The Great Tohoku/Kanto earthquake on March 11 was the most horrendous earthquake to ever hit Renesas Electronics. The degree of damage done to the Naka fab of the Japan’s microcontroller giant was virtually unknown. There had been no visuals until now. It was even harder to assess how Renesas’ employees picked up the pieces, rebuilt the fab and resumed operation.
Mystery lingered because no outsider ever got to see photos of those who actually worked at Renesa as they devoted themselves to the recovery of their company. Their tireless efforts—involving 2,500 people a day at its peak, according to Renesas, all working shifts around the clock, running a thousand different tasks in parallel—have made it possible for them to bring the Naka fab back online—by early June, three months earlier than anyone had expected.
See the following photos, and meet the Renesas guys in Japan who were responsible for this tremendous effort. And watch the video, which tells us a story that rebuilding Renesas, after the quake, literally took the whole industry—including employees, customers, suppliers, contractors and even competitors.
A Renesas team repairs a production tool damaged in the March 11 earthquake.
As we reported, for a long time, we had never been able to see photos inside Naka fab after the quake. The image gallery posted here should give you a good sense of the extraordinary efforts it took to rebuild the fab.
Don't forget to view the video clip, also rleased by Renesas, and hear their voices!
Looking at the last photo of this image gallery, some of you may have thought: "What’s up with a baseball cut out in the middle of this group picture?" The cut out, as it turns out, shows Yukiko Ueno, a softball pitcher for Japan’s national team. And she is also a Renesas employee at Naka fab.
Ueno, a pride and joy of the fellow Naka fab employees, was the first pitcher ever to produce a perfect game at the Olympics against China in Athens. Ueno’s colleagues wanted her to be represented in the photo.
Join our online Radio Show on Friday 11th July starting at 2:00pm Eastern, when EETimes editor of all things fun and interesting, Max Maxfield, and embedded systems expert, Jack Ganssle, will debate as to just what is, and is not, and embedded system.