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Western Digital Announces It Will Build New Plant in Korea

February 02, 1988|DAVID OLMOS | Times Staff Writer

Western Digital said it plans to establish a manufacturing facility in Seoul, South Korea, to serve the growing Pacific Rim electronics industry.

The Irvine-based computer company said the Korean facility will produce circuit boards that control the storage and flow of data within computers. Production is scheduled to begin in the third quarter of 1988.

The move comes as Western Digital's sales to the Far East are increasing rapidly, fueled by the vigorous growth of the electronics industries in Pacific Rim nations such as Korea and Taiwan.

Western Digital's sales to Korea and Taiwan rose more than 220% last year. Foreign sales to all nations made up 50% of the $160 million in sales reported by the company for the quarter ended in December.

3rd Far East Facility

The Korean plant will be Western Digital's third manufacturing facility in the Far East. The company operates foreign plants in Malaysia, Singapore, Ireland and Puerto Rico, and U.S. plants in Costa Mesa and Irvine.

Western Digital said the Korean plant will be headed by P. June Min, a Korean computer scientist who was formerly a senior managing director of the Lucky-Goldstar Group, a giant Korean manufacturing firm.

Western Digital said the plant will be capable of producing 50,000 board-level products a month and will use "surface-mount technology," a method for mounting components closer together on both sides of a circuit board.

About 40% of the production at the Korean plant will be exported to Pacific Rim companies, the company said.

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