Wuxi Plating Plant Fire

Wuxi Plating Plant Fire

On January 6th, 2023, a fire took place at a Welnew plating plant in Wuxi, China. The fire has been extinguished, and no casualties have been reported.

Wuxi Welnew Microelectronics (“Welnew”) is a plating supplier founded on July 18, 2001, in the Yangtze River Delta region by Hainan Huayou Investment and Hong Kong Huide Technology. Currently, they state they have 60% of the market share and have 25 electroplating production lines in Pure Sn, SnBi, SnCu, L/F Ag, ZnNi, and more. Welnew is a sub-tier supplier to several semiconductor manufacturers including Infineon, Vishay, BOSCH, and OSRAM.

The following is information that has been released to date:

Impacted Commodities Include:

MOSFETs (medium to high voltage) – confirmed

RF Small Signal (potential)

LED Drivers (potential)

and others to be determined

Impacted Tier-1 Suppliers Include:

Infineon: Released a statement about the fire informing customers that the plating lines which support the Infineon site in Wuxi were severely damaged by the fire and that their manufacturing partner will not be able to provide services to Infineon until further notice. They are in close exchange with the affected supplier and are currently assessing the impact on delivery. 

Vishay: Released a statement about the incident informing customers that the plating subcon of Vishay Siliconix is impacted and that they expect delivery interruptions. Currently, all the production activities in the Welnew Wuxi plant have been suspended. The necessary equipment setup and qualification are estimated to take up to 5 months to get completed and ready for normal production in May 2023. During this period, Vishay expects delivery interruptions in January and February. While Welnew Shanghai is getting ready for production, the Vishay Tianjin plant will offer support as the alternative backup plating site to minimize the impact as much as possible.

Other Potential Tier?-1 Impacted Suppliers which have not made announcements yet include:

OSRAM – High chance of disruption

BOSCH – High chance of disruption

Alpha & Omega Semiconductor – High chance of disruption

onsemi – High chance of disruption

Renesas – manufactures MOSFETS – Potential chance of disruption

Toshiba – manufactures MOSFETS – Potential chance of disruption

Seiko Epson – Potential chance of disruption

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The Growing Underground Electronics Market in China 

The Growing Underground Electronics Market in China 

The growing underground electronics market in China further proves the importance of being thorough and purchasing from reputable sources like iBuyXS that use strict quality control, utilize independent testing facilities, with an increased focus on customer care. 

The underground electronics market is populated by hundreds of middlemen dealing with used or out-of-date chips where the cost of acquiring just one can run up to 500x its original price. The situation is the worst with chips used for cars, which are becoming more like computers on wheels. The US’s recent chip technology export curbs will only make the shortages worse, encouraging underground activity.

US sanctions have introduced another round of panic to the market and disturbed the supply of both entry level and more advanced chips.

Opportunists have seized on the chips shortfall, raising the price companies pay for the crucial components. But a lack of regulation and soaring demand — China is by far the biggest global market for cars and electric vehicles — mean under-the-table deals are more widespread there.

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The Chinese New Year Factory Shutdowns Will Cause Manufacturing Delays

The Chinese New Year Factory Shutdowns Will Cause Manufacturing Delays

The Chinese New Year (CNY) holiday 2023 on the calendar lasts only 7 days, but the disruption it causes in manufacturing can be up to 40 days.

-CNY in China 2023 will be from January 21st to January 27th

-CNY in Taiwan 2023 will be from January 21st to January 27th

Unfortunately, the CNY factory shut down 2023, in China, will most likely be worse than in previous years, due to rising Covid-19 cases after the lifting of restrictions and mandated lockdowns.

– Last year, the Chinese government regulated industrial energy consumption for a number of months, and it’s difficult to say if that will happen this year or not.

-Many factories operated for 15 days and then shut down for another 15 days, continually.

-Some factories were limited to working four times a week only.

-Rising raw material and shipping costs made it harder for manufacturers to stay open.

