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WD Resumes HDD Production at Just One Factory

By - Source: Western Digital | B 52 comments

Just one building is back, but the rest is still in pretty wet and damaged shape.

On Thursday in its financial outlook for the December quarter, Western Digital gave an update on its Thailand flood recovery effort, reporting that production of hard drives finally resumed this week in one of its buildings in Bang Pa-in (BPI), Thailand, just one week ahead of internal schedules.

According to the company, this particular building was previously standing in six feet of water since flooding began back on October 15. The estate was eventually pumped dry as of November 17, and the lights officially switched back on over a week later. Hard drive production finally resumed as of November 30, the company said.

As for the remaining buildings at its BPI facility, all submerged slider manufacturing equipment has been removed from the BPI facilities for assessment, decontamination and refurbishment -- structural decontamination and restoration has now commenced. Western Digital expects to resume head slider production in the March 2012 quarter (Q3 FY'12) and also begin production in a new WD slider fab location in Penang, Malaysia, in the same time frame.

The company's other Thailand hard drive facilities at Navanakorn, however, still remain under approximately two feet of water. Western Digital expects the industrial estate to be pumped dry within ten days at which point the work of decontamination and refurbishment will commence.

"The company believes that hard drive industry shipments in the December quarter will be limited to approximately 120 million units due to production and supply constraints related to the historic flooding in Thailand," Western Digital said on Thursday. "This includes units that were in inventory at the beginning of the quarter. The company believes that demand for the December quarter is in the range of 170 million to 180 million units. The company believes that significant industry supply constraints will continue in the March quarter and beyond."

Earlier in the report, Western Digital said it now expects a fiscal Q2 (December quarter) revenue of at least $1.8 billion and gross margins above the high end of its business model range of 18-percent to 23-percent. The company also noted that it will be "vigorously contesting the arbitration decision announced November 21, 2011, in the legal matter with Seagate and has not yet determined the accounting treatment associated with this matter."

To read the full report, head here.

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Top Comments
  • 13 Hide
    NuclearShadow , December 2, 2011 5:24 PM
    I am glad to see that they got at-least one re-opened, certainly better than no production at all. Although this should be a lesson learned to not put all of one's eggs into one basket. Sure the labor may be cheaper there but their entire production was halted and with serious costly damages because of a single event.
  • 11 Hide
    pent5ht , December 2, 2011 6:03 PM
    Western Digital FTW!
Other Comments
  • 7 Hide
    drapacioli , December 2, 2011 5:10 PM
    Too late WD, I bought a 120GB OCZ Solid State Drive when my system drive failed and I'm not going back. My 2TB external drive from last year (2TB WD MyBook Essential purchased at a price of $69.99!) will be run into the ground before I buy another hard drive.
  • Display all 52 comments.
  • 4 Hide
    bucknutty , December 2, 2011 5:13 PM
    That sucks. I was planning on 2 2tb WD black drives, but the price has doubled since the flood.
  • 9 Hide
    kimyeang88 , December 2, 2011 5:16 PM
    drapacioliToo late WD, I bought a 120GB OCZ Solid State Drive when my system drive failed and I'm not going back. My 2TB external drive from last year (2TB WD MyBook Essential purchased at a price of $69.99!) will be run into the ground before I buy another hard drive.


    I'm waiting the HDD price to drop and i need 6TB because my x2 2TB are getting full. 1080P movies......
  • 13 Hide
    NuclearShadow , December 2, 2011 5:24 PM
    I am glad to see that they got at-least one re-opened, certainly better than no production at all. Although this should be a lesson learned to not put all of one's eggs into one basket. Sure the labor may be cheaper there but their entire production was halted and with serious costly damages because of a single event.
  • 4 Hide
    gmarsack , December 2, 2011 5:34 PM
    I think I might wait to buy a new HD from WD... IDK, something tells me that quality may be an issue for the first few batches of drives coming from a formerly dunked factory. lol
  • -4 Hide
    drapacioli , December 2, 2011 5:36 PM
    kimyeang88I'm waiting the HDD price to drop and i need 6TB because my x2 2TB are getting full. 1080P movies......



