Category Archives: Laying It Out

Off-grid thoughts from a burned-out designer turned editor.

The End of the Viasystems Era

At long last, the hunter became the hunted. TTM Technologies today announced its pending acquisition of Viasystems. The deal, expected to close in early 2015, will vault TTM to second place among the world’s largest PCB fabricators. No matter how … Continue reading

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Wave of Innovation

Old friend Jeff Miller (some readers may remember him from his ACT and Wise days) took this photo of a 3D printed car this week while at IMTS in Chicago. Meanwhile, while at PCB West earlier this week, we saw the … Continue reading

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Why Soldering’s Loss was Design’s Gain

Catching up on your summer reading? Consider Dickie: Memoirs of a Mad Scientist, by Richard Nedbal. Though not seen around the industry much anymore, Rich, many longtime readers will recall, revolutionized CAD and CAM software as founder of P-CAD, which … Continue reading

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Does Rising Nationalism Pose Threat to Electronics Supply Chain?

The amount of geopolitical discord around the world at present is stunning: Thailand, Vietnam, Korea and other major electronics manufacturing hubs are seeing a rise in nationalism and severe internal tension over how to address foreign pressure. Thailand in May endured … Continue reading

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Jerry Shore, RIP

I didn’t know Jerry Shore, except by name, so I can’t really comment directly on his passing this week at the age of 88. But he was a significant force in the printed circuit industry for decades, founding Park Electrochemical … Continue reading

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A ‘Worthington’ Idea

EMS firm Worthington Assembly last week announced a deal to market its EMS services via CircuitHub. WAI is a small EMS company located in Western Massachusetts. Like many in the sub-$20 million space, WAI’s owners double as its salesmen, and … Continue reading

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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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More Fun File Facts: ODB++

In my last post, I wrote about the up and coming IPC-2581 PCB manufacturing file format. While IPC-2581 may be looked at by PCB fabricators and assemblers as a holy grail of sorts, it’s not yet widely adopted by CAD software. But, … Continue reading

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Fun Facts about Manufacturing Files

Circuit boards live and die by their manufacturing files. Without complete and accurate information, the board fab house can’t fab the boards, the assembly house can’t assemble your boards and nobody can buy the parts. Our old standard, the Gerber … Continue reading

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