PRI Automation established a beachhead in Asia by forming a joint venture with two Korean semiconductor-equipment companies: Chung Song Systems, a producer of chip-processing equipment; and Shinsung Engineering, the largest manufacturer of cleanroom accessories in Korea.
The joint venture, PRI Korea, based in Boondang, incorporates PRI's existing Korean subsidiary, formed in 1996. PRI Korea will provide the company's customers with sales, service and application engineering, project management, and planning and design services.
S.K. Suh, who served as president of Varian Korea and is president of Chung Song Systems, will be the president of the joint venture. W.K. Lee, president of Shinsung Engineering, will serve on PRI Korea's board of directors.
"PRI Korea is clearly an investment in the future. We are confident Korea will continue to be a major force in the industry," said Mitch Tyson, president of PRI Automation PRIA, in Billerica, Mass. "This joint venture demonstrates PRI's commitment to expanding our local presence in the Asia-Pacific region and to aligning PRI's business practices in Korea with the Korean government's desire to create a domestic semiconductor equipment manufacturing and supply infrastructure."
Samsung Electronics awarded PRI its first Korean contract in 1995. PRI won another contract from Anam Semiconductor for its new fab in Seoul in 1996.
"By operating locally, PRI can provide Korean customers with more responsive and cost-effective service," said Bob Postle, vice president of sales, marketing, and international operations at PRI Automation.