    I would never usually recommend this, but buy now, it's only going to go up if this continues. Find a cyber week deal and just buy enough to hold you over for a year or so
  • 2 Hide
    drapacioli , December 2, 2011 5:37 PM
    gmarsackI think I might wait to buy a new HD from WD... IDK, something tells me that quality may be an issue for the first few batches of drives coming from a formerly dunked factory. lol


    And this is another good reason to buy now f you are going to need a hard drive soon. Buy before the newest batches start coming in.
  • 1 Hide
    whooleo , December 2, 2011 5:39 PM
    This is why they should have some plants in the U.S.
  • 9 Hide
    Marcus Yam , December 2, 2011 5:47 PM
    whooleoThis is why they should have some plants in the U.S.

    Right, because no natural disasters happen in the U.S.?

    That point aside, prices of hard drives produced domestically would be even higher than they are right now.
  • 11 Hide
    pent5ht , December 2, 2011 6:03 PM
    Western Digital FTW!
  • 6 Hide
    sublime2k , December 2, 2011 6:18 PM
    whooleoThis is why they should have some plants in the U.S.

    a) No place on Earth is safe from natural disasters.
    b) Cheaper working force allows cheaper products. Minimum wage in USA is much much higher than in Thailand.
  • 0 Hide
    phatbuddha79 , December 2, 2011 6:19 PM
    there's the rest of the world that they can build these factories in...
  • 4 Hide
    kjsfnkwl , December 2, 2011 6:25 PM
    Oh, I see. This explains why WD drives are twice as expensive. I was helping someone with a computer build the other day, and I was really shocked to see the price of hard drives.
  • 3 Hide
    g00fysmiley , December 2, 2011 6:30 PM
    sublime2ka) No place on Earth is safe from natural disasters.b) Cheaper working force allows cheaper products. Minimum wage in USA is much much higher than in Thailand.



    that said there are people in the us who prefer to buy made in the usa products even if they cost more

    with electronics there likely won't be a huge difference, but i'd pay a good bti mroe to help support my own country's gdp... i am in the minority though so maybe you're right that it wouldn't make enough of a drop in the bucket
  • 9 Hide
    CaedenV , December 2, 2011 6:31 PM
    yay for recovery! I haven't been a fan of WD for a very long time, but if they get their prices back down first I have a server waiting for 4 2TB (or larger) drives. Whoever gets back down first will win my little bid.
  • 0 Hide
    CaedenV , December 2, 2011 6:33 PM
    g00fysmileythat said there are people in the us who prefer to buy made in the usa products even if they cost morewith electronics there likely won't be a huge difference, but i'd pay a good bti mroe to help support my own country's gdp... i am in the minority though so maybe you're right that it wouldn't make enough of a drop in the bucket

    And there are others of us who would rather pay someone who wants to work hard and improve themselves rather than paying someone's union dues for inferior products.
  • 6 Hide
    g00fysmiley , December 2, 2011 6:47 PM
    CaedenVAnd there are others of us who would rather pay someone who wants to work hard and improve themselves rather than paying someone's union dues for inferior products.



    who says its an inferior product... try finding a good quality tool not made by theUS, Germany, or Swiss ... its difficult. with tech products i admit there likely won't be much if any difference, but when it comes to buying anything made of steel made in the US still means something

    some people think unions are good, without them we'd all still eb workign for penuts in dangerous workign conditions with no days off and no ovetime pay for it... what some unions have become is bad... btu not all unions are like that, and they have doen alot of good for us
  • 0 Hide
    Raid3r , December 2, 2011 6:53 PM
    Quote:
    Do you know what our biggest export is today? Waste paper. Yes, trash is the number one thing that we ship out to the rest of the world as we voraciously blow our money on whatever the rest of the world wants to sell to us. The United States has become bloated and spoiled and our economy is now just a shadow of what it once was.


    This is not a pissing contest or about "cheap probability". It's about sustainability, past time to see what's going on and where.
  • 1 Hide
    Raid3r , December 2, 2011 6:55 PM
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