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Made in the Philippines: A tour of the Samsung Electro-Mechanics Philippines factory

Did you know South Korean tech giant Samsung has a factory in the Philippines? We won’t be surprised if you didn’t. It’s not exactly common knowledge. However, it has been around for quite some time.

Specifically, the facility was established in 1997, with mass production beginning in 2000. It’s also only one of four manufacturing sites Samsung has outside of South Korea. Before you ask, their Philippine facility doesn’t assemble or produce complete units like smartphones, TVs, refrigerators, or more. Instead, this facility manufactures the passive components used in nearly all Samsung electronic products. Specifically, these are the capacitors, resistors, and inductors that power your Samsung devices use.

Samsung Philippines Factory Tour

The Samsung Electro-Mechanics Philippine (SEMPHIL) facility is located in Calamba, Laguna, and occupies a total area of 20 hectares. The company has an accumulated investment of USD 1.5 billion and recorded USD 1,153 million in sales in 2021. There are about 10,000 Filipinos that work at the factory together with South Korean employees.

Samsung PH Factory

Recently, we went on a tour of the SEMPHIL facility, and it’s unlike any manufacturing plant in the country we’ve visited. We were also joined by Samsung Electronics Philippines president Min Su Chu and the president of SEMPHIL, Seoncheol Park.

Samsung PH Factory

During the tour, we learned that there are four products currently being manufactured at SEMPHIL – Multi-Layer Ceramic Capacitors (MLCC), Inductors, Chip Resistors, and Tantalum. All four products are used in almost everything Samsung and its customers produce – from smartphones and smartwatches to 5G infrastructure, data servers, and even automobiles. What’s even more interesting is that the Tantal, Inductor, and Chip Resistors are made exclusively in the Philippines.

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The tour mainly focused on the process of how MLCC is made. By Samsung’s definition, MLCC “acts as a ‘dam’ that stores electricity and sends it out by certain amounts, controlling the current to flow consistently in a circuit and preventing electromagnetic interference between components”.

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The process of making MLCC starts with a powder mixed with several other substances to create a laminated bar, which is then cut into smaller pieces depending on the specs needed. It is then roasted in an oven over 1200*C and undergoes a few more processes before becoming a complete MLCC. Most of these processes are automated as well.

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For reference, the one roll of tape in the photo above consists of around 10,000 pieces of MLCC. The number of MLCCs in each roll may vary depending on the size and specs of their customers.

MLCC Samsung Factory PH

MLCC itself is very tiny, and they measure by mere millimeters or even smaller. The size and cut of the final product all depend on their customers’ needs. One sample batch of MLCC shown to us was so small, that we needed to view them under a microscope. If not, they looked like silver dust or metal shavings to the naked eye.

Samsung PH Factory Tour

Despite the high number of MLCCs capable of being produced, Samsung does need thousands for just one product, and the demand is increasing even more. An example is a current generation 5G smartphone, which uses around 1400 pieces per unit. Meanwhile, a single electric vehicle could use up to 15,000 pieces. Expect more to be used once next-generation technology is rolled out, such as artificial intelligence and self-driving systems.

Samsung Manufacturing Sites

Aside from producing these four products, Samsung is also pushing for technological advancements in the country and globally. In the Philippines, the company has partnered with local talents and even offered scholarships to students as part of their corporate social responsibility. They will also be launching the Solve For Tomorrow program later this year.

We asked whether there are plans to assemble the end products, such as smartphones, appliances, etc., at SEMPHIL. However, they said that there are not as of the moment. Instead, the facility could expand to manufacture more products in the future and establish a research center. It’s really nice to know that most, if not all Samsung products use parts made in the Philippines. So the next time you use a Samsung gadget, remember that some of the components inside it are being made in a facility just south of Metro Manila.

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5 Responses

  1. Avatar for Junel Bea Belarmino Junel Bea Belarmino says:

    I am proud to be a manager in SEMPHIL!! Once a SEMphilian, always a SEMphilian

    • Avatar for Raymark Sinuhin Raymark Sinuhin says:

      Hello, is SEMPHIL allowing students to conduct a plant tour/visit? I am an Industrial Engineering student from PUP Santa Rosa and we are currently looking for companies for us to conduct a plant tour as our course requirement.

  2. Avatar for Joshua Baes Joshua Baes says:

    I love SEMPHIL!!

  3. Avatar for Ishmael Bathan Ishmael Bathan says:

    Very nice review, wow!

  4. Avatar for mark eugene combalicer mark eugene combalicer says:

    very good review , i like it

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