Author Topic: Electronics industry in the west (the lack of it)...(re-posted without naming)  (Read 1655 times)

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Online coppice

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When I did my BSEE degree, I did more math or math-intensive courses than pure EE courses.

I did calculus 1, calculus 2, linear algebra, probability theory, physics 1, physics 2, math & physics methods (complex analysis), electromagnetism & field theory, signal and systems, control theory, microwave theory and image processing theory (2D expansion of signal and systems).
From your later messages, it seems the maths you listed was only a small part of your overall course. The rest is straight on EE material. All those topics are maths heavy, but they are pure EE. If that's your idea of math-intensive, then all you are saying is that serious EE work includes a lot of maths. I think we all knew that.
 
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Offline blueskull

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If that's your idea of math-intensive, then all you are saying is that serious EE work includes a lot of maths.

Well, a thousand people have a thousand definitions.

My definition of pure anything non-math is that it can be learnt with only imagination (graphical thinking) and minor calculation. Anything needs heavy calculation are considered math-intensive by my standard.

And yes, I indeed suck at math and I see it as horror itself.
 
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Offline VK3DRB

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Electronics manufacturing won't go back to the West. The West and China itself will just find another third world country like China to exploit cheap labour and the lax environmental laws. If you think for one moment any of the West's corporations are in China to help the poor Chinese workers, you are a naive fool. They are there to maximise profits for their shareholders. That is their sole intention.

Don't think they are altruistic. Sure they might do some token gesture, but why do you think most of the corporations are into heavy tax avoidance? They shift profits to wherever the taxes on profits are lowest. They do not want to pay money for hospitals, schools etc in the countries they do business, because when it all boils down to it, they don't give a #$%* about anyone except themselves.
 
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Offline treez

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Granted the kind respondents here are not the people to  whom this thread should be directed.
The respondents here are amongst the most  brilliant electronics engineers in the world. You  could all choose which country you wanted to work in. Respectfully I say, if the country you were in went down...you could all simply move to a safer one..,..and get a high(er)  paying electronics job there.
I can quite see that the overall point of this thread is not going to be  high in your  ” in-trays”


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Designing a flyback converter that can be low cost, reliable, efficient and meet EMC requirements is a complex job.
Thanks, but even with my amoebic  brain  I have  got offline flybacks out there  doing their job perfectly well...
...Also passed all regs including EMC generally without  great problem.

Overall,  it would end up being cheaper designing  SMPS’s in the west..
This is because  even though the Far East will design and manufacture say a flyback for you super cheap at first …….you would find that as your product’s sales really built up, the Far Eastern designer would shoot up the price of the SMPS. This always happens,  since they are in business aswell.  Usually the Western corporation will simply tolerate it and pay up…since the product is by then making loads of money anyway.
The Far Eastern  companys can easily do this because they know that the Western SMPS industry has now been so denuded that  the capacity just isnt there to take the jobs  back.

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If you think for one moment any of the West's corporations are in China to help the poor Chinese workers, you are a naive fool. They are there to maximise profits for their shareholders. That is their sole intention.
Understand your point about greedy Western capitalism taking manufacture (and design aswell) to the cheapest  place on earth, wherever  that  may be. However,  I think we would both agree that the end-game of this is eventually dire straits and doom for the West.
USA and  Germany are the  Western countries that have retained the most “in country” electronics manufacturing…and  its no surprise that they are the richest and most wealthy Western countries, which prooves my point.  –They also have  more engineers….which makes for even more wealth making of itself. Ultimately, importing loads of Far Eastern SMPS’s  (and other stuff etc etc) only makes the Western middle men rich. The rest of us get poorer, and more jobless.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2020, 08:51:52 am by treez »
 

Offline Ice-Tea

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Overall,  it would end up being cheaper designing  SMPS’s in the west..

Lol, no.

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Usually the Western corporation will simply tolerate it and pay up…since the product is by then making loads of money anyway.
The Far Eastern  companys can easily do this because they know that the Western SMPS industry has now been so denuded that  the capacity just isnt there to take the jobs  back.

