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

Taiwan’s New Gravity

How bad is the labor problem in China? We are aware, of course, of the steady hikes in wages, which have annually risen by at least double-digits for over a decade. But now it’s being reported that Taiwan-based component makers … Continue reading

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Alder’s Quiet Retirement

In the quiet of the post-Christmas vacation break Kent Alder officially retired as CEO of TTM. The news should be bigger than it is. It’s been years since the head of a $1 billion a year US-based PCB manufacturer stepped … Continue reading

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System Failure

Apple is front and center today saying the death of a 15-year-old worker at one of its subcontractors was not the result of conditions at the Pegatron factory in Shanghai. The teenager died of pneumonia, according to news reports. He … Continue reading

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Philippines Relief Efforts

As the Philippines begins to recover from the devastation of typhoon that left an estimated 10,000 people dead and countless others homeless, we reached out to old friend Fred Blancas of Integrated Micro-electronics Inc., the Laguna-based EMS company, to see … Continue reading

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The Weakest Link: Musings from SMTAI

Due to an illness, I jumped in to co-chair a session at SMTAI yesterday. In doing so, I had the pleasure of spending a little time with a longtime industry machine designer. Afterward, he asked an interesting question: Talking to … Continue reading

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Hutchins Winner in the News

Great article on  Rochester Institute of Technology graduate student Andrew Daya, who won the 2103 Charles Hutchins Educational grant. Daya is researching improvements to package-on-package technology, and is the first student from RIT to win the award. The Hutchins Grant is sponsored … Continue reading

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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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