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FRAMINGHAM, MA – The worldwide EMS industry grew 17% in 2007 to $268.1 billion, according to research firm IDC. ODMs grew 23%, yet remain a smaller share of the outsourced market, as the EMS sector accounted for more than 60%.

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TUCSON, AZ – The ESD Association’s 30th annual symposium will take place in Tucson, AZ, Sept. 7 to 12. 

The EOS/ESD Symposium consists of tutorials, technical sessions, workshops, and exhibits. Topics of 29 tutorials will include ESD basics for program manager; ESD on-chip protection in advanced and RF technologies; air ionization; EOS/ESD failure models and mechanisms; in-plant ESD survey and evaluation measurements, and CDM design and characterization.
 
A two-day S20.20 seminar on developing and implementing an ESD control program also will be offered.

Technical sessions will include more than 40 papers that will address device testing, ESD-RF design considerations, factory/materials, system level testing, and other ESD-related topics.
 
Ten interactive workshops will include ESD control and design for extremely sensitive (Class0) devices; ESD protection targets; automated equipment and grounding issues, and protecting high frequency circuits.
 
For more information, visit www.esda.org/symposia.html.
TOKYO – Consumer electronics makers Victor Co. of Japan (JVC) and Kenwood Corp. plan to merge under one holding company on Oct. 1 to curb a pricing war. Under terms of the agreement, investors will receive two shares in the holding company for each JVC share held, and one share for each Kenwood share held. No other financial terms were disclosed.
 
JVC president Kunihiko Sato will become president of the new company, called JVC Kenwood Holdings.
 
The decision to unite follows an alliance between the two companies last summer.
 
JVC, an affiliate of Panasonic, made Japan's first TV and pioneered VHS, but lately has been struggling. Last month, JVC said it would halt domestic production of flat-panel TVs.
 
The merged firm will focus on electronics for auto, home/mobile, professional-use wireless systems and entertainment.
 
The companies had combined operating profits of 9.6 billion yen and revenues of 823.7 billion yen in the fiscal year ended in March.
 
($1 = 103.64 yen)

ST. LOUISNorthrop Grumman has awarded EMS provider LaBarge Inc. a $12 million contract to provide electronic subsystems for the MESA (Multi-role Electronically Scanned Array) radar system.
 
The MESA radar is an airborne surveillance radar system used in military aircraft with airborne early warning and control platforms; it currently flies in Boeing’s 737-700 series aircraft.
 
Production is expected to run through mid 2009 at LaBarge's Huntsville, AK, facility.

WASHINGTON – After losing several appeals, the National Association of Manufacturers released the names of 65 companies that provided significant funding to the trade group for first-quarter lobbying activities.
 
NAM tried to keep the names secret, but ultimately lost an appeal to the Supreme Court for a stay against disclosing the names. A new lobbying law requires trade groups and coalitions to divulge names of members that give more than $5,000 in a quarter for lobbying activities.
 
The failure to comply was $250,000 in fines and up to five years in prison.
 
In its April 30 amended report, NAM provided a Web site link to funders’ list. It also revealed first-quarter lobbying expenditures of more than $2.2 million.
 
Donors included the American Petroleum Institute, AT&T Inc., Bristol-Myers Squibb, Exxon Mobil, General Electric, Northrop Grumman, Clorox and U.S. Steel, among others. Individual contributions or their specific lobbying activities are not specified.
 
In the first quarter, the group lobbied patent reform, taxes, trade agreements, climate change, energy-related legislation, transportation, tort reform, high-speed Internet deployment, health and immigration reform.
 
NAM lobbied Congress, White House, U.S. Trade Representative's office and the Defense, Treasury and Commerce departments, among many others.
 
NAM, with about 11,000 members, filed a lawsuit earlier this year against the lobbying law, and is still appealing an April 11 decision by a federal judge who rejected its argument that a provision violates First Amendment rights.
 
A federal appeals court and Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts rejected the group's requests for stays.

YAVNE, ISRAELOrbotech Ltd. reported revenues for the first quarter totaled $100.5 million, up 14.3% year-over-year, and down about 3% sequentially.

