Around the World

Altair ECAD Integrates Ultra Librarian Parts Library

TROY, MI – Ultra Librarian’s CAD model library is now available to Altair users in several Altair ECAD verification and multiphysics solutions, including Altair PollEx, Altair SimLab, and Altair One UDE.

Ultra Librarian gives users instant access to more than 16 million symbols, footprints, and 3-D models and provides a comprehensive, cloud-based library that eliminates the need for manual building and maintenance.

“Integrating Ultra Librarian into Altair tools is a massive step for our ECAD verification and multiphysics solutions, which will give users more power than ever before,” said Sam Mahalingam, chief technology officer, Altair. “Now, users have access to verified Ultra Librarian CAD models directly from within Altair desktop applications and cloud-based systems. This makes workflows far more accurate and efficient – saving time, effort, and costs.”

The integration of Ultra Librarian into Altair electronics solutions gives users the ability to search, preview, and place components quickly through the web or with native CAD integrations, saving time and eliminating errors. Each model is extensively verified for accuracy and consistency with industry standards, empowering users to confidently plug models directly into their tools to see exactly how designs, components, and systems will look upon completion. This will significantly cut modeling time and ensure simulations are accurate and represent a true digital twin of their design.

Users can now utilize Ultra Librarian’s models in Altair’s multiphysics products for printed circuit board manufacturing verification, and thermal, structural, and mechanical simulation and beyond.

“We are excited to take this next step with Altair to give its customers more power, efficiency, and accelerated opportunities to innovate,” said Manny Marcano, president and chief executive officer, EMA Design Automation. “This collaboration further enhances Altair’s world class technology and will help electronic design customers in all industries increase their productivity.” Article ending bug

Kinwong Joins PCB Fabs with Thai Site Plans

SHENZHEN – Kinwong Electronic plans to invest CNY700 million ($96 million) in a new printed circuit board production site in Thailand, joining a host of other board fabricators migrating to or expanding in Southeast Asia to mitigate the potential impacts of trade wars between the US and China.

The site, to be located in Prachinburi province, will be built in phases depending on market needs and the company’s finances, the firm said.

Kinwong joins Shenzhen Jove PCB, Huizhou China Eagle Electronic Technology, Aohong Electronics, ASKPCB, Yahao, Shengyi and several other PCB fabricators and suppliers among those that have announced plans to expand in Thailand.

Kinwong was the world’s 15th-largest PCB supplier by revenue in 2022, with sales of more than $1.56 billion, according to the latest NTI-100 list, published this month by PCD&F/CIRCUITS ASSEMBLYArticle ending bug

nScrypt Receives Patent for Modular Mobile Direct Digital Manufacturing System

ORLANDO, FL – Florida-based microdispensing specialist nScrypt has received a patent for a shipping container-based modular system tailored for direct digital manufacturing.

The Modular Mobile Direct Digital Manufacturing System features exceptional adaptability in managing a vast spectrum of materials, spanning from high and low-temperature thermoplastics to formidable substances such as metals and ceramics, the company said.

“This shipping-containerized direct digital manufacturing system fulfills the promise of regional, local, and distributed manufacturing,” said nScrypt CEO Ken Church. “It can respond in real time to changing demands, even autonomously if necessary. With a system covered by this patent, anyone can 3-D manufacture almost anything, anywhere, anytime.”

DDM leverages 3-D printing and additive manufacturing techniques to produce final-use components. As additive methods and materials advance, new prospects emerge to create custom-manufactured parts. This evolution within the additive realm renders numerous projects feasible, overcoming the constraints of scale economics. It empowers innovators to address a multitude of high-value design, engineering, and manufacturing dilemmas.

Apart from its 3-D printing prowess, the system includes essential 3-D manufacturing components such as an electronic component pick-and-place system and a bioreactor. Notably, through the integration of nScrypt’s Factory in a Tool, this container-based system gains the capability to 3-D manufacture complete and operational electronic devices.

Besides its multifaceted functionality, this modular system presents an array of advanced features. Its collapsible design significantly improves adaptability. In addition, it comes equipped with features such as electrostatic discharge flooring, integrated communication systems (WiFi, LiFi, or satellite), ultraviolet lighting, HVAC, solar power, multi-fuel power sources, secure blockchain-based file transactions, radio frequency shielding, and even a drone landing platform. Article ending bug

Icape Expands German PCB Presence with Princitec Acquisition

FONTENAY-AUX-ROSES, FRANCE – Icape Group has strengthened its presence in Germany with the acquisition of Princitec, a Düsseldorf-based PCB supplier.

