In its first official full statement on the impact of the Kumumoto earthquakes, released today, Ricoh Imaging confirmed: ‘We anticipate some impact on the future production of our lens-interchangeable digital SLR cameras, interchangeable lenses and digital compact cameras, because some of our suppliers in this region have been affected by the earthquakes and the continuing aftershocks.

‘We apologise to our customers and all affected parties for any inconvenience this might cause, and will try our best to restore the situation to normal as soon as possible.’

K-1453455_front_w_BG6.grip.webIn February, Ricoh Imaging revealed a Pentax-branded full-frame DSLR following years of speculation. Ricoh today said it expects interchangeable-lens camera production will suffer as a result of the April earthquakes

Photokina plans in disarray?

Amateur Photographer (AP) pressed camera makers for updates after an industry source told AP the earthquakes may have a serious impact on launch plans for Photokina, which takes place in Cologne, Germany, in September.

Although Panasonic told us its plans for Photokina ‘remain unchanged’, it said the quake, which struck in the second week of April, ‘damaged the factories of some of our parts suppliers’.

It added: ‘As a result of this, the supply of components for some of our digital imaging products has been affected and we do envisage some disruption to inbound stock.

‘We anticipate that this will delay shipments from the beginning of June until the end of November on almost all models in our camcorder range and some of our still fixed-lens cameras.

‘We can, however, confirm that our Lumix G series remains unaffected by this issue.

Canon said: ‘None of the company’s buildings or facilities have incurred any significant damage and all Canon Group companies in the region are able to operate normally.

‘However, some compact camera production has been affected due to the impact on part supply companies, and production is reduced at some plants, including Nagasaki Canon Inc.’

‘Lessons learned’

Yesterday, Fujifilm released an update, saying: ‘Fujifilm Kyusyu Co Ltd, located in Kikuyo-cho, Kumamoto, has been working toward the resumption of its operations… The company commenced trial operations on April 23 and full operations have now been resumed at the first trial facility.

‘The resumption of operations has also been successfully achieved at other facilities, and on May 22, the company had finally resumed full operations at all its facilities.

‘The operations of Fujifilm Kyusyu have now reached pre-earthquake production levels.’

Fuji added: ‘The company resumed the shipping of stock from its warehouse on April 19, and has also started shipping products that have been manufactured in facilities at which operations have resumed.

‘Damage to the warehouse was minimal, and resumption of operations proceeded smoothly and quicker than expected…

‘The Fujifilm Group will continue to improve its business continuity plan, based on the lessons learned from this recent experience.’

A fortnight ago, Sony revised its status to say: ‘Operations at Sony Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation’s Kumamoto Technology Center (located in Kikuchi Gun, Kumamoto Prefecture), which is the primary manufacturing site of image sensors for digital cameras and security cameras, as well as micro-display devices, had been suspended due to the impact of the earthquakes.

‘However, as of May 9, 2016, testing operations, which are one of the back-end processes carried out on the upper layer of the building, have resumed and other back-end processes, such as assembly, are also expected to restart sequentially beginning May 17, 2016…

‘Although there was a delay in the supply of components to Sony from certain third-party suppliers that also have manufacturing facilities in the Kumamoto region, inventory adjustments have been made and a timeframe for regaining supply levels is now in place, so no material impact is anticipated on Sony’s business operations.’

Last week, Nikon UK’s group marketing manager Jeremy Gilbert told AP: ‘We are still examining the impact [of the earthquakes], and are unable to answer at this time.’

A Sigma spokesman said: ‘Thankfully, Sigma were not affected by the earthquakes and there is no change to Photokina.’

Olympus Europe declined to comment.