These factors could result in many factories in China taking extended CNY holiday breaks in 2023.

If you’re planning on ordering anything for the coming months, you better place orders now, and expect some delays.

HOW WILL THE CNY 2023 HOLIDAY AFFECT MANUFACTURING?

  1. All significant businesses in China and Taiwan completely shut down for at least 7 days, including all factories.
  2. Some factories may even shut down for up to 3 weeks because CNY will block China’s transportation systems entirely as all employees return from their factory to their hometowns up to 2,000 km away.
  3. All manufacturing projects will be on hold.
  4. Component manufacturers and distributors also take vacations.
  5. No manufacturing components orders ship out of China or Taiwan during CNY.
  6. The information flow is cut during the CNY holiday. No one will answer phone calls or emails.
  7. You might experience severe production slowdowns 1 or 2 weeks before the CNY holiday because many workers leave factories early to go home – to avoid the peak time rush.
  8. Before the CNY holiday, you might experience an increase in quality issues. As factories and suppliers get ready for the big holiday, they rush to finish as many orders as possible before too many workers leave for the holiday and before all businesses in China and Taiwan officially close.
  9. After the CNY holiday, you might also experience increased quality issues. This happens because one-third of the factory workers don’t go back to their jobs. As a result, many inexperienced workers are promoted or hired. This phenomenon is not limited to assembly line workers; it can even extend to managers, critical firmware, and design engineers too.

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If Taiwan is attacked, Chip Supply Chain Could be Devastated

If Taiwan is attacked, Chip Supply Chain Could be Devastated

China’s live-fire military drills around Taiwan are threatening to disrupt trade and commercial travel in East Asia, forcing vessels to reroute away from one of the world’s busiest waterways and putting further pressure on strained global supply chains.

“There is potential for substantial disruption to trade in the region,” said Peter Williams, a trade flow analyst at VesselsValue.

Shutting down trade routes around Taiwan, even temporarily, “raises concerns about whether China might successfully do this again, and what this could mean not just for future trade, travel and economic patterns, but potentially defensive and security scenarios as well,” said Nick Marro, lead analyst for global trade at the Economist Intelligence Unit.

What is the strategic importance of this island of 23 million people, one smaller than Maryland and Delaware combined, that is causing tensions between the U.S. and China to run high? Semiconductor computer chips. Taiwan produces over 92% of the world’s mid-end to advanced computer chips, those configured for use in smartphones, computers, cars, and military equipment. Both the U.S. and China are dependent on Taiwan corporations, the largest of which is Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC). Samsung Electronics in South Korea, also a major player in advanced semiconductors, produces the remaining 8% in the global market.

More importantly, 92% of the world’s leading-edge semiconductors—circuits just 10 nanometers in size or smaller—are produced in Taiwan, according to a joint study by the trade industry body SIA and Boston Consulting Group from last April.

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Shenzhen, China Shut Down will Further Deepen Electronic Component Shortages

Shenzhen, China Shut Down will Further Deepen Electronic Component Shortages

The Shutdown imposed over the weekend has already had a detrimental effect on the World’s biggest electronic manufacturing district. Warehouses are being forced to shut down until at least March 20th. A little over a week doesn’t seem like that big of a deal until you take a deeper look at the ramifications. Shenzhen is now at a stand-still with 17.5 million residents being advised to work from home, non-essential companies shut down by the government, and no outsiders allowed into the area, including trucks carrying factory shipments. 

A halt in the production of key electronic components doesn’t just mean longer wait times and shortages, but wasted materials. As factories sit, materials that have a short life, expire and can no longer be used (ex. Adhesives, etc.). Major electronic companies use parts from Shenzhen factories and are now relying on the little stock they have. The already massive shortage in the technology industry will unwillingly be affected for months to come. The best way to navigate the shortage is to find existing stock through excess marketing channels outside of China. 

