Looks like many companies are going to have major supply issues:
Looks like many companies are going to have major supply issues:
This is a larger deal than just P1, as Sony and Nikon both use the Sony CMOS. There is also a report out that one of the plants that Canon runs may have been affected also.
If the clean rooms were damaged in anyway, the time to recover them will be a bit more than a "few" days.
This will more than likely create a "ripple" effect through the industry but may not be felt in total yet for a month or two as the other cameras using the Sony chips have larger stocking/supply chain.
I feel badly for Hasselblad in particular, they just excited the world with their new products and its quite possible they will run into major delays in releasing them. According to the blog, 40% of the industry relies on Sony CMOS. Lots of pain coming from users and many manufacturers. Sony too. The A7 series might see a big price hike as stock diminishes.
This is bad news for Sony and its downstream partners. In the aftermath of the Great Eastern Earthquake (as the Tohoku earthquake was referred to in Japan) I was responsible for wrangling supply out of Japan for the Australian subsidiary of a Japanese company.
What initially appeared to be a trivial, short-lived impact turned into a major impact that spread for more than a year. It was compounded by the Thai floods.
The issue is that modern, optimised supply chains just aren't very resilient. Old, bloated, inefficient supply chains often have greater resilience in such cases. Dependencies on suppliers, often widely scattered, mean that it's not just the final assembly plant that matters.
Once limited supply resumes you then have issues of negotiating your share of that supply...often in the face of offers of unusual payments for that supply from "competitors" within and beyond the company.
It was a nightmare time with multiple conference calls scheduled every day to Japan to manage supply of multiple items.
I hope this event proves to be far more trivial.
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More details from Sony, 3 revision. Info from Fuji Rumors so obviously more than P1 has been effected by this.
"Status of Sony Group Manufacturing Operations Affected by 2016 Kumamoto Earthquakes (Third Update)
Due to the earthquake of April 14, 2016 and subsequent earthquakes in the Kumamoto region, operations at Sony Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation’s Kumamoto Technology Center (located in Kikuchi Gun, Kumamoto Prefecture), which is the primary manufacturing site of image sensors for digital cameras and security cameras as well as micro-display devices, were halted and currently remain suspended. With aftershocks continuing and employee safety the foremost priority, inspections of the facility and the development of a recovery plan remain ongoing. The current status of operations for the Kumamoto Technology Center is as follows:
Damage to the building itself has been confirmed to be primarily to the upper layer of the building, and reinforcement work will be carried out in this area.
The clean rooms used for wafer processing and manufacturing equipment, both located on the lower layer of the building have not been significantly damaged, and preparations are now underway to resume production. Manufacturing operations are targeted to resume around the end of May 2016.
Regarding back-end processes, such as assembly and measurement, as well as processing operations for components such as camera modules, which are carried out on the upper layer of the building, Sony has confirmed that there is damage to the clean rooms, manufacturing equipment and other equipment. Further analysis of the extent of this damage is currently underway.
Damage to finished product inventory such as image sensors at Kumamoto Technology Center is limited, and shipments of these products have already resumed. The status of semi-finished and uncompleted products is currently being confirmed.
The impact of the earthquakes on Sony Corporation’s (“Sony”) consolidated results continues to be evaluated. In the Devices segment, there is expected to be direct physical damage to Kumamoto Technology Center. Sony expects to incur expenses primarily for recovery and reinforcement work in response to the physical damage to the relevant portion of the Kumamoto Technology Center. Sony may also incur large opportunity losses, mainly in the Devices and Imaging Products & Solutions segments due to suspension of production for a certain period of time.
In addition, due to the suspension of manufacturing operations at Kumamoto Technology Center and potential disruption to the supply of components to Sony from certain third-party suppliers that also have manufacturing facilities in the Kumamoto region, it is possible that business operations within the Mobile Communications, Game & Network Services and Home Entertainment & Sound segments also may be affected. This potential impact is currently being evaluated."
