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Here are prospective buyers’ questions. Do you have the answers? 

If you’re an owner planning to sell your EMS business, here are questions to expect from would-be buyers. Forewarned is forearmed, as they say. For those who haven’t been through the process yet, this is a basic primer before striking a deal.

“Can I relocate your business to my own location?”

Prospective buyers want to increase their sales and bottom lines, so many, if not most, buyers are looking for new customers, not real estate or used equipment. If they can move your customer base into their own shop, they can make much of your labor force redundant and maximize their profit. So, depending on the buyer’s intent, this can be the question that makes or breaks the deal.

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Changing a stencil printing machine’s conveyor configuration helps make it more efficient.

A well-balanced surface mount line takes into consideration all the equipment comprising it and any indirect factors that affect it. Here we examine stencil printer cycle time (CT).

Internal factors considered for a CT study include conveying time in and out of the machine, stencil and board fiducial recognition, cleaning time, solder paste measurement time, dispensing time, and printing time.

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An Ohio community college breaks the mold with an applied bachelor’s degree in electronics manufacturing.

In my three decades in electronics engineering, perhaps the only thing that never changes is the need for more skilled workers. No matter the state of the economy or the geography, having knowledgeable and competent engineers and operators is always critical, and there are never enough of either.

But while the tension is notable between industry and academia over who is responsible for preparing the next generation of workers for specific tasks, some schools are quietly taking the lead by putting in place programs that include true hands-on training in printed circuit board manufacturing.

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“Chips don’t float,” the saying goes, but it’s up to the PCB industry to push its message to Washington. 

It’s hard to believe now, but veterans of the printed circuit board industry will remember when the US was neck and neck with Japan as the largest PCB manufacturing market. It peaked in 2000-2001 with sales north of $10 billion each year and close to a 30% share of the overall market.

How things change.

Today, US domestic PCB manufacturing output is around $3 billion, and its share of the global market is in the mid-single digits. Meanwhile, China has surged ahead of the pack, as more than half the bare boards produced each year are built on the mainland. Moreover, nations like Vietnam that didn’t even register a decade ago are now larger than the US market.

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Under the radar, the newest addition to the $1B EMS club is flying high on A&D.

In 2021, with pandemics and parts shortages still grabbing all the headlines, Creation Technologies quietly joined an exclusive club: the $1 billion electronics manufacturing services companies. Fewer than 30 companies in the world are members of such rank, and of those, only two others are privately held.

That Creation attained such lofty revenue heights on the downlow is keeping with its unsung nature, however. Despite accumulating several CIRCUITS ASSEMBLY Service Excellence Awards over the years, the EMS company has historically remained in the background, ceding the limelight to the latest Wall Street darling of the week.

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A series of experiments test the well-known area ratio rule.

A stencil aperture’s area ratio (AR) is a simple calculation that divides the area of the aperture opening by the area of its wall. It was derived in the 1990s and compares the adhesive forces of the solder paste deposit on the PCB pad with the adhesive forces of the solder paste on the stencil walls. For the material to transfer efficiently, the forces holding it to the pad must overcome the forces holding it to the aperture walls. Therefore, calculating the relative areas represents the relative adhesive forces affecting solder paste release.

The amount of solder paste released from an aperture is referred to as transfer efficiency (TE) and expressed as a percent of total aperture volume. Stencil or solder paste release characteristics are often illustrated by plotting TE against AR.

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