Author Archives: Mike

About Mike

Mike Buetow is editor-in-chief of Circuits Assembly magazine, the leading publication for electronics manufacturing, and PCD&F, the leading publication for printed circuit design and fabrication. He is also vice president and editorial director of UP Media Group, for which he oversees all editorial and production aspects. He has more than 20 years' experience in the electronics industry, including six years at IPC, an electronics trade association, at which he was a technical projects manager and communications director. He has also held editorial positions at SMT Magazine, community newspapers and in book publishing. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois. Follow Mike on Twitter: @mikebuetow

OrCAD: A Look Back

Here’s something fun for a Friday: EMA has put together a video recap of the past 30 years of products designed with OrCAD, in commemoration of the PCB CAD tool’s 30th anniversary. (We had one of those Polaroids and the Atari, by the … Continue reading

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OMG and MacDermid? OMG!

Not nearly enough attention is being paid to the pending acquisition of OMG’s electronic chemicals business by MacDermid’s parent company. This deal will throw even more market share to MacDermid, and the big question becomes how will smaller fabs (i.e., the vast majority of the North … Continue reading

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CAD Software Pricing Wars Heat Up

Another price/performance battle is heating up in PCB design software, and this time Altium could feel the burn. Altium has experienced decent growth over the past few years, reaching about $75 million in annual sales. That’s not a huge sum compared to … Continue reading

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Fewer Reports Not in Altium’s Best Interest

Always a company that operates behind a veil of mystique, Altium will take that secrecy to a new level with its latest board decision which pares its quarterly earnings reports to semiannual announcements. In a statement today, the PCB design software company said the decision … Continue reading

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Will ‘OnCore’ Deal Spur Encores?

Fascinating how aggressive Natel Engineering has been with acquisitions over the past 18 months. First it gobbled up Epic, and this week it announced plans to nab OnCore. Epic was roughly 2.5 times the size of Natel at the time … Continue reading

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API’s Changing of the Guard

API Technologies named a new president and CEO today, and, like his predecessor Robert Taveres comes from the component side. That makes sense because API derives much of its revenue — and profit — from making RF/microwave components. The firm has … Continue reading

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Hats Off to Gary

Congratulations to Gary Ferrari, who last month became the 33d person to gain induction to the IPC Hall of Fame. For printed circuit board designers, this is something of a symbolic victory, as Ferrari is just the third designer (after … Continue reading

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What Apple’s Latest Supplier Audit Says About Apple

Apple’s annual supplier audit was released today and sure enough critics on both sides are already picking through the core and going at it over whether the company is doing enough to ensure the safety and compensation of the hundreds of … Continue reading

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Should Flextronics Be Broken Up?

The findings of a new study by Boston Consulting Group suggest that, over time, many tech companies are guilty of mission-creep, especially large ones.  And when that happens, those companies do not provide the shareholder value they could if they were leaner … Continue reading

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Early Placement Tales

Some comical reminisces on an early (50 years old!) attempt to machine-assemble a printed circuit board. The program was written on punched paper tape and feed into a robotically controlled “placement machine.” Hijinks ensure.

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