News from the USA

19 January 2016

Isola Names Jeff Waters President and CEO

 Isola Group has appointed Jeff Waters as President and CEO, effective immediately. Waters succeeds Interim CEO Jeffery McCreary, who was brought in to enable leadership continuity after Ray Sharpe’s retirement in August 2015. McCreary will continue to serve on Isola’s board of directors, a position he has held since 2006.

Waters brings 25 years of experience in the semiconductor industry, having held senior leadership positions at Altera, Texas Instruments and National Semiconductor. As senior vice president and general manager of Altera’s business units, Waters was responsible for $1.7B in revenue across the company’s product lines, including development of high growth data center and automotive markets.

Isola board members John Marren, Partner at TPG Capital and Jordon Kruse, Managing Director and Co-Portfolio Manager at Oaktree Capital Management, acknowledged, “Under Mr. McCreary’s leadership, the executive team initiated a series of essential directives focused on cost reduction, improved process effectiveness and organization realignment. We are very excited to have Jeff Waters join Isola to extend the company’s transformation. We are confident in Mr. Waters’ ability to lead the company to accelerated growth.”

McCreary added, “The board was extremely impressed by the outstanding candidates we evaluated. More importantly, the board unanimously agreed that Mr. Waters stood out among them. It is clear that Mr. Waters’ experience and attributes align perfectly with Isola’s refined strategic direction.”

“With its strong history of technology leadership and its worldwide manufacturing and R&D presence, Isola has differentiated assets that have enabled customers in their push for higher speed, higher density and higher temperature products,” Waters stated. “I feel privileged to lead the talented group of professionals at Isola as we take the company to greater levels of new product execution, customer engagement and financial performance.”


About Jeff Waters

Jeff Waters has 25 years of experience in the semiconductor industry, most recently with Altera Corporation where he served as senior vice president and general manager for the company’s business units, with P&L and growth responsibility for each of its product lines. Prior to Altera, Waters was with Texas Instruments / National Semiconductor for 18 years in executive positions including division vice president, vice president of sales and marketing for Japan, vice president of worldwide marketing, and a variety of engineering management and manufacturing roles. In addition to his time at National, Mr. Waters was a board member for the Global Semiconductor Association, and held positions in management consulting and in research and development. He holds a BSEE from the University of Notre Dame, an MSEE from Santa Clara University, and an MBA from Northwestern University.



Aegis FactoryLogix Selected by Dongguan Huabel Electronic Technology Co., Ltd

Aegis was chosen over a number of other MES providers, both local and international, as Huabel’s MES provider after a lengthy and detailed selection process.  Huabel chose Aegis for their professional service, mature technology and clear delivery terms, providing them with the lowest risk solution.

Huabel previous experience with MES had been unsuccessful and this, combined with their own in-house software reaching the limit of its capabilities, led them to embark on a detailed search for the right MES provider.  This decision is part of a lean manufacturing philosophy that will help Huabel reduce waste and improve efficiency.  “We found that Aegis is very strong in process control and management” said Vice President of Huabel’s Engineering Center Division, adding, “During the bid, the whole Aegis team acted very professionally, boosting our confidence in choosing Aegis as our MES provider.”

Huabel will deploy FactoryLogix across their entire facility, which includes 31 SMT lines.  Data will be collected via xLink, enabling reliable and efficient data processing.  Huabel will roll out FactoryLogix throughout the enterprise including NPI, Material Logistics, Production, SMT Lines Management, Analytics, Dashboard Monitoring, and Integration with xLink and xTend, as well as inForce line terminals and scanners for fail-safe process interlocking and alarming.

The vast library of Aegis xLink adapters for leading machines transforms real-time and disparate data types into streams of standards-based data that Aegis servers inherently understand.  Aegis xTend provides data exchange to ERP, PLM, time and attendance systems, workflow automation systems, and more.

The Project has an aggressive installation schedule that will deliver the benefits of FactoryLogix and return on investment quickly.

