April 2012


Board Fabrication
3D Printing PCBs
In practice since the 1980s, 3D printing is finally ready for prime time. Why this additive manufacturing technology is being embraced by electronics manufacturers, and what it means for PCB companies.
by Richard Bartlett

Apex Expo Recap
'Trekking On'
Following three tepid years in Las Vegas, a move to San Diego offered the annual trade show a new lease on life. And like the last time it was held in this Southern California city, Apex did not disappoint. Plus: Our annual SEA and NPI Award winners.
by Mike Buetow

EMS Top 50
Hard Lessons Learned
Mother Nature put the hurt on contract assemblers from Japan to Thailand last year, but it wasn't just gravity that brought the once high-flying Elcoteq back to earth. It was almost enough for us to overlook another year of controversy at Foxconn. (Almost.) Elcoteq notwithstanding, the 10 largest EMS companies remained mostly static in 2011. But there was plenty of movement below.
by Mike Buetow



  • Caveat Lector
    ITAR'd and feathered.
    Mike Buetow


  • ROI
    Changes in attitude.
    Peter Bigelow

  • Focus on Business
    Mixing generations.
    Susan Mucha

  • Forefront
    Going for broke.
    E. Jan Vardaman



  • Designer’s Notebook
    Modifying the stencil layer.
    Duane Benson

  • In Flex
    Material selection.
    Jay Desai

  • Defects Database
    Solder tip life.
    Dr. Chris Hunt

  • Solar
    Progress on efficiency.
    Tom Falcon

  • Technical Abstracts
    In case you missed it.

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