Taiwan – During a recent visit here, Noriaki Himi, Mitsubishi Electric’s senior manager of the industrial automation machinery department, said the company plans to expand capacity for printed circuit board (PCB) laser drilling systems by 50% in the 2H11, according to a May 10 posting on Digitimes. The move is to shorten delivery lead times for the equipment to a normal level of four months by the third quarter. Himi also noted that Mitsubishi expects to restore laser drill production to pre-earthquake levels in June.
Previous reports cited industry sources as saying the already-tight supply of laser drills may worsen due to limited availability of some key parts and materials to make the equipment. The supply chain disruption is being caused by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
Himi said that some of Mitsubishi's upstream suppliers, which are located in the quake-hit northeastern regions, have slowed down their parts and material deliveries since April and May. However, he claimed that Mitsubishi has solutions including using alternative sources to cope with the situation and that existing suppliers have also shown their efforts through adjusting their product lines to meet Mitsubishi's needs.
The supply of laser drills is likely to remain tight through the end of 2011, but the short supply situation should improve gradually, Himi commented.