Design007 Magazine

PCBD-Jan2014

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feature column point of view 2013: A Look Back by Steve Williams After a very challenging year for the domestic PCB industry, global business conditions are slowly improving. Let's take a look back at 2013 and also a look forward to what we can expect as we move into the New Year. Like many of you, I grew up in this business. I cut my teeth (and more than a few body parts) in this industry working for my dad in the family business. At the risk of dating myself, this was well before the advent of CNC machines, CAD/CAM and automatic plating equipment. Throughout the past three decades, I have been proud to see this business grow into the professional industry it has become. I am vested in the success of our industry; it matters to me. 16 The PCB Design Magazine • January 2014 2013 News Flash: The U.S. economy is still not working! After a number of false starts, missteps and failed technologies in the renewable industry, solar/photovoltaic demand is beginning to recover. Europe's tighter fiscal policies have squeezed consumer purchasing power and increased sovereign-debt tensions, which has an impact on global business. U.S. consumer confidence has not improved and is still hovering around 80%. The unemployment rate is 7.2% (published), which is bad enough, but after factoring in the millions of people that are no longer counted because they have flat-out quit looking, the "real" unemployment number

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