SMT007 Magazine

SMT-Feb2016

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36 SMT Magazine • February 2016 by Gary Tanel McDoNAlD TEcHNologiES The onshoring trend has been speculated and talked about for a few years now, and is cer- tainly a reality with greater opportunities and challenges. Responsivity, time to market, wage normalization, and intellectual property is driv- ing OEMs to look for suppliers that are closer and smaller. Pirating If you attended this year's Consumer Elec- tronics Show (CES) is Las Vegas, you might have seen that some foreign companies got in trouble for pirating new designs of U.S. companies that were manufacturing in Asia. This is a big con- cern for smaller companies that have new prod- ucts but don't have the staff to combat this. As a result, they are sticking closer to home where they know the laws and have more control. automation: the Great Normalizer As automation goes up, the impact of cheap- er labor goes down. Automation also takes out the variability and human error. However, if you're not careful, you can create a lot of rework fast with high-speed equipment. A few highly skilled people running automated equipment is more efficient than lots of low pay manual as- sembly people making errors. Multifunctional In the past, the lead companies were vertical- ly integrated, and then the trend for the smaller companies was to become more focused. Now, we are trending more multifunctional to elimi- nate the multiple mark-ups that drive up price. challenges and opportunities for smaller ems for onshoring 36 SMT Magazine • February 2016 Feature sHort

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