Since 2004, Princitec has been providing the full range of technical, sourcing and quality services associated with the distribution of printed circuit boards, and backed by a network of 11 distributors in Asia and Europe, the company benefits from the commercial capacity to meet the needs of a wide variety of industries within very tight deadlines, thanks in particular to its wide range of products, Icape Group said in announcing the acquisition.

With a base of 35 active customers, mainly located in Germany, Princitec generated revenue of €6.5 million ($7 million) in 2022, with a gross margin of around 25.5%.

With this transaction, Icape said it is unlocking a significant synergy potential while continuing to diversify its sourcing. Following the acquisition of HLT announced at the end of May 2023, the acquisition also strengthens Icape’s position in Germany, Europe’s leading PCB market.

“With the acquisition of Princitec, we pursue the acceleration of our external growth strategy, focusing on supply and commercial synergies and cost optimization,” said Yann Duigou, CEO, Icape Group. “Princitec presents all the necessary assets to generate incremental organic growth following its integration into our group. In addition, its seasoned team, solid supplier network and customer portfolio spanning a wide variety of industries will strengthen our position in Germany, one of the world’s leading markets. Our pipeline of potential acquisitions remains very strong, and we are in advanced discussions with targets covering all geographies, enabling us to reiterate our target of €30 million ($31.8 million) in additional revenue this year.”

“Icape Group, in addition to its position as a leading player in our market, has a set of values in line with our DNA, focused on product quality and customer relations,” said Princitec managing director Bernhard Tschampel. “Thanks to this association, our customers will benefit fully from Icape’s purchasing power and unique logistics platform, which will lead to a strengthening of the quality of service provided by our teams. We look forward to collaborating with the group’s German subsidiary to deploy the potential synergies between our two entities.” Article ending bug

DuPont to Collaborate with YMT To Enhance Korean Service

SEOUL – DuPont announced a collaboration with Korean PCB manufacturer YMT to better address local customer needs.

Under the collaboration, DuPont’s circuit imaging material expertise will be combined with YMT’s local network. YMT has also invested in establishing a dry-film slitting facility in Ansan, Korea, and expects operations to begin in October.

“We are excited by growing our relationship with DuPont,” said Peter Baek, chief business officer and vice president, YMT. “By aligning more fully with DuPont, we can leverage our strength in technical service and logistics to meet the varied needs of our customers as the industry continues to grow. We are confident that our collaboration will create long-term value for our customers.”

“YMT is one of the leading companies in the global chemical material industry with strong technology development capability. We are pleased to work with YMT to advance the electronic industry and build a more connected value chain to serve our customers in Korea,” said Yuan Yuan Zhou, global business director, metallization & imaging, DuPont. “We believe the win-win strategy will reinforce our circuit imaging market in Korea while YMT will expand its current product offerings by adding Riston dry films.” Article ending bug

TNO Presents Roadmap to Sustainable Printed Electronics

EINDHOVEN, NETHERLANDS – An estimated 1.2 metric tons of printed circuit boards annually end up as e-waste, but only a third is recycled in environmentally sound facilities. This means that around 800 million kilograms may be traded, recycled in a noncompliant and polluting manner, or end up in a landfill.

To help lower that number and develop a more ecofriendly alternative to PCBs, TNO at Holst Centre has developed a roadmap to sustainable printed electronics that promotes the development of hybrid and printed electronics (HPE). This technology is a big step forward compared to PCBs, according to TNO, but much more is needed to achieve circular production of next-generation electronics.

Transitioning from PCBs to HPE (Hybrid and Printed Electronics) provides immediate opportunities to achieve ecological benefits: reduced device thickness, lower weight, printed sensors, and additive instead of deductive manufacturing of the circuitry.

Printed electronics is a disruptive technology that is on the verge of breakthrough in the automotive, lighting and medical domains. Each use case represents a slimmer, lighter, more appealing, more practical, and less polluting alternative to the conventional device based on printed circuit boards.

However, in both types of electronics – PCBs and HPE – the circuitry and SMDs contain potentially critical, high-impact metals embedded in plastics to protect them from external influences, such as mechanical damage and moisture. As opposed to PCBs, the environmental impact of HPE can be further reduced by using recyclable, bio-based, and renewable or compostable materials.

Roadmap to sustainable printed electronics. Most, if not all, products are mass produced. A first primary focus lies with a successful market entry which is often achieved by innovative functionalities in an aesthetic product design at competitive price levels. Manufacturing of such products is often not immediately optimized for low material usage, low power usage, and a minimal carbon footprint.

