Commentary: How To Juice Up U.S. Consumer Electronics

Five years ago, Universal Instruments Corp. was in deep trouble. The Binghamton (N.Y.) company once had been a leading maker of assembly equipment for electronic products. Then the technology of attaching chips and components to circuit boards changed radically, and Universal lost out to Japanese rivals. So in 1991, it teamed up with Motorola Inc. and more than a dozen other manufacturers and suppliers to develop a new, highly accurate factory tool for assembling components into circuit boards. Adding the tool to its product lineup helped Universal make a comeback against stiff competition.

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