Have there been any further updates to this distressing situation?
According to some informations spread on the web it seems that two SONY factories was strongly damaged, there is no scheduled reopening informations about, but, the information about problems on availability and shipping delay are concentrated only on small CMOS sensor for cell phones...
It seems there is no problems for MF sensors.
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I rely on SONY last official dispatch: Sony Global - Sony Global - Status of Sony Group Manufacturing Operations Affected by 2016 Kumamoto Earthquakes (Third Update), that's the same Paul posted above...
On the last lines :
"it is possible that business operations within the Mobile Communications, Game & Network Services and Home Entertainment & Sound segments also may be affected. This potential impact is currently being evaluated."
The MF sensor aren't mass produced in that plant, as they are custom chip with very low piece's per Year to make, the Kumamoto plant is a war machine plant that makes million of pieces instead of few, maybe there's problem on some aps-c, 1", and DSLR sensor's...
Considering it, is high improbable that the earthquake had any effect on the production of the particular CMOS custom sensors, that surely are made in other smaller plant tailored for custom chip small production (this particular plants generally are inside or connected to research centers and it's possible also they are outside Japan).
Last edited by modator; 4th May 2016 at 22:46.
Wondering if you are trying to read between the lines too much in that statement. Lack of mention of MF sensors could simply be due to the incredibly small worldwide impact unlike phone sensors etc, so it wasn’t news worthy enough. As to where the MF sensors are actually made, I’m not sure which plant Sony uses and can’t assume it isn’t involved.
It seems from the information we are getting that Phase has been notified of delays, otherwise I would think Phase and their dealers would be assuring those of us waiting for backs that the earthquake isn’t going to exacerbate an already excruciatingly long process. Personally I was stuck with a 2 week old IQ3 80 back when the announcement was made, and rather than Phase simply “delaying” those shipments knowing of the impending release, they shipped it anyway. Granted they have stepped up and made it “right” by having me pay only the upgrade price difference if I would have traded in the 180, but it took so long for them to come to that resolution that I slid way down the list, and at this point have no clue when I might see my back. I was assured it was getting close a couple of days before this earthquake ... now no clue when it will ship. I’m still hoping that Phase had enough sensors in stock that mine might get through soon, but I don’t seem to have much luck on things like this lately ...
I guess it could have been worse ... Nikon really took a hit with the tsunami a few years ago and struggled for a while. Sounds like Sony will have things running again in a few more weeks.
Edit: Currently we are seeing constrained availability for some Sony and Nikon cameras in my store, with some models unavailable through any wholesale source. Unfortunately we are a small shop so we can’t maintain the high inventory levels of the big houses such as B&H, so our supply has dwindled pretty quickly. It appears production of most camera sensors used in Sony cameras as well as other brands such as Nikon has been affected. It seems logical that the MF sensors are produced wherever their full frame sensors are being made.
I wondered and have even posted about this same scenario. Its good to see that Phase made it right by you but what if you had bought that back even 4 months earlier? I'm very cautious about upgrading and if the chip itself isn't replaced then I'm 99% out of the upgrade cycle. I went from IQ180 to IQ3 100 which was exactly what I wanted and encompassed 5 years. I was familiar with the chip having already owned a Leaf/Credo 50 and worked all of the upgrade details out with my dealer. The IQ4 series will change the storage medium and probably make the back a little faster but none of that will matter to me. These backs could never compete with the DSLR's or Mirrorless systems with regards to speed. My dealer informed me that it will be some time before the chip itself it changes and then, maybe then, I'll consider an upgrade. The major reason for my staying with this whole system is that FF 35mm will really be pushed to the limits with a 80+MP chip and diffraction will steal away lots of pixels. I shoot everything at F11 +- 1/3 and even then I'm slightly diffraction limited at 100mp. I don't need any more MP but would always welcome noise reduction and added DR.