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CMs Establish Operations in Mexico ...NAMPA, Idaho MCMS Inc. announced its intent to establish a 112,000 sq. ft. operation in Monterrey, Mexico. The facility will initially focus on printed circuit board (PCB) assembly and test, and will expand to include system assembly as well as a full range of order fulfillment services. The project was scheduled to commence at the beginning of October, with volume production by the first quarter of 2000.

The addition of a manufacturing operation in Mexico is designed to enable MCMS to better support its customers' global production requirements. According to MCMS, Monterrey's strong educational system, combined with a work force experienced in electronics, should provide a strong employee base for the new operation.

"We are excited about our entry into Mexico and believe it is a critical step in our global expansion plans," said Richard Downing, president and COO. "Monterrey offers strategic advantages to MCMS in terms of its geographic location as well as the availability of a professional, highly skilled, technical work force."

The company's move into Mexico follows a recent announcement of a 118,000 sq. ft. expansion of its Penang, Malaysia, operation.

... And Acquire Manufacturer in BrazilNIWOT, Colo. The Dii Group Inc. announced that its PCB fabrication division, Dii-Multek, completed its acquisition of Micro Eletronica Ltda., Sao Paulo, Brazil. Reportedly the only major Brazilian manufacturer of multilayer PCBs, Micro Eletronica occupies approximately 92,000 sq. ft. of manufacturing space and serves several market segments, including: telecommunications, automotive, consumer, industrial automation, office automation, bank auto-mation and computer. Presently, a little more than half of its production is comprised of multilayer boards.

Steven C. Schlepp, president of Dii-Multek, said, "Micro Eletronica has a strong niche in the marketplace since it is the only significant multilayer PCB manufacturer in Brazil, and locally produced goods enjoy about a 20 to 25 percent cost advantage compared with imports due to taxes, duties and freight charges. We will immediately build upon our acquired capabilities to quickly satisfy local demand for a full range of telecom products, including HDI technology for wireless applications."

In other company news, Dii Semicon-ductor Inc., a Dii Group company, announced that Glen Wiley was named vice president of sales and marketing, as well as general manager of the company's gate array division. In addition, Elli Yaniv was named vice president, and Uzi Breier was named vice president of sales and marketing, for the company's European operations.

Most recently, Wiley was the vice president of worldwide sales at Pericom Semiconductor. Before that, he was the vice president of worldwide sales for Dii Semiconductor (Orbit) from 1992 to 1996.

Yaniv was formerly general manager for Dii Semiconductor. He will manage the current activities of Dii Semiconductor in Europe and Israel, including field service and the company's design center in Eilat, Israel.

Breier has years of experience in marketing at Chip Express and National Semiconductor. He will focus efforts on expanding the strategically important European market.

Software Increases Business Value of Strategic OutsourcingMOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., and EINDHOVEN, Netherlands Origin, a global outsourcing and consulting firm, and IntelliCorp, a provider of enterprise life-cycle management products and services, announced that Origin licensed IntelliCorp's LiveModel and LiveCompass products to streamline the audit of and better manage clients' enterprise application systems. Using this technology, Origin's goal is to improve the speed and accuracy of system modeling, and to better predict and manage outsourcing costs, while freeing resources to focus on strategic business issues.

By using IntelliCorp's products, Origin can reportedly help customers: reverse-engineer an operational blueprint of existing enterprise processes; rapidly transition to an outsourcing model; tailor outsourcing agreements to maximize return on information technology investment; capture transactional and operational data to manage ongoing operations; migrate from traditional business processes to an e-commerce infrastructure; develop strategy and prepare for system upgrades; support rapid customization to address competitive business pressures; and improve communication to better manage change.

"By significantly reducing the time consultants spend mapping the intricacies of complex business operating systems, Origin can maximize consultants' value by focusing their energies on strategic tasks," said Robert Pickering, CEO and president of Origin. "IntelliCorp helps automate the hands-on work of enterprise application implementation and outsourcing migration. Customers win because more IT expertise is available for strategic, value-added activities."

Jabil Buys EFTC ServicesST. PETERSBURG, Fla. Jabil Circuit Inc. completed the purchase of EFTC Services Inc., an electronic product service and repair business. Jabil Global Services will continue to offer repair and warranty services for existing and future customers from its hub-based operations in Memphis, Tenn.; Louisville, Ky.; and Tampa, Fla. All EFTC Services employees, as well as key management, have been retained, including Allen Braswell, who will serve as president of Jabil Global Services.

