Contract manufacturing is big business—and it's about to get bigger. Technology forecasters estimate that the industry will grow to above $250B by 2004. Latest numbers for 2001 put the figure at $110B. Why the growth spurt? Once known almost exclusively for building boards for customers, many contract manufacturers are now involved in many stages of product development—from prototyping to design, to testing to training. In fact, 73% of the manufacturers surveyed in a recent study by Reed Business say that they see themselves doing more designs for customers in the next two years. Top reasons: Cost efficiency; technical expertise; and fast cycle times.
In a move that strengthens its 3D design business, Stratasys continued a 15-month buying spree this week by announcing its plan to acquire GrabCAD, a provider of a cloud-based collaboration environment for engineers.
Many diverse markets take advantage of semiconductor IP; so many that no one can recite the entire list without leaving off several. So why do we track all the vertical markets? They all have a unique set of requirements and value attributes differently. One major vertical market segment is automotive.
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