 
Net income was $3.7 million, compared to a net loss of $1.1 million in the fourth quarter, and net income of $5.6 million in the same period of 2007.

 
Sales of equipment to the PCB industry, relating to assembled PCBs, were $8.1 million, down 2.4% sequentially, and up 16% year-over-year.

 
CEO Rani Cohen said, “Our financial results for the quarter, particularly in our PCB business, reflect the challenging global economic environment. On the other hand, we continue to benefit from the strength in the LCD industry, which has led to large orders from LCD manufacturers. Given the ongoing weakness of the dollar, we are continuing to monitor our expenses very closely in order to maintain and improve margins.”

MELVILLE, NY Nu Horizons Electronics said net sales from continuing operations for the fourth quarter were $193.18 million, up 24.3% compared to last year. Sales in its core components distribution business increased 28.2%.
 
Net income for the quarter was $424,000, down almost 19% year-over-year.
 
For the fiscal year ended Feb. 29, revenues increased to $747.2 million, up 11.8% year-over-year. Distribution sales increased 20.1%. Net income was $2,519,000, down 67.4% from the same period last year.
 
Chairman and CEO Arthur Nadata said, “We are executing well on our sales growth strategy with 42% growth in Asia, 106% in Europe and 11.8% total sales growth year-over-year. We continue to invest in Germany and expect this to fuel future growth in Europe.”
 
Professional fees continue to adversely affect earnings, he said.
ALAMEDA, CA – A leading EMS research firm lowered its five-year forecast for electronics production and EMS growth, saying, “economic drivers behind the numbers are a clear signal that the U.S. is in a recession.”
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TALLIN, ESTONIAElcoteq will layoff or reduce the pay of up to 330 workers in its facilities here, the company said.

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BEIJING – China’s electronics exports are up 27.9% through April versus a year ago, the nation’s commerce ministry said.
 
Imports of machinery and electronics products were up 17.8% year-over-year, and comprise 47.3% of all imports by value.
NEWPORT, SOUTH WALESTT Electronics said it would integrate its five manufacturing services businesses into a single division, creating the UK’s largest – and the world’s 25th largest – EMS company.
 
The combined business unit features some 460,000 sq. ft. of manufacturing space and 1,500 staff with sites in Perry, OH; Rogerstone and Aylesbury, UK; Suzhou; and Kuantan, Malaysia.
 
In a statement, TT Electronics chief executive Neil Rodgers said, “Our integrated manufacturing services division offers high-volume services to customers manufacturing low to medium volumes. These include not only a choice of manufacturing location, to fit the profile of technical skills, quality accreditation and cost environment associated with each project, but also a service package that can extend right out to a fully outsourced logistics organization.”
JACKSON, MI – EMS provider Sparton Corp. reported sales for the fiscal third quarter of 2008 totaled $58.14 million, up 21.8% year-over-year.
 
The company reported net income of $634,000 for the third quarter, compared to a net loss of $2.29 million last year.
 
An operating loss of $424,000 was reported for the fiscal third quarter, compared to an operating loss of $3.69 million in the same quarter last year.
 
Medical/scientific instrumentation sales increased $4.28 million from last year, partially a result of new customer programs, the firm said. In addition, higher demand from three existing customers contributed $3.44 million of the increase.
 
Aerospace sales were up $2.8 million from prior year in part because of increased sales to an existing customer of $1.07 million.
 
Government sales continue to be significantly above 2007, with an increase of 80.9%, as a result of sonobuoy testing. However, industrial/other sales declined $2.4 million because of lower demand from one customer.
 
Sales for the nine months ended March 31 totaled $171.9 million, up 15.3% from the same period last year.
 
The company reported a net loss of $2.65 million for the fiscal year to date, versus a net loss of $6.14 million for the corresponding period last year.
 
Medical/scientific instrumentation sales increased $12.2 million. Aerospace sales were up slightly from prior year, primarily due to increased sales to one existing customer of $1.77 million.
 
Government sales for the period increased 92.9% year-over-year. Industrial/other sales declined $11.12 million.
 

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