Instead, single use and low recyclability are often accepted at this stage to achieve commercial success, which may be essential for the survival of the company. Petrochemical materials offer a high degree of reliability, low cost and supply security and are therefore suited for high-volume production in this first stage of the roadmap.

A first step toward increasing a product’s sustainability is to address, and preferably extend, its end-of-life by enabling reparability, for instance by a modular design with repairable or replaceable components, or by enabling upgrades. Such steps do not immediately improve recyclability or reduce the environmental impact of production and the materials, but they do provide a significant improvement to the environmental impact by the simple fact that the product does not need to be replaced by a new one. Also, energy consumption during the use phase may be addressed. For some examples, such as devices containing high-power elements (e.g., lighting), optimization of power usage may be an effective means of lowering the overall environmental impact.

Following this second stage, a third step may be taken in which a product undergoes a simplification of its design with a reduction of coatings to limit material usage, production steps and overall energy consumption. Printed electronics technology offers an increasingly credible alternative to PCBs and perfectly matches this stage in the roadmap: 1) lower thickness, 2) printed functionalities instead of discrete SMD components that have a higher footprint, 3) recyclable thermoplastic polymers and 4) additive manufacturing as opposed to deductive etching of copper. Nonetheless, challenges remain in terms of costs and reliability in comparison to the PCB.

Circular use of materials requires more drastic changes, especially to enable other choices at end-of-life. When end-of-life is reached, the product needs to be dismantled into its chemical building blocks. Here, printed electronics also provides opportunities, as many of the starting materials are meltable and therefore relatively easy to dismantle. The favored cradle-to-cradle recycling approach is a possibility to further reduce the environmental impact.

Seamlessly integrated electronic products manufactured to survive rigorous testing in harsh environments cannot be disassembled so easily, however, which leaves shredding and incineration of these products as the only option at end-of-life. The plastics serve as energy carriers for metallurgic processes. While metallurgic processing at an industrial scale may be very efficient for metal recovery, the plastics are lost entirely. Recuperation of the plastics faces the challenge of achieving a high enough purity level to reach the material properties of the initial plastic. When combining plastics with coatings or metals or other plastics, purity levels plummet and only secondary use is realistic. Recycling of integrated electronics to yield metals, components and plastics separately and in a pure and circularly usable form therefore requires a method of disassembly prior to recycling. Not only does this allow circular use of all components and materials, it also enables higher recycling rates. It is therefore vital for electronics production in a circular economy to include design-for-recycling principles.

In the before-last stage, bio-based materials may be introduced as a replacement for generally used fossil-based polymers. In the final stage, biodegradability is an option for specific use cases where disposal into the environment is likely or a more effective approach to recycling. Devices applied to the human body with a limited lifetime of days to weeks are well-suited to go this far in their sustainable developments, while others intended for long-term use are less likely to benefit from biodegradability. Materials from bio-based origins are considered to be environmentally friendly, but large volume production may put additional strain on food supplies and animal feed (first-generation feedstock) or land use for non-food biomass (second generation). Algae are a promising candidate for third-generation biomass due to a very high growth rate (five to 10 times terrestrial plants). Moreover, cultivation of algae does not strain food supplies and available cultivated farmland. Article ending bug

BYD to Buy Jabil’s Mobility Unit for $2.2B

SHENZHEN – Chinese automaker BYD’s electronics unit has agreed to purchase Jabil’s mobile electronics manufacturing business in China for 15.8 billion yuan ($2.2 billion).

The deal will expand BYD Electronic’s customer base, product portfolio and its smartphone components business as it looks to capture Jabil’s potential growth in the sector, the company said.

“The acquisition will also ensure long-term sustainable development while creating value for customers and shareholders,” said Wang Nianqiang, CEO, BYD Electronic.

Jabil established a unit earlier this year that absorbed its product-manufacturing businesses in Chengdu and Wuxi, China, which will now be sold to the Chinese group.

“This transformational deal would represent the largest transaction in the history of our company, and I am thrilled to be able to work with a reputable company like BYDE to drive this business successfully forward,” said Jabil CEO Kenny Wilson. “If completed, the proceeds from this transaction will enable us to enhance our shareholder-centric capital framework, including incremental share buybacks. Additionally, it will provide opportunities for further investment in electric vehicles, renewable energy, healthcare, AI cloud data centers, and other end-markets.” Article ending bug

Kaynes to Build OSAT, PCB Fab Facilities in India

KARNATAKA, INDIA – Kaynes Technology has signed an agreement with the Indian state of Karnataka in which the state government will invest Rs 3,750 crore ($435.9 million) for two Kaynes subsidiaries to set up a PCB manufacturing plant and a semiconductor assembly and testing (OSAT) facility.

