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In 1975, after the success of SEMICON West, the predecessor of our current dicing saws, the DAD-2H, received praise for its ruggedness and high performance. This led to continued orders from semiconductor manufacturers all over the world. At the time, televisions and family appliances were starting to improve their functionality, and with it, the demand for semiconductors skyrocketed. DISCO’s equipment was in such popular demand, that supply could not keep up with demand. To combat the situation, DISCO established sales and service affiliates overseas.

Around that time, an unprecedented event in the semiconductor market occurred worldwide. The peak demand that was welcomed near the year of the Olympics sudden collapsed and only estimated to recover 4 years later. It was the beginning of what is now known as the Silicon Cycle. However, despite the difficult business environment, DISCO’s 1985 sales figures were ten times the figures from ten years earlier. This was possible because DISCO did not rely on its existing technology, and not only because DISCO continued to improve its existing technology to meet the needs of its customers, but also because DISCO implemented global level after service system before any of its competitors.

DISCO continued to broaden its business field, and in 1983, together with a European corporation, it developed a vertical oxidation and thermal diffusion furnace for a different step in the semiconductor manufacturing process. This branch was an unknown branch for DISCO which had had its growth rooted in blade and wheel technology.

Even so, at the time, DISCO which was driven by the success of its equipment business, continued to develop for this path while expanding the existing main business. However, in 1986, due in part to the burden of R&D investment, financial performance took a plunge. DISCO experienced the “valley” of the silicon cycle for the first time. Although, financial performance did recover temporarily, DISCO could not win against the wave of the Silicon Cycle. For the first time since the founding of the company, DISCO accrued a 600 million yen ordinary loss in 1992, and it was decided that DISCO would withdraw from this market

In addition, challenging new fields also brought with it unforeseen difficulties. As a result of continually dedicating limited human resources to new fields, semiconductor dicing equipment from competing companies had come to the forefront and cracks were beginning to form in DISCO’s competitiveness. The only way to drag DISCO back from the edge of the precipice was to introduce a competitive unit to the market.

From a bystander’s point of view, the successful development of semiconductor equipment, the expansion into new fields, and the listing of DISCO on the stock market all showed smooth sailing, but behind the scenes, there was both light and shadow.

Shortly prior to the decision to withdraw from the new field, a project for which failure was not an option was started.
Story 4: Carry out the "X project"

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