About Huabel

Dongguan Huabel Electronic Technology Co., Ltd is a subsidiary of Huaqin Telecom Technology Co., LTD, a world leading mobile phone R&D and design company, providing professional ODM service of phones, tablets and other products.  Huabel’s products are exported to more than 100 countries and are certified to ISO9001, QC080000, ISO14001 and OHSAS18001. (Chinese) or (English)


About Aegis

Founded in 1997, Aegis Software is headquartered in a state-of-the-art development and training facility in Philadelphia PA. Aegis has international sales and support offices in Germany, UK, China and Japan, and is partnered with 37 manufacturing equipment suppliers. With a global customer base of over 1700 factories across the military, aerospace, electronics, medical, and automotive industries, Aegis delivers a unique level of capability, value, and time-to-value for its manufacturing customers. Learn more by visiting


Press contact: Renate Fritz, RF Communications, email:



The trend known as reshoring remains controversial, depending on how success is measured. Many companies have been persuaded by incentives to not move offshore, and several large electronics manufacturers, including Apple Inc., have opened factories within the U.S. But when compared with the number of companies moving to other regions, reshoring comes up short.

In 2015, the A.T. Kearney U.S. Reshoring Index declined for the fourth consecutive year, the consulting firm reports. This time, the index dropped to -115, down from -30 in 2014, according to “U.S. Reshoring: Over Before it Began?” “The U.S. reshoring phenomenon, once viewed by many as the leading edge of a decisive shift in global manufacturing, may actually have been just a one-off aberration,” said Patrick Van den Bossche, A.T. Kearney partner and co-author of the study,  in a release. Offshoring only seems to be gathering steam, he said, while the U.S. reshoring train “has yet to leave the station.” Some of the industries purported to be leaders in reshoring such as electronics, in fact, grew faster offshore than onshore.

To calculate the index, A.T. Kearney looks at the import of manufactured goods from 14 offshore trading partners and the U.S. domestic gross output of manufactured goods. The manufacturing import ratio divides total imports by U.S. gross output. The reshoring index is the year-over-year change in the ratio. A positive number indicates net reshoring; a negative number reflect net offshoring.

In 2015, imports of manufactured goods are projected to reach $717 billion, mostly from China, A.T. Kearney estimates. U.S. domestic gross output is expected to reach $5,954 billion by the end of the year. The forecast manufacturing import ratio is 12 percent, meaning there will be 12 cents worth of offshore production bound for the U.S. market for every $1 of domestic manufacturing gross output.

The leading factors behind the drop in reshoring are lackluster domestic manufacturing growth and the resilience of the offshore manufacturing sector. The domestic manufacturing sector has had a rough year as measured by the Institute for Supply Management’s leading index, the PMI. The PMI contracted for two consecutive months in November and December and 2015 overall underperformed expectations. Since petroleum products – which hit record low prices for much of 2015 – are one the U.S.’s largest manufacturing industries, price volatility has disproportionately affected gross output.

Low gas and oil prices also remain a double-edged sword for other U.S. manufacturers, according to Bradley J. Holcomb,  chair of the ISM’s Manufacturing Business Survey Committee. Consumers, who are saving money on gas, are spending more on items such as clothing; and businesses have lowered their energy costs.  At the same time, the petroleum industry is a customer to U.S. manufacturers of equipment and transportation goods and services. These sectors have been hit hard by lower demand.

In the meantime, offshore manufacturing remains resilient in spite of increased labor costs and economic weakness in China. Imports of manufactured goods are expected to increase by 6.5 percent in 2015, according to A.T. Kearney. The manufacturing import ratio for computers and electronics, calculated based on imports from China alone, increased by nearly 840 basis points between 2010 and 2014, representing a massive outflow of manufacturing share from the U.S. to China. Industries likely to be most impacted by rising labor costs in China are finding refuge in other Asian nations: among the countries with low labor costs, Vietnam has grown significantly.

Factors that influence companies’ decisions about where to manufacture seem to continue to move against reshoring in the United States. Strengthening of the dollar, sliding oil prices, tightening of the U.S. labor market and even political uncertainty all weaken the case for reshoring, the research finds. The increase of nearshoring to Mexico indicates south of the U.S. border remains a top choice.

There are events that may tip the scales in favor of reshoring, however. Strikes at California seaports in 2015 caused many offshore companies to use airfreight which negatively impacted profits. Developments in the areas of digital manufacturing, 3D printing and the IoT will change the cost dynamics of the supply chain—the speed with which these developments materialize will factor into companies’ reshoring decisions, A.T. Kearney believes.

Another development in manufacturing is foreign companies’ interest in investing in the U.S. Chinese companies have actually invested $46 billion in the U.S. since 2000, according to Rhodium Group. Chinese manufacturers are building U.S. plants in areas abandoned by U.S. companies. Foreign companies expect their presence in the U.S. will enable them to sell more products in the U.S. market. Somewhat ironically, the same philosophy was true of U.S. companies that moved offshore so they could sell products into China.

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