Lol, no. Contracts are negotiated almost permanently. With every round, chinese suppliers are squeezed like a lemon and pitted against each other. The idea that chinese companies can just jack up the prices is ludicrous. If they did that, the next contract would go another chinese company offering it at 0,02$ cheaper or to Vietnamese companies or wherever the next big pool of cheap labor is to be found.

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USA and  Germany are the  Western countries that have retained the most “in country” electronics manufacturing…and  its no surprise that they are the richest and most wealthy Western countries, which prooves my point.

No, it doesn't. Neither the USA or Germany produce commodity power supplies. They may make some speciality industrial/military or whatever (and this is most certainly not limited to the USA or Germany) but they sure as hell won't make the wall warts that go with whatever dingus that are boxed with electronics or whatever.

You're probably not wrong that the reflex to produce everything in the Far East, always, is wrong. But the example you chose is just plain wrong. There's no added value in mass producing power supplies around here.
 
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Offline treez

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Quote
But the example you chose is just plain wrong. There's no added value in mass producing power supplies around here.
It would result in more uptake of electronics as a career by the young. Thats where the value is.
https://massey276.wixsite.com/government

Also, it'd be a breeding ground for the more complex power supply designers that you spoke of.

In the first place, as the above www explains, it'd make some money obviously, (because theres always a marketplace for power supplies) but itself would be overall loss making (at least at first)...but thats not the point, its the spinoffs it gives....so really, in the whole, it would make money for the country.
Yes, though, it would in the first place need government funding....no private investor would embark on this.....but as the www above describes......this money would be returned by way of greater tax revenues from the spin off benefits.

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or to Vietnamese companies or wherever the next big pool of cheap labor is to be found.
Its not about cheap labour...it has to cheap and organised......loads of cheap labour in India etc  but they dont get anywhere near what China gets....China is of couse now , or very soon, to be the richest nation on the earth without doubt...maybe thats China plus the entire mineral wealth of the South China Sea.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2020, 12:02:18 pm by treez »
 

Online coppice

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Usually the Western corporation will simply tolerate it and pay up…since the product is by then making loads of money anyway.
The Far Eastern  companys can easily do this because they know that the Western SMPS industry has now been so denuded that  the capacity just isnt there to take the jobs  back.

Lol, no. Contracts are negotiated almost permanently. With every round, chinese suppliers are squeezed like a lemon and pitted against each other. The idea that chinese companies can just jack up the prices is ludicrous. If they did that, the next contract would go another chinese company offering it at 0,02$ cheaper or to Vietnamese companies or wherever the next big pool of cheap labor is to be found.
Unless you've spent a long time in the electronics business in Asia its hard to fully grasp the extent of this. For a lot of business that has a government hand in it there will always be protectionism. The biggest problem a Chinese company faces there is to make their offer so attractive that they can overcome the desire to keep local businesses in the target market alive. Where customer choice is free, Chinese companies are simply competing with other Chinese companies these days. If they are an important company, they may get assistance from their provincial government. However, they are in competition with Chinese companies in other provinces, who get aid from their provincial government. Provinces competing with each other looks insane to an outsider, but maybe it creates a level of competition that works to keep people on their toes. The bottom line is a foreign buyer can essentially play off one subsidised Chinese company against another. Walmart is king.

I doubt many Vietnamese companies will win a lot of electronics business in the near term. What is happening is Chinese companies win the business, but more and more of the high labour content is executed in Vietnam, Indonesia, or elsewhere. Similar to the way a Samsung phone or Epson printer is now generally assembled in a Vietnamese plant, from a polished kit of parts that avoids most of the need for good logistics connecting the Vietnamese plant with numerous component sources.

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USA and  Germany are the  Western countries that have retained the most “in country” electronics manufacturing…and  its no surprise that they are the richest and most wealthy Western countries, which prooves my point.

No, it doesn't. Neither the USA or Germany produce commodity power supplies. They may make some speciality industrial/military or whatever (and this is most certainly not limited to the USA or Germany) but they sure as hell won't make the wall warts that go with whatever dingus that are boxed with electronics or whatever.

