[Participated in 2019 Semicon Korea]
Qualmax, which produces semiconductor testing components, is increasing their production by 50% after moving and expanding their factory. They have also decided to double their market share in Korea.
Qualmax announced that they will relocate their manufacturing base and head office from Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi-do to Dongtan, Hwasung by March.
Founded in 1986, Qualmax focuses on probe pins and sockets that are used for testing semiconductors. Probe pins are parts that are connected to the contact points, where the electric signals flow, to see if the semiconductor chips are working properly. Although it depends on products and customers, around 4,000 probe pins are used to test a single semiconductor chip. Since 100% inspection is performed, if there are 8 chips, a total of 32,000 (4000 X 8) probe pins are used. It has to satisfy performance standards while having high durability since it is used in bulk and has to be moved repetitively.
Probe pins and sockets are used during the test process after the production of semiconductors to determine the performance of the semiconductor and examine whether it is working properly. It plays an important role in detecting bad semiconductors. It is a typical consumable material market.
Unlike its competitors, Qualmax takes care of the whole production process -design, processing, plating, assembly- in-house. Which means that they have an advantage in ‘time-to-market.’ An official from Qualmax quoted that “while other companies in the market take about 2~3 weeks to supply their products to the customers, Qualmax only needs 1~2 weeks. Even when the resistance value changes, we can change our design immediately.”
The key to probe pins and sockets lies on how finely the impedance can be adjusted. Not only must the probe pins change, but the structure of the socket also has to be changed. Qualmax’s ability to design in-house shines here. They can change their design immediately even if the customer changes their demands. It only takes about a week or two to change the design and produce the product.
It is estimated that the size of South Korea’s semiconductor testing consumables market is at about 100 billion KRW/year. Qualmax aims to increase its market share from 2% to 4% this year. They are also planning to increase the ratio of domestic sales gradually. Almost 90% of sales come from abroad. When the new factory in Dongtan starts to operate full-scale, production of probe pins are expected to increase from 1 million to 1.5 million, and the production of sockets will also increase from 2,000 to 3,000.