This closure has not just affected the businesses that manufacture chips and electronics, but also their transportation. Yantian Port, which is the 4th largest in the World, remained open Wednesday but is still at risk of being closed. Port workers, truckers and factory workers are staying home due to the recent Covid outbreak, which is causing delays in the movement of containers from the ships at the port. The ships that port at this location carry thousands of containers with materials and parts for the production of electronic components and their final products. With 90% of China’s electronic shipments passing through Yanitan, a closure will take months to navigate the subsequent backlog.

Covid closures in Shenzhen will affect more than just the communities. The backlash will take months to repair and the small steps towards normalization have reversed. 

If you have shortages you need to fill, pairing with a mature excess procurement partner, like iBuyXS, allows you to gain access to excess stock sellers worldwide. IBuyXS has unique access to channels of factory packaged components. Our top notch staff is here to help source the shortages you need and sell the excess you have. 

iBuyXS Can Help You With Your Supply Chain Needs

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Russian Invasion and Sanctions Set to Cripple Global Chip Supply

Russian Invasion and Sanctions Set to Cripple Global Chip Supply

Russia and Ukraine are important in the supply chain of components for semiconductor manufacturing. They produce important rare earth metals and gasses, which are critical in the production of computer chips. Russia is the single largest source of Palladium in the world with more than 40% of the world’s supply and Ukraine is a leading exporter of neon gas. The shortages in these key materials will result in even higher prices and longer lead times. 

“There is tremendous concern that Russia, a key exporter of palladium, is going to face severe disruptions as the flight bans are going to impose big trouble in getting supplies to different places,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA.

How can supply professionals bridge the gap between current demand and long lead time delays from the factory when there are no parts in distribution? The best way is to find existing stock, primarily through excess market channels. 

The Palladium market already has tight inventories and now the geopolitical risks are going to lead to severe supply shortages. MLCC capacitors, memory, and sensors are at the top of the list of chips to be affected by a Palladium shortage. On top of the already increased shortage of chips, electronic manufacturers are also competing with the automotive industry for Palladium as more companies are moving towards electric vehicles.

Neon gas is used for the most critical process – etching circuit designs into silicon wafers to create chips. Ukraine extracts neon gas during the purification process of a by-product from Russian steel manufacturing. It is said that most companies only have a six to eight week stockpile of neon gas that can be used in production. The scramble for stock has already started and is not projected to balance out until at least 2023, according to White House analytics reporting.

Pairing with a mature excess procurement partner, like iBuyXS, allows companies to gain access to the excess stock sellers have. iBuyXS has access to unique channels of factory packaged components. Our top notch staff is here to help source the shortages you need and sell the excess you have.

iBuyXS Can Help You With Your Supply Chain Needs

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Hua Hong’s 3rd and 5th fabs suffered a sudden power outage to suspend production, which may exacerbate the problem of chip supply

Hua Hong’s 3rd and 5th fabs suffered a sudden power outage to suspend production, which may exacerbate the problem of chip supply

Hua Hong Semiconductor’s third and fifth factories in Shanghai suffered an explosion due to a short circuit in the transformer in the distribution station. The production lines of both factories are currently affected and suspended.

A combination of tougher emissions standards, coal supply shortages, and increased demand from manufacturers have sent coal prices sky-high in China. Due to this, China has had to halt production at multiple factory sites—including sites used to supply Apple and Tesla—to curb energy usage and ensure that residents in North China have enough energy to remain warm during nights that now approach freezing temperatures.

Hua Hong Semiconductor’s (HKG) wafer fab in Shanghai reported a power outage (January 8). Industry sources revealed that the accident was caused by a short circuit in the transformer in the distribution station, causing an explosion and power outage. As Hua Hong Factory No. 3 and Factory No. 5 share the power distribution station, both factories are temporarily unable to operate.

Generally speaking, in order to prevent sudden power outages, fabs are equipped with large UPS uninterruptible power supply equipment and diesel generators for emergency power supply. In the event of a sudden power failure, the UPS can support the power supply for about ten minutes, allowing the crew to start the backup generator to ensure the continuous production line, and more importantly, to protect the precious equipment from damage.

