Orbotech’s Outsourcing Twist

Contracting assembly certainly is nothing new around these parts. Semiconductor design firms routinely outsource waber fab and packaging. OEMs have sent out everything from systems design to circuit board layout to component assembly and test. Indeed, our sister magazine, CIRCUITS ASSEMBLY, has covered the electronics manufacturing services industry for 20 years.

But a new deal between Ultra Clean Holdings and Orbotech puts a slightly new twist on an old paradigm.
Under the agreement, Orbotech will outsource production of certain AOI machines to Ultra Clean. Given that designing and building AOIs is considered to be Orbotech’s core competency, it would appear that the OEM is rethinking even that part of its business model.

Are process equipment makers next to follow end-product OEMs like Cisco and IBM into full-scale outsourcing?

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About Mike

Mike Buetow is president of the Printed Circuit Engineering Association (pcea.net). 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