Presentation Slides


The final report of this project can be found in Acrobat format (*.pdf) by clicking the following link:

Problem Description

EAL was involved in a research project that focuses on trying to bring improvements to the North American electronics industry by creating a more integrated supply chain. The goal of this study was to assess the viability of an opportunity for the electronics industry to reduce travel time, travel costs and in-transit inventory for certain components by eliminating the large travel distance necessary for packaging in Asia.

We studied the viability of better integrating the supply chain by incorporating assembly and test (also called IC packaging and test) plants in North America to serve the Mexican electronic assembly industry’s demand for electronic components.

Preliminary conclusions were that it is in fact viable and competitive to establish assembly and test plants in Mexico. For more details please see Melissa Restori’s undergraduate honors thesis: An Analysis of the Integration of the North American Electronics Industry Supply Chain: Assembly and Test in Mexico.

In the News

On July 15, the LA Times published a very interesting article that talks about a possible new industrial park in Mexicali for “chip companies”. Although the article does not discuss what specific types of plants will participate in the $300-400 million, 15-sq-mi park, this event is a step toward the decentralization of the electronics industry in Asia and an increase in the North American electronics industry supply chain. The article also states that among other national and state financial incentives, President Vicente Fox has offered a 10-year tax holiday to companies in the park. This article clearly shows that not every company is willing to depend solely on Asia. Among the factors cited for choosing Mexico for the development of this industrial park are the instability of several governments in Asia, Mexicali’s reliable water supply and Mexico’s large array of free-trade agreements (with Latin America, the EU and, soon, with Japan).


We have developed a survey in order to obtain data that will help identify the type of packages and components that the study will concentrate on. The survey will also help gather general information about the needs of the companies in Mexico. (Please click the following link to download the survey: Survey )

Cadelec will help distribute this survey to plants in Guadalajara and will also collect and compile the results needed for our analysis, while insuring the confidentiality of the information. We also count with the help of AMAC (Asociación de Maquiladoras), which will be distributing the survey to its member companies in Ciudad Juárez and will then provide us with the anonymous responses.

We greatly appreciate the efforts of Cadelec, AMAC, and the companies participating in the survey in helping us obtain critical information.

Updates (as of September 14, 2004)

Dec 6: Melissa Restori has completed her honors thesis: An Analysis of the Integration of the North American Electronics Industry Supply Chain: Assembly and Test in Mexico.

Sept 14: A tentative schedule was presented for the remainder of the project, which will be completed by the end of the summer.

Sept 14: A “Technology Matrix” has been compiled which lists different package types and the associated manufacturing processes. This matrix is not yet complete and we welcome feedback and additions.

July 10: A team from EAL, which included Dr. Rene VillalobosMelissa Restori and Omar Ahumada, recently visited Guadalajara, Mexico to meet with several of the most important contract manufacturers in the area. We also made contact with a representative of Cadelec, an association of electronic manufacturers in Guadalajara, and two directors of Investment and Business Development in the state of Jalisco.

The conclusions of the presentation below show that there exists an opportunity for a more integrated North American supply chain, but also point out some identified problems that must be overcome in Mexico for a packaging plant to operate competitively.