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NORTH BILLERICA, MABTU International Inc., supplier of advanced thermal processing equipment, said first quarter 2008 net sales were $16.6 million, up 10% year-over-year, and down 9% sequentially.
Net income was $100,000, down 83% from the preceding quarter, and down almost 86% compared to the first quarter of 2007.
“First quarter sales and income were in line with the forecasted ranges. Cash flow was positive, with a quarter-end balance of $27 million, and bookings during the quarter for both electronics and solar were strong,” said Paul J. van der Wansem, chairman and CEO of BTU.
“As we outlined at the end of the fourth quarter of 2007,” said van der Wansem, “we are in the midst of an aggressive program to grow our alternative energy business. Managed by our new Alternative Energy Business Group, we are adding employees and investing heavily in technology and new product development. Although the cost of these initiatives will have a negative impact on short term results, we believe they are necessary...”
The company remains conservative about the electronics business outlook for the second half of the year because of weakening economic conditions. BTU expects second-quarter sales in the range of $19 to $20 million.
Earnings are expected to show a moderate improvement compared to the quarter just finished, as the firm foresees a continuing ramp of costs associated with executing the plan to grow its alternative energy business.
ELKHART, IN – EMS provider CTS Corp. announced first-quarter 2008 revenues of $172.8 million, up 6% compared to the same period last year.

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BOSTON – Nepcon East opened today to predictably modest crowds and a surprisingly upbeat mood. Attendance was difficult to gauge. On one hand, there were ample people in the aisles. On the other, it was near impossible to know at a glance which show they were there for: Nepcon, Assembly New England or OEM New England, the latter two of which cater to distinctly different customers.  Read more ...
HERNDON, VA – The North American workshop for the 2009 iNEMI Roadmap will review drafts of most of the 22 technology/business process chapters to be included in the roadmap.
The full-day meeting, scheduled for May 14, at iNEMI’s Herndon, VA headquarters, provides for a two-way dialogue.
The registration deadline is May 8.
Chapter committees will give industry a “sneak peek” at work in progress, and workshop participants can provide feedback and direction to ensure that the final chapters accurately reflect the state of the industry and anticipate future directions.
In addition to the workshop in North America, roadmap workshops are scheduled in Europe (June 18 in Leuven, Belgium) and Asia (July 28 in Shanghai).
HONG KONG – Xinye Technology Enterprises has selected the Suining Innovation Industrial Zone in Sichuan Province, China, to build a new PCB manufacturing plant. Located in Southwest China, the manufacturing facility will reportedly be the largest in this area of the country when completed, occupying about 7 million sq. ft.

The company reports that it expects to take three to five years to build the facility, with a cost of over $250 million required for completion. The designed annual capability of the base will reportedly be 5 million square meters, and create 6,000 to 8,000 new jobs for the area.

LOGAN, UTAH -- When Blake Kirby first invested in Inovar, some 10 years ago, he “didn’t even know what contract manufacturing was.” Now president and COO of the EMS firm, Kirby recalls when he first saw the company, it was housed in a garage. The space was so small, the first SMT line the company purchased cleared the walls by a scant 4".

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LEXINGTON, MA -- Cookson Electronics will implement IBS America's quality management software at its 55 locations around the world, the software supplier said today.

According to IBS, Cookson purchased an enterprise license for IBS's QSi system. Cookson has used the  tools since 2001 to streamline document control and resolve customer concerns. With the purchase of the enterprise license, the software will now be used by 2,500 employees across multiple divisions.

"We chose to implement the QSi System worldwide in order to standardize quality systems," said Adam Gorski, IT global vice president, Cookson Electronics/AMG. "The enterprise system will help us with systems integration globally, and allow us to communicate changes in documentation across all of our locations and coordinate rapid, consistent responses to customer concerns."

BEIJING -- A group of leading Chinese consumer electronics companies today announced the formation of an industry consortium whose mission is to build and drive the adoption of the next-generation interactive television and home CE networking interface known as DIVA, or Digital Interface for Video and Audio. The DIVA Consortium's charter members (called the Promoters Group) include major CE and home appliance manufacturers such as Sichuan Chang Hong Electric, Qingdao Haier, Hisense Electric, Konka, Nanjing Panda Electronics, Skyworth Group, SVA Information, TCL, and Synerchip.

The Promoters Group will demonstrate the DIVA bi-directional technology next month and expects to release the specification by the end of 2008.

In addition to the transmission of uncompressed video and audio data, DIVA technology embeds a reliable, high-speed bi-directional data transmission channel to allow the consumer to locate, connect and control various CE devices from a DIVA-enabled digital television (DTV). The DIVA interface purports to help streamline and simplify connections among various electronics devices, offering ease of connection and use. Leveraging a single interface, which integrates multimedia and data communication, the DIVA standard promises to upgrade home networks to a new level, making DTVs the center of the home entertainment network.

Today's digital interfaces are point-to-point connections that are limited in their ability to accommodate a network of devices. DIVA reportedly has the ability to connect multiple source devices to multiple displays, to monitor and control various digital home appliances from the TV in the living room, and to organize various personal and mobile entertainment devices in the same home network.

The China Video Industry Association has agreed to fully support the DIVA standard.


DUBLIN -- Printed electronics will be a $300 billion market within 20 years, claims a recent research report, with the largest segment printed transistors and memory.

The technology, says Research and Markets, will drive lighting, displays, signage, electronics, medical disposables, smart packaging and smart labels, among other products. The firm claims more than 150 organizations across the chemical, plastics, printing, electronics and other industries are developing printed transistors and memory, with the first products being sold this year.

NEWARK, NY -- IEC Electronics reported second-quarter revenue of $11.9 million and net profit of $673,000. For the quarter ended March 28, revenues climbed 9% and earnings were up 11.6% over last year. (A year ago, pro forma earnings included a one-time gain; without it, net profits would have been $314,000.)

For the quarter, gross margin improved to 11.6%, from 10.3% sequentially, due to changes in product mix and improved manufacturing efficiency.

In a press release, chairman and CEO Barry Gilbert said, “We had a solid quarter. The current economic slowdown is challenging and some of our customers are experiencing reduced revenue growth in their markets. While we expect some of the demand from these customers to be lower than last year, other customers are substantially increasing their orders with us, and their prospects appear to be bright for the balance of fiscal 2008.” 

SAN JOSE -- Flextronics, the world's second-largest EMS company, reported record fourth quarter net sales on the integration of competitor Solectron.

For the period ended March 31, sales rose 66% year-over-year to $7.8 billion, while operating profit increased 86% to $263 million, and adjusted net income jumped 76% to $215 million. Including one-time charges, the company took a loss of $93 million, down from $121 million last year.

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MOSCOW – JSC Sitronics reported a 7.9% year-on-year gain in sales, to $605 million, but fell to a net loss of $46.1 million, from earnings of $24.3 million, for the period ended Dec. 31.

For the year, Sitronics reported revenues of $1.62 billion and a net loss of $233.9 million. Cash from operating activities rose $147.1 million for the year.

Sitronics makes telecommunications, IT and other electronics products, and suppliers EMS services.

Sitronics EMS reported sales of $69.3 million for the year. Last year, the company merged its Consumer Electronics and Electronics Manufacturing Services units.

Sitronics forecasted growth of more than 15% in 2008.

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