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SCHAUMBURG, IL -- Misumi USA will conduct a series of configuration technical seminars in Texas next month. The four-hour seminars are on designing machines faster with configurable components and are designed to help engineers overcome time and performance pressures typically associated with custom machine builds.

The series takes place April 1, at the Hilton Houston Southwest; April 2, at the Hilton Austin Airport; and April 3, at the Hilton Arlington.

Misumi manager of product development Mike Melone, an experienced engineer of configurable components, will present.

To register visit www.misumiusa.com/techseminars.aspx.


MANCHESTER, NH – EMS firm EPM is closing its sole US factory and laying off 50 workers.

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GLEN ALLEN, VA – Sales of printed RFID devices will reach $3.6 billion by 2015, a new report claims.
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SHANGHAI – Inspection equipment OEM YESTech Inc. has established a sales and support office outside Shanghai.
 
The office is co-located in the Nordson China facility at the Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park in Pudong, and will provide sales, training and technical support.
 
The 8,000 sq. meter, 190-employee site provides demo labs for each division and an advanced training center for up to 200 people.
ELKHART, IN – EMS provider CTS Corp. announced the acquisition of privately held Orion Manufacturing Inc. for approximately $10 million in cash.
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SIOUX FALLS, SDRaven Industries reported fourth-quarter sales and earnings rose 14% and 3%, respectively, for the period ended Jan. 31.

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CHARLOTTE, NC – The North Carolina Economic Investment Committee voted today to award a Job Development Investment Grant to Tessera Technologies.

The grant will support Tessera’s consumer optics plans, enabling the company to add 185 jobs and invest approximately $30 million in its Charlotte-based wafer-level optics facilities during the next five years, the company said in a press statement.

The grant calls for the state to provide funds equal to 65% of the state personal income withholding taxes derived from the creation of new jobs, provided Tessera meets set performance targets. Should the company create the jobs called for under the agreement and sustain them for nine years, the agreement could yield as much as $2.64 million in benefits.

EINDHOVEN, NETHERLANDS – Assembléon B.V. and Valor Computerized Systems have established a partnership under which Assembléon’s pick-and-place machine interfaces will be integrated into Valor’s software. 
 
Enhanced machine interfaces are available for Valor’s vPlan on Assembléon’s A-Series, M-Series and X-Series machines. Now, vPlan provides an API to generate manufacturing process definitions for Assembléon machines. 
LOWELL, MATyco Electronics today announced it intends to sell its Radio Frequency Components and Subsystem business.
 
The segment represented about $500 million of total the business unit’s $887 million in sales in 2007, but is considered a non-strategic business.
 
Headquartered in Lowell, MA, the unit employs about 2,000 people at 11 locations throughout the U.S. and Europe.
 
Tyco has no current plans to sell its Public Safety/Land Mobile Radio Systems and Products businesses, which are also part of the Tyco Electronics unit.
 
SAN JOSE – The MicroElectronics Packaging and Test Engineering Council will hold its 6th Annual MEMS packaging symposium on May 22.
 
The one-day event will take place at the Wyndham Hotel in San Jose, and will explore new applications, market opportunities, and enabling technologies for MEMS, including emerging biomedical and consumer sectors.
 
The program will include talks on MEMS and the consumer, automotive and biomedicine markets, and on the impact of wafer-level packaging and 3-D ICs on foundries and the industry.
 
Fore more information, visit www.meptec.org.
EL SEGUNDO, CA – Global shipments of LCD-TVs will nearly double from 2008 to 2012, driven mainly by falling prices and consumer demand for flat screens and HD format, according to iSuppli Corp.
 
Worldwide shipments will rise to 193.9 million units by 2012, a CAGR of 67%.
 
Regionally, Europe and North America continue to be the largest markets for LCD-TVs; shipments in those regions will grow at 13% and 10% CAGRs between 2008 and 2012, respectively. Japanese shipments will remain flat, but sales in China will rise because of the huge uptake in interest spurred by the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympic Games, says iSuppli.
 
Riddhi Patel, principal analyst for television systems at iSuppli, said consumers are trending toward “space-efficient sets that can support the full-HD 1080p pixel format.”
 
Affordability is also a factor, he said. “LCD-TVs in the 42" size range in the first quarter of 2006 were priced at $2,000 and above, but now can be purchased for less than $1,000, making them affordable for a wider range of consumers.”
 
Another factor promoting greater consumer acceptance is aggressive promotion of LCD-TV technology by leading brands. This is attracting consumers that may not have been familiar with the technology, but now have an interest in 1080p after reading or hearing about it, Patel noted.
 
As consumers begin to embrace larger LCD-TVs sized 50" and more, support for full-HD is becoming critical. An increasing number of brands are adopting a full-HD lineup for sets 37" and larger to differentiate their products from the competition and be able to charge premium pricing, according to the research firm.
 
Furthermore, more content in the form of Blu-ray DVDs, game consoles and other devices is raising consumer incentives to buy a full-HD set that can support the best viewing experience. Shipments of full-HD sets will grow at a 45% CAGR between 2008 and 2012 to reach 104 million units or 54% of the market by 2012. In 2007, these sets accounted for a mere 14% of LCD-TV shipments, but will grow to 23% of the 100-million-unit market in 2008.
 
Trends are emerging in the LCD-TV market that will further promote demand and profitability of companies competing in this sector, including the rising use of desktop PC monitor panels for TVs—specifically for smaller sizes of 15-, 19- and 22"; increased emphasis on 120Hz panels; the availability of thin-bezel TVs that make the sets look larger and more attractive, and connectivity options like wireless, Ethernet, USB and SmartMedia becoming increasingly available.

SAN JOSE – An email forum for discussing tin whisker issues and research has been created and is up and running.
 
The forum, also known as a listserv, came from discussions among numerous engineers interested in mitigating potential risks to high reliability products.
 
To subscribe to the list, sending an email to tinwhiskers-request@freelists.org with “subscribe” in the subject field.
 

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