A Fourth Estate® Service

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Global Camera Shortages Expected Due to AKM Factory Fire

Many camera manufacturers are at risk of halting their production in the coming months due to a massive October fire that broke out at an Asahi Kasei Microdevices (AKM) Semiconductor audio chip factory in Nobeoka, Miyazaki Prefecture, Japan.

Many camera manufacturers are at risk of halting their production in the coming months due to a massive October fire that broke out at an Asahi Kasei Microdevices (AKM) Semiconductor audio chip factory in Nobeoka, Miyazaki Prefecture, Japan.

AKM has been known for manufacturing and supplying essential components in the digital camera industry such as digital-to-analog converters (DAC), analog-to-digital converters (ADC), as well as integrated circuits.

According to local authorities, the fire occurred on Oct. 20 and lasted for three days uncontrollably.

There were no casualties recorded from the fire and all 400 workers were safely evacuated from the facility before it started burning intensely. However, the massive fire has resulted in the devastation of the entire factory.

According to SemiMedia, the repair of the facility would take at least six months, adding that manufacturers in the audio and photography industry have started to panic buying to ensure that their supply chain would not get affected in the near future.

Australian news website Inside Imaging claimed that it has been informed by a source that camera manufacturers such as Canon, Nikon and Sony “withdrew support for Black Friday promotions” due to shortages in supply.

“In the category of digital images (Cyber-shot, Handycam, Action cam), it is expected that some models cannot supply enough to meet the demand due to the problem of parts supply, so it will take a while for the product to be delivered. It may take some time,” Sony Japan posted on its official website.

The company also apologized for the inconvenience that its decision has brought upon its customers. 

Editors Note: Story “CAMERA-SHORTAGE” corrected on 08.12.2020 09:37

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