In a BSE stock exchange filing, Kaynes said Kaynes Semicon Private Limited will lead the setup of the OSAT facility and Kaynes Circuits India Private Limited will spearhead the establishment of a PCB manufacturing plant for producing complex multilayer boards.

The investment agreement is meant to help in creating 3,200 jobs in Karnataka by harnessing collective expertise, meeting pressing demands, and making Karnataka a hub for cutting-edge semiconductor manufacturing. Article ending bug

Vexos Expands Operations with ControlTek Acquisition

NEW YORK – Vexos has acquired Vancouver, WA-based ControlTek, expanding the EMS provider’s footprint to the US’ West Coast to help meet growing customer demands. Financial terms of the deal between the two privately held companies were not disclosed.

The new facility features three SMT lines, specializes in low-to-mid volume, high mix production, and serves the medical, industrial, and aviation, space, and defense markets. The acquisition adds to Vexos’ existing locations in LaGrange, OH; Markham, Ontario, Canada; Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; Dongguan, China; and Hong Kong.

ControlTek has significant accreditations and certifications to support these markets including ISO 9001:2015, ISO 13485:2016, AS9100D:2016, ITAR, IPC, ANSI, AS5553, and is FDA registered, and its in-house electronic design engineering capabilities, and strong new product introduction skills make it a perfect fit for Vexos, the company said in a release.

“We are delighted to announce the addition of ControlTek to the Vexos family,” said Vexos CEO Paul Jona. “The strengths of ControlTek, its West Coast location and its presence in the Aerospace and Defense markets creates new opportunities. This strategic union marks a significant milestone in our journey, enabling us to extend our capabilities and better serve the diverse needs of our valued customers that seek manufacturing solutions from coast-to-coast. By combining the expertise and resources of both companies, we further strengthen our position as a leading force in the market.”

The company said the addition of the Washington facility will extend the reach of its value proposition for which it is well known: its executive engagement and close interaction with its customers, combined with world-class support and services, such as design for excellence (DfX), supply chain services, the global footprint, customized material solutions (CMS) and NPI.

“For over 50 years, ControlTek has delivered EMS solutions and built lasting partnerships with our customers,” said Andy LaFrazia, CEO, ControlTek. “With their extensive global presence and value proposition, Vexos will allow us to offer our customers access to a broad network of additional resources and services. With our combined expertise and shared passion for building strong customer relationships, we are excited to reach new heights.” Article ending bug

Dixon Technologies to Build Smartphone Factory in New Delhi

NEW DELHI – Dixon Technologies is planning a 300,000 sq. ft. factory here to produce Xiaomi smartphones, as India pushes Chinese tech firms to use local assembly partners.

Dixon will invest more than 4 billion rupees ($48.2 million) over three years in the factory, which is set to be inaugurated by a government official toward the end of September.

Beijing-based Xiaomi has been compelled to partner with Dixon for smartphone assembly because India is pressing Chinese companies to localize everything from manufacturing to distribution of devices. In a similar move earlier this year, Xiaomi contracted with India’s Optiemus Electronics to make its Bluetooth neckband earphones, a product it previously imported from China. Article ending bug

EW Healthcare Partners Invests in Enercon Technologies

NEW YORK – EW Healthcare Partners has announced an investment in Enercon Technologies to become a majority shareholder in the business.

Enercon was founded in 1980 by Walter Hebold and Ronald Marcotte and performs contract design, engineering, and manufacturing. It services customers in the medical device, life sciences, and industrial/defense end-markets. Enercon’s revenues have more than doubled since 2019, when the company’s new facility came online following $26 million of investment by the founders to significantly expand capacity to about 100,000 sq. ft. in support of robust demand from customers.

“We are thrilled to partner with the Enercon team to help continue their history of impressive growth, while providing additional resources and investment to further expand upon their innovative offerings for existing and future customers,” said Brooks Andrews, managing director, EW Healthcare Partners. “Feedback from the market was clear in our diligence – Enercon excels when it comes to engineering and manufacturing capabilities, quality, and reliably serving its customers’ needs – and we look forward to increasing the awareness of these core strengths in the years ahead.”

“Enercon is excited to partner with EW Healthcare for the next stage of our company’s growth,” said Ryan Marcotte, CEO, Enercon. “EW enhances Enercon’s already strong financial and operational position by providing expertise in Enercon’s core end-markets of healthcare and medtech. EW shares our vision of growing Enercon as a platform and they align with our values and culture that our employees are our most important asset. We are thrilled to have EW as our partner.” Article ending bug