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

Comparing Emerging Markets for EMS Production

How do various regions compare when it comes to locating EMS plants? Joe Fama, a veteran of 30 years with EMS companies around the world, wanted to explore this question. He developed the initial table below, with some embellishments by … Continue reading

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Investment Promises Don’t Add Up

My latest editorial considers the disconnect between reports of future investments Foxconn and what actually comes to pass. Too often, the astronomical sums reported don’t ever turn into real new employment.

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Life in the Sun

We are seeing a warming trend in the solar industry, with Flextronics, Celestica and others publicly talking up the renewable energy sector. In Juárez, Flextronics’ manufacturing plant has reached its maximum capacity production of 1.3 million solar panels a year. Meanwhile, … Continue reading

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Platinum Deals Cost a Lot of Gold

The silence, as they say, surrounding the pending Platinum Specialty Products acquisitions for OMG and now Alent, has been deafening. Could it be because it’s summer, and people aren’t paying as close attention? Could it be because that’s how the respective companies … Continue reading

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In Search of Pluto

This isn’t directly related to printed circuits but oh-so-cool nonetheless. NASA this week snapped this photo of (ex) planet Pluto (shown with its largest moon, Charon, at the left), proving once again that man is capable of remarkable engineering feats: This … Continue reading

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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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