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

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

Posted in Laying It Out | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Laying It Out | Tagged , | Comments Off on Fewer Reports Not in Altium’s Best Interest

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

Posted in Hot Wires | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on Will ‘OnCore’ Deal Spur Encores?

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

Posted in Hot Wires | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on API’s Changing of the Guard

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

Posted in Hot Wires, Laying It Out | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

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

Posted in Hot Wires | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on What Apple’s Latest Supplier Audit Says About Apple

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

Posted in Hot Wires | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Should Flextronics Be Broken Up?

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.

Posted in Hot Wires | Tagged , | Comments Off on Early Placement Tales

The Best-Read PCD&F Articles in 2014

As we did with CIRCUITS ASSEMBLY on Monday, here’s the list of the best-read new articles at PCDandF.com this year. Leading the pack was IMI president Peter Bigelow, whose piece “When ‘Scaling Up’ Leads to ‘Belly Up’ ” received the most hits of … Continue reading

Posted in Laying It Out | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on The Best-Read PCD&F Articles in 2014

Is Sharing for Suckers?

In my January editorial I asked, “Absent a government-industry technical agency, is the US shooting itself in the foot?” My comments were made in response to a former Bell Labs researcher who wrote that the US should consider reestablishing a government-supported technology … Continue reading

Posted in Hot Wires | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Is Sharing for Suckers?