Sony To Reopen Blu-ray Plant in Late May
The last of the 10 Sony manufacturing plants that suspended production due to the earthquake and tsunami that hit eastern Japan on March 11th will reopen in late May.
The tsunami inundated Sony’s Sendai Technology Center in the city of Tagajyo with 1.5 meters of water. According to a Sony press release, the Tagajyo plant received significant damage from the natural disaster and the company undertook extensive restoration and repair efforts to repair the facilities. As of late March, cleaning crews were reportedly still cleaning out mud and crushed cars from the factory.
The plant mostly manufactured magnetic tapes and optical media, particularly blank Blu-ray discs. The resumption of optical media production will begin at the end of May, but the production of magnetic tapes, such HDCAM video tapes, will not resume until mid to late July.
Although the Tagajyo Plant manufactured other products and components, these responsibilities will be transferred to other Sony manufacturing facilities in Miyagi, Fukushima, and other prefectures. According to Sony, this delegation of production responsibilities will allow Sony to restore manufacturing capabilities to full capacity more quickly.
Sony states that it is determined to maintain capacity by effectively responding to fluctuations in material and component supply, adjusting production levels at production facilities and reallocating supplies. They have also sought to expand the list of procurement channels for alternative sources and materials.
While Sony has done a fairly good job of maintaining their supply of blank Blu-ray discs, the resumption of production at the Sendai Technology Center will greatly relieve the stress on other production facilities and secure normal levels of supply to the market.