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

Benchmark’s Latest Acquisition

Is Benchmark’s acquisition of CTS a good move? Yes, it says here, and for multiple reasons. In no particular order: 1. Profits. Benchmark says the acquisition will be accretive starting in fiscal 2014, which suggests they think they can make … Continue reading

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Tool Reconditioning: Part of a Lean Program

Although many manufacturing processes have become automated over the past 20 years, a fair amount of manual or hand assembly and rework is still required. Gone are the days when electronics and industrial assembly required row upon row of technicians … Continue reading

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Poison Apple?

Move over, Foxconn. First Pegatron and now Jabil have joined you on the Apple-watcher hit list. In June, the New York-based employee rights group known as China Labor Watch singled out three Pegatron sites for worker abuse. The alleged violations … Continue reading

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Designer Salary Data, Elaborated

Every year it seems we received a few requests for additional information from our annual Designer Salary Survey. This year was no exception. One request asked, “I would be curious to know the salary ranges for those identified as “PCB … Continue reading

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Do Fakes Count?

The news today regarding the seizure by US Customs of nearly a quarter-million counterfeit electronics devices makes me wonder: Do the various industry market research data include all those faked goods? Consider: Some reports claim as much as $100 billion … Continue reading

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Brazilian Blowup?

Which way is Brazil headed? It looked up, after Foxconn decided to invest — how much is the subject of much speculation, as one report pegs it at about $500 million, another at as much as $12 billion — in … Continue reading

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Slow Train a Comin’

Where are the next generation of good engineers going to come from? If I had a nickel for every time I’ve been asked this …. well, you can do the math. A good friend asked me this just today. He … Continue reading

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Robots Get Off the Bench

Benchmark’s fascination with robots is paying off not just on the assembly line but with attracting new customers, too. The EMS company yesterday announced a deal with KeyMe, a maker of automated key-cutting kiosks that will be first deployed in … Continue reading

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Change Coming to Jabil, But Where?

Jabil is cutting staff, but where? The EMS company’s management this week acknowledged an ongoing restructuring — to the tune of $188 million in charges — but declined to address specific actions. “We intend to realign our manufacturing capacity and cost … Continue reading

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Wistron On the Move

We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again: EMS companies don’t sit still. Notebook ODMs, faced with falling demand and profits, are not going gently into the good night. Flextronics dumped the PC ODM business a couple years ago to … Continue reading

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