Category Archives: Hot Wires

Mike Buetow’s thoughts on the industry

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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TTM Again?

Not quite 18 years ago, a pair of venture capital firms bought a small Washington fab shop named Power Circuits. The following year those two firms, Thayer Capital Partners and Brockway Moran & Partners, added Power Circuits in Santa Ana, CA, to its stable. … Continue reading

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Manufacturing Loss Costs More than Just Jobs

An ex Photocircuits engineer says the gutting of US manufacturing has led to a huge shift in ownership of US assets, with dire consequences for all Americans. “With only a very small manufacturing base left, there is a small need to make … Continue reading

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Calculating PCB Fabrication Costs (Watch Out!)

We get this question a lot: How much per square inch for a 4-layer board? (or double sided, or 6 layers … same question).  I won’t hold you to it, I promise. Right…. We understand that it is difficult to … Continue reading

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OEM/EMS Barrier Permanently Cut

For years we’ve been told that EMS companies are in the service business only and would never develop their own products. In one of the first interviews I did, back in late 1991, then IPC director Tony Hilvers — a … Continue reading

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