However, according to Chinese media reports, Hua Hong insiders pointed out that the accident was serious. Not only did all the machines in Hua Hong’s third factory shut down, but even the UPS of the fifth factory’s lithography machine could not support it, and it has not yet resumed operation.

Because the wafer manufacturing process is quite long, a power outage not only puts the wafer in production at risk of being scrapped, but it can also take up to several days to resume operation after the equipment is shut down.

Hua Hong’s third plant has a 90-nanometer process, mainly producing power semiconductor chips, with a monthly production capacity of 53,000 8-inch wafers. Hua Hong Factory 5 is the group’s first fully automatic smart production line and the first 12-inch wafer foundry production line, with a monthly production capacity of 45,000 wafers and a manufacturing process ranging from 55 to 28 nm. Downstream customers include almost all electronic product.

If the power outage and shutdown of the two factories are as serious as the sources said, it will make the chip supply problem worse.

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Component Plants Shutdown Due to Power Cuts in China

Component Plants Shutdown Due to Power Cuts in China

The ongoing power shortage in China has affected multiple electronics supplier sites within the region. Which areas are affected most?

A combination of tougher emissions standards, coal supply shortages, and increased demand from manufacturers have sent coal prices sky-high in China. Due to this, China has had to halt production at multiple factory sites—including sites used to supply Apple and Tesla—to curb energy usage and ensure that residents in North China have enough energy to remain warm during nights that now approach freezing temperatures.

Where are the power cuts taking place?

Prominent manufacturing plants operating in China are experiencing production cuts and entire shutdowns due to ongoing energy cuts.

Tracker and timeline for affected regions:

Guangdong:

Guangdong Power Grid stated that it will implement the “on-two-stop-five” power plan from September 16 till 30th, and implement peak shifts on Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, and only reserve peak-shift days, the security load will remain below 15% of the total load, and the peak shift time will be 7:00-23:00.

Jiangsu:

Enterprises are generally required to start two and stop two, the tentative duration of power rationing will be 15 days till September 30th.

Taizhou Xinghua, Nantong, and other places issued notices that all industrial enterprises must suspend production, and the expected power outage period will expire at 24:00 on October 8th.

Jilin:

The Northeast Electric Power Management Bureau and the Jilin Provincial Energy Bureau will implement irregular and unannounced power outages. This situation will continue until March 2022.

Shandong:

Power shortage 9 hours per day from 15:00-24 lasted until September.

Zhejiang:

Zhejiang’s high-energy-consuming enterprises (printing and dyeing plants, chemical plants, and chemical fiber plants) would shut down from September 21 to 30th, several steel companies in Zhejiang have been ordered to reduce power.

Sichuan:

Suspend non-essential production, lighting, and office loads.

Ningxia:

High energy-consuming enterprises stop production for one month.

Shaanxi:

Enterprises have implemented measures such as reducing the operating load of their production lines and shutting down submerged arc furnaces to limit production to ensure a 50% production limit in September, Shaanxi’s power curtailment will be till the end of the year.

Chongqing:

Some factories cut off power production in early August, and the deadline is yet to be determined.

Henan:

Some processing enterprises have limited power for more than three weeks.

Liaoning:

Province has initiated orderly electricity usage measures, 3 rounds of level II (load gap 10-20%), the impact of electricity use is extended to residents and enterprises that do not implement orderly use of electricity.

Anhui:

There is a gap of about 2.5 million yuan in the balance of power supply and demand, the supply and demand situation is very tight.

It is decided to start the province’s orderly electricity use plan from September 22.

Shanghai:

From September 27th till October 3rd a widespread planned power outage will hit many areas.

Energy cuts in the Jiangsu and Guangdong provinces could have a significant impact on the electronic components industry. At least 121 Tier-1 sites could be affected by the power cuts, while at least 35 Sub-Tier sites could experience disruptions in output. Significant suppliers operating in this region include Samsung, ON Semiconductor, Lattice Semiconductor, Celestica, Walsin Technology, Micron, and more.

