Sony said on Thursday that it will restart a tsunami-damaged plant in northeast Japan making blu-ray discs and other storage devices by the end of May.
As of March 14, 2011, operations at ten Sony Group sites and facilities had been suspended as a result of damage caused by the Earthquake, tsunami and related power outages. Sony says that as of today, manufacturing operations at nine of these ten sites have resumed or partially resumed, and at the remaining site, Sony Chemical & Information Device Corporation's Tagajyo Plant in Miyagi Prefecture, plans are in place to resume its manufacturing operations. The factory is Sony's principle production base for professional video tapes, blank Blu-ray Discs and other media products, and the halt in production caused a pinch on supply of some professional media products like HDCAM video tapes for portable TV cameras.
Although the Tagajyo Plant sustained significant earthquake and flooding damage caused by the tsunami, as a result of extensive restoration and repair efforts, the site's core manufacturing operations are now expected to resume. Optical disk manufacturing operations, including Blu-ray, are expected to resume around the end of May 2011, and magnetic tape manufacturing operations are expected to resume around the end of July 2011, Sony said in a statement.
Manufacturing of other products and components previously carried out at the Tagajyo Plant will be transferred to Sony's core manufacturing facilities for these products and components located in Miyagi, Fukushima and other prefectures, in order to quickly restore full production capacity, the company added.
Sony will respond to fluctuations in material or component supply from time to time by adjusting production levels at certain Japan-based and overseas manufacturing sites that were not directly damaged by the Earthquake and tsunami. Sony added that it would monitor the availability of raw materials and components and endeavor to improve such availability. The company also plans to take further measures as necessary, including reallocating available materials and components among Sony Group companies, using alternative components and expanding procurement channels in order to restore full production capacity as early as possible.