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Thread: Sony's Thai factory--total loss

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    Sony's Thai factory--total loss

    Also Nikon's.

    http://www.nationmultimedia.com/busi...-30167951.html

    Doesn't bode well for the NEX 7 production...

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    Re: Sony's Thai factory--total loss

    Ouch.
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    Re: Sony's Thai factory--total loss

    It feels like X100 deja vu.

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    Re: Sony's Thai factory--total loss

    The damage seems to be bigger than you could imagine.
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    Re: Sony's Thai factory--total loss

    Does that really mean all the Thai factories of Sony and Nikon? Or do they have only one big one over there?

    The **** really hits the fan for Japanese industry - not to mention so many individuals. Tsunami, floods, Olympus mess.

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    Senior Member edwardkaraa's Avatar
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    Re: Sony's Thai factory--total loss

    Afaik, the flooded ones are where they make cameras and lenses, while they have other factories in other regions where they manufacture other stuff.
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    Re: Sony's Thai factory--total loss

    Maybe they will be forced to use Olympus dSLR bodies?? That is the only hope I have to use my 4/3s lenses.

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    Re: Sony's Thai factory--total loss

    I am so sorry to hear this; tough times, indeed.

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    Re: Sony's Thai factory--total loss

    Tough times indeed.

    I hope the people there get the helps that they need. I can wait for a camera.

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    Re: Sony's Thai factory--total loss

    Quote Originally Posted by rubysky View Post
    Tough times indeed.

    I hope the people there get the helps that they need. I can wait for a camera.
    Quite right too - but there are mixed messages, a little googling tells many different stories.

    Added to which different people have different agendas (not suggesting Robert of course).

    Let's also hope that things are better than they are being portrayed in some places.

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    Re: Sony's Thai factory--total loss

    Here's hoping their contingency plans are well made. More importantly is that relief efforts are made for all of the displaced people in the area. I shall be waiting patiently for my NEX-7. When it arrives, it arrives.
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    Re: Sony's Thai factory--total loss

    What a mess. And right when Sony and Nikon etc. needed to crank up production to meet the christmas demand.

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    Re: Sony's Thai factory--total loss

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Quite right too - but there are mixed messages, a little googling tells many different stories.

    Added to which different people have different agendas (not suggesting Robert of course).

    Let's also hope that things are better than they are being portrayed in some places.
    Unfortunately, things are worse rather than better. At the moment, what will happen is anybody's guess. They just sent out evacuation warning for Makkasan, a low lying area in Central Bangkok. The flood in Ayuttaya where the camera and other electronics factories are located will probably be flooded for weeks or even a couple of months.

    Unfortunately, this flood was not unexpected. It's been very close for several years now, and little or nothing has been done to prevent it. Homes and rice fields in central provinces have been flooded routinely year after year to "save" Bangkok.

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    Re: Sony's Thai factory--total loss

    Thanks Jorgen for the report from "Our Man in Thailand" (that makes it sound like you work for MI-6). Unfortunately, Sony and Nikon execs have been as shortsighted as their western counterparts in the last couple of decades, so their response to this natural disaster will become a telling point for how well they planned for this.

    In my day job, we have disaster plans for disaster plans. Our IT installation in Miami is distributed over three sites and any one of the sites can handle the full load of the other two for a short period of time (a couple of months). Should Florida get sawed off the rest of the continent, we have backup facilities in upstate New York and Denver, CO. You will get your tax notices and jury summons even if the peninsula has sunk into the ocean.

    Here's hoping that Nikon, Sony and the rest have something like that in some small way. In the meantime, prayers and help need to be sent for the people directly affected by this. Indirectly, the factory shutdown will affect the Thai economy which will impact those same people, so it behooves the corporate entities involved to get their act together as soon as they can to get the economy of the area going again.
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    Re: Sony's Thai factory--total loss

    I'm not so sure I agree with your assessment. Presumably, factories in Thailand are somewhat of a diversification of plan to not keep all production concentrated in Japan (and it is also a lower cost alternative). To have both Japan and Thailand facilities both sustain severe damage within 6 months of each other isn't just a simple recovery. It is also a completely different recovery to restore IT than it is manufacturing.

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    Subscriber Member kit laughlin's Avatar
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    Re: Sony's Thai factory--total loss

    In my day job, we have disaster plans for disaster plans
    Music to my ears: not negative thinking, at all, but a sensible planned strategy if/when disaster strikes—an elaborate 'backup' plan, if you like.

    To continue the disk analogy, "disk failure is a matter of when, not if."

    My heart goes out to these folk to be sure.

    But if anyone wants to read about why humans are literally blind to rare (although not in this case) and potentially catastrophic events, you can do no better than "The Black Swans", by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. No planning for these events is a very very old problem.

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    Re: Sony's Thai factory--total loss

    I Think Terry has it here - and anyway Carlos - it's akin to both Florida and New York being 'cut off' in your analogy.

