/ / AKM Fire Exposes Supply Chain Vulnerabilities

AKM Fire Exposes Supply Chain Vulnerabilities

I went to Tom Lee Music to purchase a digital piano recently.

When I asked the staff about availability, he mentioned, “We have no stock of the black coloured model and only one left of the white coloured model.”

Before I could as more, he added, “I don’t know when we’ll get more stock in could be a few weeks, could be four months.”

He continued on, “Did you hear about the fire in Japan?”.

I didn’t know about the fire, so he continued, “Asahi Kasei Microsystem (AKM), had a massive fire in their factory in Q4 of 2020. They’re the sole manufacturers/suppliers of DAC & ADC audio chips.

These chips are found in digital pianos, home audio equipment, and many auto vehicles.

Car manufacturers like Nissan, etc all have to cut their auto product targets by up to 80%. It’s a massive hit to these industries.

I’m just surprised all these big name companies had no other contingency plans…just shocking.”

So, I managed to get the last unit they had in-store, but I quickly went home to search for more about the fire.

The fire burned for more than two days and did considerable damage to their Nobeoka factory in Japan (which happens to be the only location that manufactures the DAC/ADC chips).

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