TDK Electronics · TDK Europe

Plant in Xiaogan

January 23, 2018

20 years of success with surge arresters


Since 1997 Xiaogan develops and manufactures gas-filled surge arresters. TDK is the global leader with a market share of 70 percent in this product technology, which is used primarily in telecommunications installations.

EPCOS Xiaogan is a joint venture with Chinese partner Hubei Hanguang Technology, in which EPCOS holds a 76 percent stake. The 7300 m² factory and its 450 employees produce mainly 2-electrode and 3-electrode surge arresters. Together with its sister factory in Johor Bahru, Malaysia, the Xiaogan plant, which is located some 850 kilometers west of Shanghai, has become a strong pillar of the company's surge arrester business.

Telecommunications and China – Xiaogan's biggest markets

More than 80 percent of the protection devices manufactured in Xiaogan are used in mobile base stations and other telecommunication systems. The second-largest industry served is industrial electronics, where surge arresters again protect equipment and machinery from overvoltage. 60 percent of the products made in Xiaogan are shipped to customers in Asia, above all to China. 30 percent go to Europe and 10 percent to the Americas and other regions.

Working closely together with the R&D center for surge arresters in Berlin and the development team in Johor Bahru, the engineers in Xiaogan have brought many new products to market. They have been instrumental in continually adding new areas of application for surge arresters. Their successful innovations include the neon gas-free product types with which – in just a six-month development phase – TDK was able to respond to the worldwide shortage of neon gas, thereby preventing huge cost increases.

Figure 1:

A broad product spectrum of surge arresters is manufactured in Xiaogan.

More skills, more automation

Recent years have seen huge volume growth and, at the same time, substantially reduced unit cost. Since 1997, the plant's capacity has increased 15-fold – from 20 million to 300 million units a year. Over time, the factory has continually improved its skills to in-source external processes and material. Labor-intensive process steps were automated, and the proportion of manual labor was slashed by as much as 90 percent. 

Focus on new markets

In addition to telecommunications and industrial electronics, the plant is well positioned with its portfolio to serve customers in the fields of e-mobility, the generation and distribution of renewable energy, household electronics and medical technology.

Profile plant in Xiaogan, China



Surge arresters
  • 2-electrode surge arresters
  • 3-electrode surge arresters
  • AC power protect arresters
Switching spark gaps
  • 2-electrode switching spark gaps
  • Triggered switching spark gaps


  • ISO 9001
  • ISO/TS 16949
  • ISO 14001


1997Joint venture founded by Siemens Vacuum Electronic Components and Hubei Hanguang Technology
1998Production of surge arresters begins at a 3000 m² facility
2000Name changed to EPCOS (Xiaogan) Co. Ltd.
2001Certification to the ISO 9001 quality standard
2004Launch of a dedicated R&D department
2009Certification to the ISO 14001 environmental management standard
2014Certification to the ISO/TS 16949 standard, which is important in the automotive industry
2017Production space expanded to 7300 m²

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