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HORIBA plans to set up a unit in India for fab players

HORIBA, the $2.5 billion Japanese analytical and measurement solutions company and a critical player in the global semiconductor industry is planning to set up a unit in India. This facility will cater to the country’s upcoming fabrication (fab) plants, OSAT (outsourced semiconductor assembly and test), and ATMP (modified assembly, testing, marking, and packaging) players, as well as a growing global market.

The company controls 60 per cent of the global market for mass flow controllers (MFCs), essential for chip-making processes such as wafer cleaning, thin film deposition, chemical vapour deposition, and gas spray coating.

Atsushi Horiba, chairman and group chief executive officer, whose father founded the company 40 years ago, says, “We intend to establish a plant to manufacture MFCs in India. We have already initiated a pilot programme to train personnel. We have ample land in Nagpur and will develop a local supply chain.”

The unit is expected to match the scale of HORIBA’s Kumamoto plant in Japan.

Horiba adds, “Over 600 gases are used in semiconductor production, some toxic, requiring precise control. We provide this reliability and export these, as with our health care reagents.”

Jai Hakhu, director at HORIBA, explains their business model involves selling MFCs to major fab equipment manufacturers like Applied Materials and Tokyo Electron. It is an enabling technology, critical to wafer production despite its small monetary value.

“Failure of an MFC could result in daily losses exceeding a billion dollars, underscoring its 24×7 reliability,” Hakhu says.

In addition to semiconductors, HORIBA specialises in high-end Raman spectroscopy, analysing active materials in the semiconductor industry, where it commands 40 per cent of the global market, manufactured in France.

Beyond semiconductors, HORIBA also focuses on healthcare, expanding operations in India with a drive towards localisation. The company recently announced a Rs 200 crore investment to establish a state-of-the-art medical equipment (for blood diagnostics) and consumables (reagents used for blood testing) unit in Nagpur.

“Our goal is to achieve 50 per cent localisation in equipment to participate in government tenders,” Horiba says. “We are already manufacturing reagents.” Business Standard

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