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Now that the worst of the financial meltdown is (hopefully) behind us, one of the trends to watch will be how quickly EMS companies expand capacity.

Plexus, which has always been conservative in its approach, said this week it would first consider adding to its Penang, Malaysia, base, which is currently its largest campus, as well as alternatives in China and possibly Thailand. It said its next investment in Europe would likely be in Oradea, Romania, where the company already has two sites and feels “a more permanent location in very close proximity” would be in order.

Celestica, on the other hand, said it is looking to acquire fairly modest-sized health-care businesses, but hasn’t indicated plans to add capacity.

Flextronics and Jabil appear more set on building up manufacturing capabilities for alternative energy products. Foxconn, of course, looks like it might invest just about anywhere.

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About Mike

Mike Buetow is president of the Printed Circuit Engineering Association ( He previously was editor-in-chief of Circuits Assembly magazine, the leading publication for electronics manufacturing, and PCD&F, the leading publication for printed circuit design and fabrication. He spent 21 years as vice president and editorial director of UP Media Group, for which he oversaw all editorial and production aspects. He has more than 30 years' experience in the electronics industry, including six years at IPC, an electronics trade association, at which he was a technical projects manager and communications director. He has also held editorial positions at SMT Magazine, community newspapers and in book publishing. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois. Follow Mike on Twitter: @mikebuetow