Industry Tackles Technology & Sourcing Issues

Military and aerospace devices used to be the gold standard for quality and performance back in the days when the U.S. defense industry was one of the world’s biggest consumers of electronics components. Now, some industry experts believe, quality and performance advancements are being rivalled by the automotive industry. “It’s interesting —  the trends we…

IPC: Domestic PCB Market to Improve

Following four years of declining sales, the North American printed circuit board (PCB) market is expected to improve in 2015 and grow modestly through 2017, according to the IPC. The decline, which has been linked to slowing sales of rigid PCBs, has not been offset by increased demand for flexible PCBs, which has grown steadily…

DFARS 2015: Zeitgeist or Bell Toll?

Proposed amendments to the 2012 Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) could have far-reaching implications for the electronics supply chain. On the face of it, the DFARS amendments seem to favor sourcing from component vendors and authorized/franchised distributors to the detriment of the open market and/or small business contractors. The amendments appear to tighten definitions,…

Enterprise Labeling: A Defense Against Counterfeits Part 2

In Part 1 of this series, we discuss how counterfeit and obsolete electronics have been discovered in missile guidance systems and hundred-million-dollar aircraft, causing serious security problems for the U.S. Department of Defense and its contractors. In Part 2 we ask What About the Commercial Supply Chain? The notion of a commercial supply chain laden…

Enterprise Labeling: A Defense Against Counterfeits Part 1

As a serious challenge to today’s global electronics supply chain, counterfeiting and gray market diversion of electronics components threaten the integrity of products for manufacturers. Counterfeits and obsolete electronics components contribute to dangerous business exposure for manufacturer’s customers, and compromise health and safety for consumers. Clearly, new solutions are needed to improve electronics supply chain…

Scent Technology Set to Grow by 30% Through 2020

Some of the deadliest threats to human lives are things that can’t be seen, heard, smelled or touched. In fact, scents are added to substances such as natural gas so leaks can be identified before they overwhelm victims—or explode. Technology can also help avert disasters.  Scent technology is expected to grow rapidly, by 30.4 percent,…

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The Shortcomings of “Follow the Components”

One of the commonly held beliefs within the electronics supply chain is that traceability – tracking a component from the factory through its insertion into an end product—will go a long way toward preventing counterfeiting. If a user at any point in the supply chain can flag a suspect component, they can prevent its passage…

Siemens Expands Program for Manufacturing Startups

It’s a term you don’t hear much these days—manufacturing startup. Siemens has announced the expansion of the startup Frontier Partner program run by Siemens Technology to Business (TTB) and Siemens’ product lifecycle management (PLM) software organization. The Frontier Partner program, focused on the Silicon Valley region, is designed to find, fund, and forge the “breakthrough…

Manufacturers Can Use Data to Increase Efficiency

In spite of all the headway that manufacturers have made regarding efficiency, the industry still has some untapped resources. A majority of manufacturers in the aerospace, automotive, electronics and machinery industries are aware of the potential technology has in increasing asset efficiency, a global study found, but only 15 percent have implemented dedicated strategies toward that end.…

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3D Printing: A Unique Solution to EOL

My love-hate relationship with printers goes way back. I worked in several corporate offices during the 1980s when there was one printer on every floor and it wasn’t working 50 percent of the time. The only person who could load or fix the printer was an executive assistant who had more important things to do.…