Category Archives: Hot Wires

Mike Buetow’s thoughts on the industry

Auto Electronics: Gearing Up or Headed for the Cliff?

What would the electronics industry do if automotive demand were to pull a Thelma and Louise and head off the proverbial cliff? The auto recovery has been the axle of the Western supply chain since 2008. The drivetrain is starting to show some wear, … Continue reading

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What Do You Do If You Can’t Have Reference Designators?

The first answer to that question is probably going to be along the lines of, “Put them on the board.” But, sometimes you can’t have reference designators on your board. Maybe it’s too densely populated and there isn’t room. Maybe, … Continue reading

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Bank Shots

My latest editorial looks at how buyers in the electronics supply chain are using their suppliers as an extension of their bank.  

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Mycronic-Axxon Deal a Symbolic Milestone

Mycronic’s purchase of electronics dispensing OEM Shenzhen Axxon Automation Co. today signals a novel, if inevitable, milestone in the SMT processing equipment history: Chinese process equipment OEMs have reached the point where they are sufficiently viable and significant for Western companies to invest … Continue reading

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The Last VCR

The news that the supposed last maker of VCRs, Funai Electric, will cease production on the video medium at the end of this month took me back to this blog item I wrote in 2009. That’s when I retired my previous VCR, … Continue reading

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‘Mike Buetow Humor’

When the reader titles their email “Subject: Mike Buetow humor,” you know I’m opening that one first. Reader TE writes: Just going through the July 2016 issue when I came across two (well, three really) very interesting announcements. On page … Continue reading

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Microbial Nanowires

Biologists at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst have genetically modified bacteria to produce tiny conductive wires that may one day be used in electronics. If we extrapolate this, does it mean that job-seekers won’t just have China and robots to compete with, but bugs, … Continue reading

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Mel Breaks Loose

A fond farewell to Mel Parrish, who retired this week from STI Electronics. I’ve known Mel (below, right) for more than 20 years, back to my days at IPC and his at the EMPF in Indianapolis. Through his stints at the … Continue reading

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Hacked Off

It’s been just over three years since the US government indicted a former hacker at a major defense contractor for, ironically, spilling reams of classified information for all the world to see. In doing so Edward Snowden irreversibly opened the … Continue reading

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Foxconn Can’t Say ‘No’ to Nokia

Mar. 30, 2016: Foxconn buys Sharp. May 19, 2016: Foxconn buys Nokia. As we were saying …

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