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Acacia: Fixing What's Wrong with US Patents
By Adam Handelsman, Managing Director, Lippert/Heilshorn and Associates, Inc., firstname.lastname@example.org
The world of intellectual property (IP) and the patent licensing sector have changed rapidly and there are few organizations nimble enough to expand and grow accordingly. Acacia Research arrived on the scene in 2002 and immediately made its impact felt as it did battle for and successfully licensed dozens ...
Improving Project Estimates
By Curt Finch, CEO, Journyx, Austin, TX
Project estimation is extremely difficult without the right data, yet doing it effectively is one of the only ways to ensure the success of the project (and, by extension, the business). Unfortunately, many project managers find themselves unable to answer critical questions like:
New Ways to Access Working Capital
By Patrick Hoss, Capital Partners, Carlsbad, CA
In today's tough lending climate, many small and medium-sized electronic manufacturers or hi-tech businesses are facing financial challenges, and as a result the business owners or senior executives who are running day-to-day operations are looking for new ways to access creative working capital; ...
Translating Productivity into Prosperity
By Ed Romaine, Sapient Automation, Doylestown, PA
It's becoming more apparent that the U.S economy is in a slow but gradually accelerating recovery. According to the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) semi-annual forecast, the U.S. manufacturing sector will grow in 2011, with manufacturing revenue increasing by 5.6 percent. ISM also predicts that ...
Fighting the Environmental Compliance Battle
By Nikki Johnson, Environmental Compliance Engineer, Total Parts Plus, Fort Walton Beach, FL
Complying with the developing environmental legislation within the electronics industry has become increasingly difficult, especially within the last few years. As environmental legislation changes, having up-to-date information is like trying to successfully shoot a moving target. As more restrictions ...
Industrial Recovery: Pushing the Envelope
By Dr. Chris Kuehl, Economic Analyst, Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, International, Rockford, IL
The industrial sector remains the star of the U.S. economy, although it is obvious that it cannot pull the economy along on its own for much longer. It has always been assumed that manufacturers were starting the process of exiting the recession, but at some point the consumer was going to have to ...
A New Safety Standard for High Tech Products
By Tom Burke, Principal Engineer, High-Tech Division, Underwriters Laboratories
In the final years of the 20th Century, an explosion of multimedia technology began to erase the distinctions between different types of products. Suddenly computers, A/V equipment and other new information and communications technology became interconnected and virtually interchangeable. Products originally ...
Automating Communications with Smaller Suppliers
By Bill Metallo, Vice President, Seeburger, Inc., Atlanta, GA
If you're still exchanging purchase orders, material releases and other transaction documents with your smaller suppliers by fax or e-mail, you're losing out on significant savings, efficiency and supply chain visibility opportunities. This is especially true for Asian suppliers, who typically are more ...
Startups: Being There at the Beginning
By Andy Marken, Marken Communications, Santa Clara, CA
Get in on the ground floor, put in a rough year or two and retire a millionaire. It's the American Dream, and has happened quite often — especially during Silicon Valley's heyday and the dot com boom. But today? There are many come-ons, and many of them are bona fide. You've heard them all before ...
eKanban Comes of Age
By Bill Metallo, Vice President, Seeburger, Inc., Atlanta, GA and James Hatcher, Managing Director, Seeburger Asia Pacific, Tokyo
For years, eKanban has been touted as a lean manufacturing strategy capable of automating parts consumption tracking and replenishment, but most of the talk has been as empty as a consumed kanban bin. Tracking material flow in real time by electronic signal (electronic kanban) rather than by hand ...
Six Levels of Customer Engagement
By Dan Adams, President, Advanced Industrial Marketing, Inc., Cuyahoga Falls, OH
Is your company a great innovator? It's a tricky question. If you interrogate your sales team a couple of times a year, then bombard the marketplace with new "solutions" to customer problems, you might assume the answer is yes. After all, you are giving your company's product developers a real workout ...
Austin's Clean Energy Venture Fosters Debate About Utilities
By Wendy Prabhu, President, Mercom Capital Group, Austin, TX
For two days, deal-makers, utilities and emerging clean energy technology companies from across the U.S. converged at Austin's third-annual Clean Energy Venture Summit (CEVS) to share ideas about advancing the smart grid, compete for funding and vie for a chance to participate in the Pecan Street Project ...
Saving Capital and Costs with Test Equipment Rental
By Tessa Lowrey, Marketing, Advanced Test Equipment Rentals, San Diego, CA
In a struggling economy, budgets are being trimmed more than ever. As today's business environment becomes ever more competitive, the bottom line becomes the measurement of success. Companies are expected to produce more results with fewer resources; therefore every dollar must be carefully spent ...
Competitive Analysis Supercharges Marketing
By Jim McMahon, President, Zebra Communications, Simi Valley, CA
Better focused positioning, increased market share, more qualified leads and reduced cost of marketing — these are some of the benefits that competitive analysis, when used in PR, can bring to industrial and high-tech companies.
It's Not "Just a Circuit Breaker"
By Michael Manning, VP of Engineering, Automation Systems Interconnect, Inc., Mechanicsburg, PA
Most design engineers think of a circuit breaker as a low cost commodity component that usually doesn't get much attention when designing a new piece of equipment or system. In fact, on many occasions I have heard someone say, "It doesn't matter; I just need a circuit breaker." The fact of the matter ...
Develop the Right Online Strategy for Recovery
By Susan Orr, Senior Director, Strategic Marketing, ThomasNet, New York, NY
It's no secret that the recession has taken a toll on the industrial and manufacturing sectors, but slowly, many companies appear to be emerging from the worst of it. Now, every day, we are hearing evidence of a gradual economic upswing, and your peers are becoming part of a new voice of optimism ...
Innovative Designs Help Customer Sputter Better
By Bill Meredith, VP & General Manager, Sputtering Components Inc., Owatonna, MN
To stay ahead of the competition, a major U.S. glass-coating company wanted to increase yield without sacrificing quality. They had ideas about how to improve their coating tool, but needed the large assembly to be designed and built quickly. Their search for a development partner led them to Sputtering
Components Inc. (SCI).
SCI is a high-volume manufacturer of rotary cathodes and components for the physical vapor deposition (PVD) industry. Based in Owatonna, Minnesota, the company produces tools used for sputtering — the process by which ultra thin layers of material are deposited onto a substrate. Applications for PVD thin films range from microelectronics and optical assemblies to food packaging and window...
Calculating Cost of Ownership for Dispensing Equipment
By Dan Ashley, Market Specialist, Printed Circuit Board Assembly, Nordson ASYMTEK, Carlsbad, CA
It's not news that electronics manufacturers are looking for ways to reduce manufacturing costs. Saving money on the purchase of capital equipment, which is a major component of overall manufacturing costs, seems like a good solution. However, selecting equipment based on the price of the equipment ...
Patent Holder Beware: Quanta's Impact on Licensing
By Michael F. Hurley, Partner, McDermott Will & Emery LLP, New York, NY
Patents count among any company's most valuable business assets in today's global economy. However, many global business players contend that patent holders too often attempt to use their rights to stifle innovation and competition, and the U.S. Supreme Court seems increasingly inclined to side with ...
Ending the Manufacturing Recession
By Dr. Chris Kuehl, Economic Analyst, Fabricators & Manufacturers Association International, Rockford, IL
Few of us will miss 2008. It was one of the most tumultuous of economic years. Let's instead focus on the prospects for 2009 and the possible reversal of economic fortune. The key to forecasting for an economist is to plant as many caveats as possible, so that when the prediction doesn't quite pan ...
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