You're probably not wrong that the reflex to produce everything in the Far East, always, is wrong. But the example you chose is just plain wrong. There's no added value in mass producing power supplies around here.
The USA and Germany have taken different paths. The US has given up on most electronics manufacture. It has, however, kept a big chunk of the component business, especially semiconductors. Semiconductor assembly and test left the US in the 60s and 70s, and wafer fabrication is now joining it, but the US still has many of the strongest semiconductor companies. With most new design teams being set up in China or India that may change.

Germany was one of the first western countries to truly embrace China as both a manufacturing centre, and a market. You see this in the early strength of companies like VW in China. Germany still has a lot of electronics business, and are more prepared than most countries to use automation to keep local manufacture viable. However, German business is well connected to China, and anything that works out cheaper being done in China goes there.
 
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Offline donotdespisethesnake

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Meanwhile, the UK are world leaders in flogging dead horses.  :-DD

Ironically, it's the same sort of wishful thinking that makes UK management so bad, as if prototypes can be made to work by willpower alone, instead of finding causes and fixing bits of hardware or software.
Bob
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Offline treez

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Take a high quality product like this….
https://www.smoothskin.com/smoothskin-bare-features/

Its pretty much just an offline power supply , a light detector, a big storeage  capacitor, a micro, and a xenon flash tube. We all know the power supply is certain to have come from China. Now that the product is established in the market, the Chinese will have jacked up the price of the power supply. –And the company that owns this product will just keep paying  the higher price……they won’t go to another company in China and try and get a cheaper one. They’ll stick with what they have and just jack up the price of the product.

It would be seen as too  risky to make  an engineering change….by the non-Engineers  that manage the company.
 

Online coppice

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Take a high quality product like this….
https://www.smoothskin.com/smoothskin-bare-features/

Its pretty much just an offline power supply , a light detector, a big storeage  capacitor, a micro, and a xenon flash tube. We all know the power supply is certain to have come from China. Now that the product is established in the market, the Chinese will have jacked up the price of the power supply. –And the company that owns this product will just keep paying  the higher price……they won’t go to another company in China and try and get a cheaper one. They’ll stick with what they have and just jack up the price of the product.

It would be seen as too  risky to make  an engineering change….by the non-Engineers  that manage the company.
You know nothing about how the electronics industry works. Why do you just keep making things up?
 
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Online SilverSolder

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Take a high quality product like this….
https://www.smoothskin.com/smoothskin-bare-features/
[...]

Interesting product...  wonder if it can be used as a shaver by men?
 
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Online tggzzz

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Take a high quality product like this….
https://www.smoothskin.com/smoothskin-bare-features/

Its pretty much just an offline power supply , a light detector, a big storeage  capacitor, a micro, and a xenon flash tube. We all know the power supply is certain to have come from China. Now that the product is established in the market, the Chinese will have jacked up the price of the power supply. –And the company that owns this product will just keep paying  the higher price……they won’t go to another company in China and try and get a cheaper one. They’ll stick with what they have and just jack up the price of the product.

It would be seen as too  risky to make  an engineering change….by the non-Engineers  that manage the company.
You know nothing about how the electronics industry works. Why do you just keep making things up?

"A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject" -- attributed to Churchill.
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
Glider pilot's aphorism: "there is no substitute for span". Retort: "There is a substitute: skill+imagination. But you can buy span".
Having fun doing more, with less
 
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Online SiliconWizard

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Take a high quality product like this….
https://www.smoothskin.com/smoothskin-bare-features/
[...]

Interesting product...  wonder if it can be used as a shaver by men?

Probably, although it would likely be very tedious to shave with this. One downside is probably also that hairs are likely to grow back with less density or maybe even disappear altogether in some spots, which you don't necessarily want if you ever want to grow a beard back someday.

 
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Online bd139

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This is similar I suppose to my discovery that if I pointed my large Nikon flash close to my skin and set it off, smoke would come off the hairs  :-DD
 
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Online coppice

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Take a high quality product like this….
https://www.smoothskin.com/smoothskin-bare-features/
[...]

Interesting product...  wonder if it can be used as a shaver by men?
When I was a lad there was a place in London that would numb your skin and individually pluck out all the hairs on your face to leave a wonderfully clean shaven look. The snag is the hairs take a remarkably short time to start regrowing.
 
