toggle

AAPL Stock: 128.46 ( -1.96 )

Printed from http://www.macnn.com

Japanese factory shutdown crimps iPod battery supply

updated 03:05 pm EDT, Mon March 28, 2011

Local companies look to move facilities overseas

Apple has been coping with "tight" supplies of lithium ion batteries, according to the Wall Street Journal. A representative from the company is said to have recently contacted the US offices of Kureha, a Japanese company which controls 70 percent of the marketshare for a polymer called polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF), used as a binder in lithium ion batteries. The only Kureha factory which produces PVDF is based in Iwaki, and was forced to shut down on March 11th after being hit by that day's 9.0 earthquake.

No one from the plant is missing or seriously injured, and some of the board of directors -- in Iwaki for a meeting -- started driving back to Tokyo the night of the quake. The catastrophe has nevertheless impacted the world's PVDF supply, as while the Kureha factory escaped relatively unscathed, the nearby Onahama Port was wrecked and has yet to deliver supplies Kureha needs such as salt and vinyl chloride. It may have a limited amount of PVDF inventory.

Kureha CEO Takao Iwasaki says that the earthquake is accelerating plans to move more production overseas to China and the US. Beyond the reducing threat of natural disaster, such a strategy can help Japanese companies reduce operating costs while coping with changes in the yen. Japan has a highly import/export-driven economy, and fluctuations in currency can hurt both buyers and businesses.






by MacNN Staff

POST TOOLS:

TAGS :

toggle

Comments

Login Here

Not a member of the MacNN forums? Register now for free.

toggle

Network Headlines

toggle

Most Popular

Advertisement

Recent Reviews

OmniPlan (OS X, iOS)

We reviewed the Omni Group's most famous Mac software, a To Do app called OmniFocus, back in June 2014, and we were impressed. Some o ...

Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 3500 projector

Trying to find the perfect projector for a home theater can be tricky, as there are bountiful options on the market from a large numbe ...

Thecus N2310 NAS

For every computer user, there comes a point of critical mass in data storage. When it hits, external hard drives, USB sticks and DVD ...

toggle

Most Commented