Significant electronics commodities produced in these regions include:

  • Uncut Wire and Cable
  • Capacitors
  • Resistors
  • Pb-Free Printed Circuit Board
  • Inductors/Transformer
  • Misc. Passive Comp
  • Semiconductors
  • Discretes
  • Mechanical Hardware
  • Cooling Components
  • Electrical Connectors
  • Printed Circuit Board
  • Mech Fabrications
  • FPGAs, PALs, PROMs
  • Printed Circuit Assembly
  • Pb-Free Printed Board Assembly
  • Cable Assemblies
  • OEM Assemblies
  • Complex Assemblies
  • Mech Sub-Assemblies and More

Electronic components and heavy industry firms are all affected by the power cuts. Industry insiders predict prices to rise for suppliers experiencing disruptions, and some suppliers may even put a halt to new orders.

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China’s Power Crunch Threatens More Global Supply Chain Chaos

China’s Power Crunch Threatens More Global Supply Chain Chaos

The power supply shortage in China is impacting chip production.

A growing power supply crunch in China is triggering blackouts for households and forcing factories to cut production, threatening to slow the country’s vast economy and place even more strain on global supply chains.

Companies in the country’s industrial heartlands have been told to limit their energy consumption in order to reduce demand for power, state media has reported. And supply has been cut to some homes, reportedly even trapping people in elevators.

An “unexpected and unprecedented” power cut hit three northeastern provinces on Monday, according to the Global Times, a state-run tabloid. The newspaper reported Tuesday that power rationing in Heilongjiang, Jilin and Liaoning provinces has “resulted in major disruptions to the daily lives of people and business operations.”

Power shortages have also hit the southern province of Guangdong, a major industrial and shipping hub. Local officials said Monday that many firms are trying to reduce demand by working two or three days per week.

Major international suppliers are bracing for impact on businesses already confronting delays caused by shortages and global shipping delays.

Power rationing could create new headaches for the tech supply chain, although likely not as severe as the worldwide shortage of computer chips that has hammered everything from cars and washing machines to other electronics.

Are you running into delays and having trouble finding electronic components?

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The Microchip Shortage Is Not Going Away Soon, And It’s Affecting Way More Than Cars

The Microchip Shortage Is Not Going Away Soon, And It’s Affecting Way More Than Cars

The microchip shortage is not going away soon, and it’s affecting way more than cars

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Matthew McClellan has one piece of advice for anyone planning to buy a video game console for the holidays.

“Buy now,” he said from inside his store Forever Games. Once the holidays arrive, “you’re going to see nothing on store shelves,” he said.

A shortage of microchips and semiconductors is to blame, caused by the same supply chain issues that have hampered industries across the economy and impeded a fragile economic recovery. Much of the reporting on the shortage focuses on car companies and computer makers, but the problem is trickling down to some of the smallest businesses too such as furniture and home goods.

Microchips are so ubiquitous, most would be surprised by the amount of household items sold at mom-and-pop stores that contain them. “Printers and phones have the same problem, they all require chips,” said Jeff Taubman, who owns Downtown Computers in Downtown Columbus, which sells electronic devices and provides technical support to businesses.

Factories that produce these key components were forced to close or work at limited capacity for months at the onset of COVID, and “increased demand for consumer electronics and automotive products caused a ripple effect throughout the entire supply chain,” said Paul Hong, a distinguished professor of supply chain management at the University of Toledo.

Adding to the stress on the supply chain, manufacturers don’t want to build new factories or increase production at existing ones, worrying that they’ll incur debt and unsold product once the supply chain returns to normal. That means consumers and entrepreneurs shouldn’t expect the problem to go away. “You’re most likely going to see continued out-of-stocks through at least the end of quarter two of 2022,” said Michael Levin, a professor of marketing at Otterbein.

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