TAINAN (Taiwan News) — Taiwan's largest passive components supplier is expanding hometown operations after a 15-year hiatus, holding a groundbreaking ceremony for a new plant and launching an R&D partnership with a university over the weekend.
With the COVID-19 pandemic disrupting manufacturing supply chains, Taiwan has remained robust thanks to its early control of the disease and support from the government. Yageo Corporation (國巨), the world's leading maker of chip resistors and tantalum capacitors, on Saturday (Nov. 14) broke ground on a new Kaohsiung plant worth NT$20 billion (US$700 million) and slated to begin commercial production in the second half of 2022.
The new plant will make Taiwan Yageo's manufacturing hub after a decade and a half of expansion overseas. The company will become the world's third-largest supplier of multilayered ceramic chip capacitors (MLCCs) following Japan's Muratec and South Korea's Samsung Electro-Mechanics, whose capacity exceeds 100 billion per month.
Meanwhile, the company unveiled a partnership with National Cheng Kung University (NCKU) in Tainan to establish research and development centers — one on the school's campus and the other at the company's Kaohsiung plant — to cultivate and access quality local talent. NCKU was ranked among the top schools in this year's Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings.
Other local movers and shakers in tech have already partnered with NCKU on research dedicated to innovation and to build a pool of advanced talent. Collaborations include an R&D center for advanced quantum computing founded with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) and an R&D center for smart manufacturing with Delta Electronics.
Yageo founder and Chairman Pierre Chen (陳泰銘), an NCKU engineering science graduate, attended the ceremony along with NCKU President Jenny Su (蘇慧貞), Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua (王美花), Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) and top company executives.
Chen thanked the school for its solid academic training and an international environment that paves the way for the globalization of his business.
The partnership with Yageo will enable NCKU professors and students to conduct research in the company's production line as creative accelerators. The initiative is expected to lend momentum to the firm's portfolio of products featuring the diverse applications of MLCCs.
Yageo Chairman Pierre Chen (left) and NCKU President Jenny Su signed a partnership deal for the new R&D center.