Western Digital Provides Fiscal Outlook and Update on Thailand Factories

Written by John Ponio    Friday, 02 December 2011 16:16

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It's been a while since news about the major flooding in Thailand came out, but Western Digital recently released some information that should give us a little relief. Apparently, recovery of the factories is, in some cases, ahead of schedule, and the budget outlook doesn't look too bad. John Coyne, who is the President and CEO of Western Digital Corp, said, "The passion, perseverance, ingenuity and execution exhibited by the WD team has been extraordinary and enabled us to make substantial progress in partially restoring our operations in Thailand, well in advance of our earliest expectations when the floods hit. Much work remains to be done but we couldn't be more pleased with the effort and results thus far, including tremendous support from our supply partners and strategic customers."

There have been quite a few major steps taken in the re-opening of the factories. So far, Western Digital has:

  • Re-started production of hard drives this week in one of its buildings in Bang Pa-in (BPI), Thailand, one week ahead of internal schedules. This facility had been submerged in some six feet of water since October 15, the estate was pumped dry on November 17, main power was restored on November 26 and production restarted November 30;
  • Has removed all submerged slider manufacturing equipment from the BPI facilities for assessment, decontamination and refurbishment and has commenced decontamination and restoration of its remaining buildings in BPI;
  • Expects to recommence head slider production in BPI in the March 2012 quarter (Q3 FY'12) and also begin production in a new WD slider fab location in Penang, Malaysia, in the same time frame; and
  • The company's other Thailand hard drive facilities at Navanakorn remain under approximately two feet of water. The industrial estate is expected to be pumped dry within ten days at which point the work of decontamination and refurbishment will commence.