Category Archives: Hot Wires

Mike Buetow’s thoughts on the industry

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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Component Manufacturability Index

Screaming Circuits’ Manufacturability Index Ranks the difficulty of assembling a component. Index is one to five, with one being easiest, and five being the most complex Sub index: a, b, c a: Not a challenge within the number rank b: Typical … 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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API’s Changing of the Guard

API Technologies named a new president and CEO today, and, like his predecessor Robert Taveres comes from the component side. That makes sense because API derives much of its revenue — and profit — from making RF/microwave components. The firm has … Continue reading

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Hats Off to Gary

Congratulations to Gary Ferrari, who last month became the 33d person to gain induction to the IPC Hall of Fame. For printed circuit board designers, this is something of a symbolic victory, as Ferrari is just the third designer (after … Continue reading

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What Apple’s Latest Supplier Audit Says About Apple

Apple’s annual supplier audit was released today and sure enough critics on both sides are already picking through the core and going at it over whether the company is doing enough to ensure the safety and compensation of the hundreds of … Continue reading

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Should Flextronics Be Broken Up?

The findings of a new study by Boston Consulting Group suggest that, over time, many tech companies are guilty of mission-creep, especially large ones.  And when that happens, those companies do not provide the shareholder value they could if they were leaner … Continue reading

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