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Offline treez

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You know nothing about how the electronics industry works. Why do you just keep making things up?
Thanks, but Smoothskin bare is made by Proctor & Gamble, and they wouldnt describe themselves as an "electronics industry."

I  wouldn’t mind betting that even the Senior most electronics engineer in the dept that makes the smoothskin bare (or any other of the engineers there)  would  say that they have loads of power supply experience. They would all say that the power supply should be totally designed and built in china, because the Chinese factory “does that all the time, and does it  very well”. Which of course, is true. (The SS bare is a top quality product.)
« Last Edit: April 18, 2020, 04:16:06 pm by treez »
 

Online SiliconWizard

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Thanks, but Smoothskin bare is made by Proctor & Gamble, and they wouldnt describe themselves as an "electronics industry."

I wouldn't be too surprised if the whole thing (not just the power supply) was actually a re-branded, off-the-shelf product made in China, or elsewhere.
 
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Online coppice

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Thanks, but Smoothskin bare is made by Proctor & Gamble, and they wouldnt describe themselves as an "electronics industry."
A lot of Proctor and Gamble's business is in electronics, such as Braun. Try a little research. If you get a design in at Proctor and Gamble its usually a good day, tinged with some concern over margins. They mostly go for very high volume products, but that means they are also fierce negotiators over price.

 
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Offline CatalinaWOW

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Chinese wealth wealth will have many consequences.  Not all unfavorable for the rest of the world.  One reason China is so dominant in the materials world is their lax (by European/North American standards) environmental regulation.  But that is already changing, and I expected it to continue to change.  As their costs rise due to environmental controls other places will be automatically more competitive.
 
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Offline treez

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You know nothing about how the electronics industry works. Why do you just keep making things up?

Thanks…you are a brilliant electronics engineer who can manage to get a new power supply going if the Chinese up the price of the current one……..however, the managers of the excellent Smoothskin Bare product (like all other such managers) are not engineers….they are business guys…when the Chinese ramp up the price of the PSU for SS Bare…they will just pay up.
If we look at the price of the magnificent SmoothSkin Bare, (and it is a great product) we can see that the consumer ends up paying  for any price rises in the Chinese  Power supply

« Last Edit: April 19, 2020, 12:27:54 pm by treez »
 

Offline blueskull

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As their costs rise due to environmental controls other places will be automatically more competitive.

Chemical products,  specialized semiconductor products and various equipment from Japan remain competitive and almost monopoly despite rapidly and drastically raised environment standard from the 80s.
 
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Online SilverSolder

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As their costs rise due to environmental controls other places will be automatically more competitive.

Chemical products,  specialized semiconductor products and various equipment from Japan remain competitive and almost monopoly despite rapidly and drastically raised environment standard from the 80s.

This is a good point.  People who are good at something usually figure out how to do it cleanly too.

The benefits of exploiting an underpaid and un-loved workforce are short lived.  Today, the bad PR companies get from it will hurt the brand image and therefore sales (e.g. various scandals with sportswear,  running shoes, etc.)
 
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Online coppice

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You know nothing about how the electronics industry works. Why do you just keep making things up?

Thanks…you are a brilliant electronics engineer who can manage to get a new power supply going if the Chinese up the price of the current one……..however, the managers of the excellent Smoothskin Bare product (like all other such managers) are not engineers….they are business guys…when the Chinese ramp up the price of the PSU for SS Bare…they will just pay up.
If we look at the price of the magnificent SmoothSkin Bare, (and it is a great product) we can see that the consumer ends up paying  for any price rises in the Chinese  Power supply
The first priority of the business guys is not to be screwed by other business guys as ruthless as they are. There is no way a company like Proctor and Gamble, with its huge electronics interests, would be so dumb as not to either lock in a long term supply agreement, or ensure they can easily swap out a module that might cause them supply issues. When you try to get a design in with people like this the first step is to talk to the engineers, and if they like what you have to offer you talk to the purchasing people who will negotiate supply conditions. Typically you will need that agreement settled before the engineers get to do any significant work with your offering. As I said, you show no signs of understanding how the electronics industry works. You also seem unprepared to research and learn.
 
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