Horiba to open R&D facility in South Korea
Yongin site to allow shorter development time for mass flow controllers
TOKYO -- Japanese precision instrument manufacturer Horiba is preparing to get a research and development facility up and running in the South Korean city of Yongin to better address changing local customer needs for parts used in semiconductor-manufacturing equipment.
The company expects the step will help reduce the time it takes to develop products to two to three days for major customers, such as Samsung Electronics. It now takes a little less than a week to do this.
The company plans to assign 15-20 engineers, including local hires, to work on the development.
Horiba, which earns 70% of its consolidated sales overseas, plans to enhance its services for customers amid an increasing pace of innovation in semiconductor technology as manufacturers continue to add advanced functions to smartphones and servers.
It also plans to set up an R&D center in China and deploy engineers to locally develop products at sales offices in other markets, including Taiwan.
The new facility, which will be the second such center for the Japanese manufacturer after one in the U.S., will go into operation Wednesday in a new four-story building in Yongin, just outside Seoul.
The building, which will also house sales staff previously located at an office in the city of Seongnam, has a total floor area of 5,300 sq. meters, six times the size of the previous office.
The R&D center will develop mass flow controllers, devices that controls the flow of gas or liquid to fill an airtight chamber where microcircuits are formed in semiconductor manufacturing equipment. Horiba holds a share exceeding 50% of the global market for these instruments, but has until now tested products for South Korean customers in Kyoto, where the company is headquartered.