
John La Grou, CEO of Millennia Media which manufacturers professional audio equipment for music, films, live sound and more, was reported to have said:
It's probably the most disruptive event in my 40 years of audio industry experience,
Source: Twitter (unknown)
With 2020 already proving one of the most inconsistent years for production level and available stock due to the pandemic, and then global freight and logistics issues, it appears the unfortunate AKM factory fire could further compound these issues.
StereoNET has reached out to leading electronics manufacturers to get a better understanding of just how this unfortunate event may affect their manufacturing.
StereoNET’s Founder and Publisher, born in UK and raised on British Hi-Fi before moving to Australia where he worked as an Engineer in both the audio and mechanical fields.