Dealing With the China Cost Crater

Not to overstate the obvious, but given a choice between two off-the-shelf products with the same reliability and feature set, nine out of 10 times, price will determine which item gets purchased. People generally do not care where a product is made. Often they are unaware that a local company has imported and relabeled or…

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Raising the Awareness of Component Obsolescence

Although Electronica is largely dedicated to new technology, obsolescence is a growing problem in the supply chain. So this year, Electronica is spending some time on lifecycle management. The Components Obsolescence Group (COG) started in the UK in 1997 when equipment manufacturers recognized that there was a growing problem with component obsolescence, specifically with semiconductors.…

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China’s Medical Equipment Market Sizzles

The Chinese healthcare and medical equipment market is on a growth spurt that has Western OEMs salivating over its sales potentials, and priming their supply chain for profit opportunities in the world's most populous nation. Danger looms in the $357 billion market, however, and failure to understand the challenges of China's evolving healthcare industry could…

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Value of Tech M&A on the Decline

High-tech companies are still sitting on piles of cash, but they aren’t using much of it for merger and acquisition, according to Ernst & Young’s most recent global technology update. Tech M&A value declined to $28.2 billion in the third quarter of 2012, down 52 percent from the prior year. While the total number of…

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Electronica 2012: Good Vibrations

In 2010, the city of Munich, Germany bid a temporary farewell to the biggest premier electronics show in Europe. It's hard to believe that two years have come and gone, but needless to say, members of the electronics industry are packed up, re-energized, and thrilled to be heading back to Munich for Electronica 2012. Despite…

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Save Those Failed Components

An often overlooked discipline for component engineers is the retrieval of failed components from customer service technicians. Many times when products are sent back for repair, the technicians fail to keep running records of the failed components. Or, worse yet, they fail to push the trouble-causing parts back to the engineers for evaluation. Valuable information…

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The Rise & Fall of Tom Thumb

Between my finger and my thumb The squat pen rests; snug as a gun — Seamus Heaney A few years ago, I read about a contest in Japan that pitted cellphone texters against one another in a thumb speed competition. The results were astounding. Hundreds of teenagers tapped out staggering amounts of digital copy, their…

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