Toshiba Expands European Production With New Line For Power ICs|
9 January, 1996
Dusseldorf--Toshiba Electronics Europe (TEE) today announced an expansion of production at its semiconductor manufacturing affiliate, Toshiba Semiconductor GmbH (TSG) in Braunschweig. Under a seven million deutschmark (500 million yen) investment plan, a new production line for insulated gate bipolar transistors (IGBTs), a key component of electric power control equipment, will be installed at the Braunschweig plant.
The expansion of TSG's operation will be accompanied by comprehensive staff training, in preparation for the start up of mass production in April 1996. At full capacity, monthly production will reach 30,000 units. The expansion and early start up of operations is made possible by the high degree of expertise TSG has cultivated since its establishment in 1982. The company currently produces memory devices, including 16-megabit DRAMs and 1-megabit SRAMs, and semi-custom logic called gate arrays.
IGBTs are high speed switching devices. They are in increasing demand as they realize smooth, highly precise power control in industrial equipment. For example, they are core devices in DC to AC inverter circuits, which are widely used in electric motors, including those for home-appliances such as air-conditioners. The 1995 world market for IGBT market is estimated at DM420 million (30 billion yen), with the European market taking the largest share, approximately 45 percent. Toshiba is number one in the worldwide IGBT market with a share of over 35 percent, and aims to further strengthen its European business through the TSG investment.
While most IGBTs are standard products suitable for general use, they can be semi-customized to meet customer specifications. IGBT manufacturing at TSG will provide greater flexibility in meeting European requirements, offer shorter delivery times and the ability to respond quickly to surges in demand.
In IGBTs, high percentage of the value of the finished products is added at module packaging process. Assembly at TSG and promotion of local procurement will assure that the greater part of the product value is generated in Europe.
Through production in Europe, Toshiba hopes to support the expanding European market and to provide the best possible customer support and service. In addition to furthering the development of IGBT technology and expertise outside Japan, the expansion also represents an investment in the European economy that will bring new skills to the Braunschweig area. Local technicians are currently visiting Japan in small groups for intensive training. This training, combined with the extensive use of the same automated production equipment used in Toshiba's Japanese IGBT plants, will ensure high levels of productivity and quality.
Steve Dewar, Manager in the European Semiconductor Division, commenting on the expansion of the plant, said: "IGBT assembly at Braunschweig will allow us to serve our European customers and their specific requirements much better. Our investment underlines our commitment to the technology and to keeping abreast of developments in the European market. Customers will benefit from prices based on local currencies and speedier delivery times. Our investment in training in advance of production means that European expertise in IGBT technology is already in place in preparation for full production next year."
Outline of Toshiba Semiconductor GmbH
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