"The ability to seamlessly service our OEM partners product following completion of the traditional manufacturing and fulfillment process is an exciting new service and rounds out our virtual manufacturing model," said Timothy L. Main, president, Jabil.

"The natural synergy between Jabil's current customers and the existing repair and services business customers is strong," added Braswell. "We intend to capitalize on Jabil's proven operational strengths and worldwide facilities in expanding and growing this business."

Donation Made to Nature PreserveNEENAH, Wis. Plexus Corp., along with the SemiCycle Foundation (an Austin, Texas-based, not-for-profit organization established to collect and recycle plastic packaging materials used in technology manufacturing), made a donation of $4,000 to the Gordon Bubolz Nature Preserve, a nature preservation organization responsible for overseeing 782 acres in eastern and central Wisconsin. The funds will help support the organization's efforts to provide educational and recreational opportunities for people of all ages.

"The recycling partnership between Plexus and SemiCycle benefits both the community and the environment," said Peggy McGaffey, Gordon Bubolz Nature Preserve board president, "and the donation to the Nature Preserve is a tangible example of how this unique recycling program supports a very worthwhile community organization."

In other company news, Plexus Corp. acquired Shure Inc.'s circuitry products manufacturing assets and operations in Wheeling, Ill. An existing Plexus customer, Shure manufactures wireless microphones and personal monitor systems.

Under the terms of the agreement, Plexus will build circuit boards at the Wheeling facility for Shure's wireless and digital signal processing products. The company will also continue to manufacture for Shure at its facilities in Neenah, Wis.

Flip Chip Capabilities Added

SANTA ANA, Calif. Express Manufacturing Inc. added the capability to handle flip chip parts to complement its turnkey electronics manufacturing facility in Southern California. The recently installed Fuji QP-242-706 modular placer reportedly has the capability to pick, vision inspect, and place flip chips and other bump interconnection devices such as ball grid arrays (BGA). The machine also applies flux during the process.

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The system's placement accuracy and units-per-hour capability are said to create an initial capacity of 200,000 pieces per month with a two-shift, five-day workweek operation. This capacity can be expanded to 300,000 pieces per month by adding a third shift and some additional pieces of equipment. It will be used to support Express Manufacturing's customers in markets including telecommunications, PCs and laptops, medical, and automotive.

"The speed and flexibility of the system allows us to compete with today's fast production flows," said C.P. Chin, president, EMI.

Solectron Gets SMARTMILPITAS, Calif. Solectron Corp. and SMART Modular Technologies Inc., a designer and manufacturer of memory modules and cards, embedded computers, and I/O products, completed a definitive merger agreement. The transaction is said to be the largest in the contract manufacturing industry, valued at approximately $2 billion.

Under the terms of the agreement, SMART will operate as part of Solectron's newly formed technology solutions business unit, which will provide building block technologies such as memory modules; embedded board and systems solutions for telecommunications, networking, industrial control and consumer applications; communications solutions such as I/O, networking and wireless devices; and PC/server solutions for servers, desktops and notebook applications. The transaction will add approximately 1,900 associates and 290,000 sq. ft. of manufacturing capacity to Solectron. The company will be gaining a manufacturing presence in Aguada, Puerto Rico, and additional manufacturing capacity through SMART's facilities in Fremont, Calif.; East Kilbride, Scotland; and Penang, Malaysia. In addition, Solectron will gain design centers in Fremont; Bangalore, India; Boston; and Ayr, Scotland.

"Solectron's global supply-chain facilitator model is made up of business-unit enterprises consisting of highly efficient and cost-effective technology, materials, manufacturing and operations, and global services. All of these units are integrated with effective supply-chain processes and systems to provide real-time information internally between business units and to the global market. This will enable Solectron to respond with the most effective global services for the time-dependent marketplace, where technology innovations continue to shorten product life cycles," said Dr. Ko Nishimura, Solectron's chairman, president and CEO.

Ajay Shah, chairman, CEO and co-founder of SMART Modular Technologies, said, "We are continuing to see increased customer demands for complex manufacturing process capability for our new product offerings within memory, data communications, and embedded boards and systems. By joining forces with Solectron, it will allow us to focus on our products and technology offerings while accelerating our growth by utilizing Solectron's advanced manufacturing process strengths, operations capability and global footprint. At the same time, we will be able to utilize our technical, sales, marketing and design strengths to create an effective supply-chain process for our customers."

At the completion of the transaction, Solectron will appoint Shah president and CEO of the newly formed technology solutions business unit.

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