The EMS-to-OEM Transition

We list more than 2,400 sites on our Directory of Electronics Manufacturing Services Companies. Of  them, I would hazard to say at least 15 to 20% now offer some form of ODM/OEM work.

It’s not always who you’d think, either. While the obvious companies are there — Foxconn, Pegatron, Wistron, Flextronics, etc. — more and more smaller firms are joining the fun. Everyone from Hunter Technology, which builds discrete RF/microwave components in California, to Mikroelektronika, which makes fare boxes in the Czech Republic, are involved in some sort of original design manufacture or outright OEM work.

At some point I’ll sit down and count out the exact number. Suffice it to say, it will be significant. EMS firms never sit still.

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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