    Here is a Link from Reuters

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    Re: Sony's Thai factory--total loss

    Quote Originally Posted by Terry View Post
    I'm not so sure I agree with your assessment. Presumably, factories in Thailand are somewhat of a diversification of plan to not keep all production concentrated in Japan (and it is also a lower cost alternative). To have both Japan and Thailand facilities both sustain severe damage within 6 months of each other isn't just a simple recovery. It is also a completely different recovery to restore IT than it is manufacturing.
    That would be correct Terry, if Sony manufactured their camera lines in multiple facilities distributed geographically. However, these factories made headphones, Alpha A65 cameras, and NEX-7 cameras and kit lenses. Those product lines are now at zero output. Therefore, Sony may have multiple production facilities, but they are running a limited part of the line card with no provision for covering the loss of another facility.

    And no, recovering a lost IT facility is no different than recovering a lost manufacturing plant. You don't just plunk a mainframe computer and all of its attending systems and infrastructure in a convenient closet somewhere. It takes the same amount of planning, manpower, and resources to put one of those up as it does to deploy a manufacturing/assembly facility.

    Yes, I know that some computer companies make IT "pods" (for lack of a better term) in shipping containers, but those are emergency systems and not for permanent installations.
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    Re: Sony's Thai factory--total loss

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    I Think Terry has it here - and anyway Carlos - it's akin to both Florida and New York being 'cut off' in your analogy.

    Here is a Link from Reuters
    That's why we have Colorado.
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    Re: Sony's Thai factory--total loss

    Quote Originally Posted by etrigan63 View Post
    That would be correct Terry, if Sony manufactured their camera lines in multiple facilities distributed geographically. However, these factories made headphones, Alpha A65 cameras, and NEX-7 cameras and kit lenses. Those product lines are now at zero output. Therefore, Sony may have multiple production facilities, but they are running a limited part of the line card with no provision for covering the loss of another facility.

    And no, recovering a lost IT facility is no different than recovering a lost manufacturing plant. You don't just plunk a mainframe computer and all of its attending systems and infrastructure in a convenient closet somewhere. It takes the same amount of planning, manpower, and resources to put one of those up as it does to deploy a manufacturing/assembly facility.

    Yes, I know that some computer companies make IT "pods" (for lack of a better term) in shipping containers, but those are emergency systems and not for permanent installations.
    Having been flooded out of a major office tower in San Francisco for four months this year (where a chiller pipe broke right on top of our network equipment) I can say for sure it is easier to move people to different offices and get connectivity than to replace manufacturing. We even used mifi wireless routers on floors above the flood but still lost connectivity. There are plenty of companies with systems back up capability as their sole business. In our case we could still hook into corporate systems from different locations.

    Sony may have been producing NEX7's in one plant. However, the delay on the cameras doesn't appear to be infinite until they build a whole new plant. It just takes time to move the manufacturing to a different facility and to get them tooled up to make a different model. Where it gets more complex is when your supply chain is also disrupted if they can't get all of the parts they need.

    So I think we will simply disagree on our assessment of contingency planning and what it takes to turn on connectivity in different places vs. build a camera in a different location by shifting manufacturing capacity and changing over a production line. Having extra capacity in the Sony network to work out contingencies will always take time because no company can completely afford to have backup facilities for every single product.

    An analogy would be auto production. BMW produces all of the X3's for markets around the world in South Carolina. I highly doubt they are sitting with an idle plant that can get X3's into production without delays. In reality they would need to shift production of other vehicles in other places, adjust their parts and supply chain logistics etc. to ramp back up again in a different location.

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    Re: Sony's Thai factory--total loss

    Ok, here I can agree with your assessment. Retooling a facility is not the same as establishing an entirely new one. That was the kind of contingency planning I am hoping the Sony and the others have in place.

    Your pipe break example is not applicable in this case, however. To make it similar, the pipe break has to not only flood out the office, but the IT facility and the local Internet NAP in the process, clobbering cell towers and collapsing microwave transmission towers leaving only satellite communications in the short term. Now set yourself up to handle this twice over, test it twice a year, and you are now DR certified.

    For the record, the offsite facilities in New York and Denver belong to IBM and we are leasing capacity in their data centers. We maintain synced copies of all our major systems on their storage facilities (mirrored SANs) and have a set of instructions for the staff there on deployment of those systems on their mainframes to cover us until the on-call staff from our office can be flown there to supervise. Generally, in the case of a hurricane, when the Emergency Operations Center is activated to level 2, they are flown to those facilities ahead of the storm.

    And when I said we have three facilities geographically spread out, I was talking about locally in Miami-Dade County. The facilities in upstate New York and Denver are secondary and tertiary to the ones in Florida. Hence the term "disaster plans for disaster plans."
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    Re: Sony's Thai factory--total loss

    Nikon probably has a much bigger problem than Sony here, since Sony can choose between several factories to pick up production. Nikon doesn't have that possibility, at least not short term, since 90% of their DSLR production was concentrated at one location, together with some of the high volume lenses.

    I won't say too much about Thailand's water management and the crisis management surrounding this, at least not on an online forum, but this was a disaster waiting to happen. The Ayuttaya province has been flooded deliberately for many years to avoid flooding in Bangkok. It was only a question of time before the situation got out of hand. Considering these floods have been coming with different strength every year for centuries, the whole situation is... I don't really know...
    Last edited by Jorgen Udvang; 20th October 2011 at 16:24.

