On 11 March 2011, there was an earthquake about 40 miles east of Japan. It triggered a chain reaction that included a tsunami and what became known as the Fukushima disaster. As a result, many chip fabrication facilities located in Japan went offline. Even after the disaster was contained and life continued, many of those chip fabrication facilities did not continue to manufacture the older chip sets. Instead, they chose to focus on producing the next-generation chips.Very abruptly, this sequence of events spelt the end of KEB’s COMBIVERT F4 range of drive controllers. The F4 was in production for almost 20 years before it was replaced by the COMBIVERT F5 model. This is good in the electronics world. However, outside of some limited parts stock, the product was no longer repairable because KEB did not have access to integrated circuits used on its control boards. KEB was not the only company affected in this way by the Fukushima disaster...
Read the full article in PBSI's January issue
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