In its own uniquely minimalistic style, Hynix has updated the status of the second line of its Wuxi fab, the one that was hit by a fire on September 4:
We would like to provide the following update on the recovery status of SK Hynix Wuxi fab that was affected by the fire on Wednesday September 4, 2013. The air ventilation system and cleanroom in the line that was affected by the fire have now been substantially restored, and we have resumed partial utilization in this line from Thursday October 10, 2013. We will gradually raise utilization and make every effort to recover normalized level of pre-fire utilization in November as planned.
This statement should put to rest a number of the more alarmist reports on the web, including those that indicated that one or more pieces of equipment were destroyed by the fire. A fab manager recently told The Memory Guy that it would take about six months for most tools to be installed and put into operation were they to be borrowed from another facility, and the lead time for most newly-purchased tools is 6 months or longer. Nonetheless, there have been reports online indicating that Hynix lost as many as 100 tools to the fire.
The fact that Hynix will be back to full operation less than 3 months after the fire indicates that damage was relatively minor.
It’s not difficult to see why so much misinformation has sprouted up on the web, Hynix has released only the smallest morsels of information about this ordeal, in the face of a huge hunger for information from investors and customers.
Hynix’ projections of a full recovery by November support the company’s earlier statements that the fire, however bad it looked from outside of the plant, had a relatively minor impact on the fab itself. This fast recovery implies that the damage was not all that significant, and that the bulk of the recovery work has been focused on cleaning the facility rather than on any re-tooling.
Objective Analysis has been keeping its clients and other interested parties updated on the status of this and other supply chain disruptions through our e-mailed Objective Analysis Alerts. See the Objective Analysis website to find out how you can subscribe to this timely and valuable resource.