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    Re: Sony's Thai factory--total loss

    Totally agreed, Jorgen. Stay dry!
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    Re: Sony's Thai factory--total loss

    you stay dry too Ed!
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    Re: Sony's Thai factory--total loss

    Thanks Carlos! Will do my best
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    Re: Sony's Thai factory--total loss

    Wow, sorry to hear about such a disaster. Stay safe Jorgen and Edward!

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    Re: Sony's Thai factory--total loss

    Quote Originally Posted by rubysky View Post
    (...)
    I hope the people there get the helps that they need. I can wait for a camera.
    I agree.
    Long term planning for building and maintain working infra structure seem to be a problem for many administrations and politicians.

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    Re: Sony's Thai factory--total loss

    Jorgen and Ed . . . should we be sending wellies?
    good Luck and look after yourselves.

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    Re: Sony's Thai factory--total loss

    This was added to the A____ site on the Sony Nex 7 order page:

    Shopping for a Compact System Camera?
    Due to manufacturing concerns, availability of select Sony products are currently constrained. Some products may be temporarily unavailable from Amazon.com. We're working hard to offer our customers the product selection they expect, but in the event we donít have the camera youíre looking for in stock, feel free to check out products from Panasonic, Olympus and Nikon. These sleek new cameras with lens versatility are available today from Amazon.com. See all products


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    Re: Sony's Thai factory--total loss

    Thank you Douglas and Jono!

    Wellies or not, there is no way I would be stepping in that water
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    Re: Sony's Thai factory--total loss

    Quote Originally Posted by edwardkaraa View Post
    Thank you Douglas and Jono!

    Wellies or not, there is no way I would be stepping in that water
    I did a couple of weeks ago, in Ayuttaya before it got really flooded. You can feel all kinds of objects passing you under the water, and you never now if it's a plastic bag, a rat or a snake. There's also the risk of infections. Not recommended!

    This is inside a local shopping mall.

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    Re: Sony's Thai factory--total loss

    Nice one, Jorgen! At least the water looks blue (well, kind of greenish), unlike the filthy brown one we are seeing on TV footage.
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    Re: Sony's Thai factory--total loss

    Quote Originally Posted by edwardkaraa View Post
    Nice one, Jorgen! At least the water looks blue (well, kind of greenish), unlike the filthy brown one we are seeing on TV footage.
    Unfortunately, the colour is just the transparent ceiling being reflected. The water was as unappetizing as any city flood water.

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    Re: Sony's Thai factory--total loss


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    Re: Sony's Thai factory--total loss

    Wow - Jurgen I didn't realize that you were right there.
    Best wished to all.

    Where does that water eventually need to go in order to recede? Does that mean lots more flooding to come in other areas?

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    Re: Sony's Thai factory--total loss

    Quote Originally Posted by Terry View Post
    Wow - Jurgen I didn't realize that you were right there.
    Best wished to all.

    Where does that water eventually need to go in order to recede? Does that mean lots more flooding to come in other areas?
    The water needs to get past Bangkok. There are two problems:

    - Bangkok is between the flood and the ocean and the river that is supposed to carry the flood goes right through the city.

    - The whole central Thailand is some 10 meters above sea level and Bangkok only 2 meters above. That means that the water moves extremely slowly and that any variations in tides have great impact on the progress.

    Due to the moon phase, the tide may become particularly high in about one week, which means that the tide can be pushing at least 10-20 kilometers up the river. Ayuttaya will probably be more or less under water for another month or longer.

    Unfortunately, instead of trying to carry the water as fast as possible through/past Bangkok, the policy has been to limit the flow by flooding rice fields north of the city. For Bangkok, where these decisions are made, that has worked fine until this year, but not any longer. There's too much water this time and too many counterproductive decisions have been made.

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    Re: Sony's Thai factory--total loss

    Those photos are fantastic. Next year, I will try to plan better, to be able to take more photos of the flood.

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    Re: Sony's Thai factory--total loss

    Pretty horrific...and, almost zero coverage here? I'll put to rest my petty concerns over getting a NEX 7 and just hope that all of those people pull through. They've always looked (based on Jorgen's fine photos) very resilient.

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    Senior Member CharlesK's Avatar
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    Re: Sony's Thai factory--total loss

    Do wish all the people of Thailand, as well as Jorgen and Edward the best of luck in these very difficult times.
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    Re: Sony's Thai factory--total loss

    I just spoke to a Sony sales rep who indicated there is nothing official at this point from Sony regarding NEX 7 delays.

    I also inquired about the pending Zeiss 24/1.8 E-mount....it's made in Japan, not Thailand.

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    Re: Sony's Thai factory--total loss

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    Unfortunately, this flood was not unexpected. It's been very close for several years now, and little or nothing has been done to prevent it. Homes and rice fields in central provinces have been flooded routinely year after year to "save" Bangkok.
    Jorgen, I have an exchange student from Thailand for a year.

    Please keep us posted on how it is going.

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