Supply chain woes delay SoftIron Sydney factory launch

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Supply chain woes delay SoftIron Sydney factory launch
Jason Ven Der Schyff, SoftIron

Manufacturing equipment, control systems in short supply.

Data centre and high-performance computing storage vendor SoftIron has pushed back the opening of its Botany Bay, NSW, factory due to equipment delayed by ongoing international supply chain issues.

In March, the company told iTnews it expected its factory to begin production in June, but last week, COO Jason Van Schyff told iTnews, "The grand irony of building a facility that will make us more resilient as a nation to supply chain issues, is battling supply chain woes.”

Van Schyff said a South Korean pick-and-place machine – a robot that assembles chips onto circuit boards for soldering – has been delayed four to six weeks. It is one of three the company is commissioning.

Some control systems are also delayed, he said, because “the world has been massively struck down by supply chain issues around semiconductors”.

As a result, a multi-million-dollar factory is waiting on controllers worth “a couple of hundred dollars”.

When operational, Van Schyff said the output target is 3000 to 5000 units annually at single shift workloads, something that could be doubled “without too many problems”.

“We could probably double that again, if we needed to”, he said.

Australian manufacturing will double SoftIron’s existing capacity, which is currently solely based out of California.

The Australian plant followed news that the company had won a contract to provide 19PB of Ceph-based storage for the National Computational Infrastructure (NCI) in Canberra.

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