Calumet Electronics in Calumet, Michigan, with the help of incredible engineers from the Michigan Technological University up in Houghton, is doing incredible work on advanced packaging, particularly by making very advanced circuit boards for defense applications. And they’re expanding their capacity.
Gary Peters (D), Michigan’s United States senator, recently gave a well-deserved shout-out to both Michigan Technological University and Calumet Electronics. Peters spoke at the US Senate’s full committee hearing on “CHIPS and Science Act Implementation and Oversight,” held on October 4, 2023.
The hearing focused “on the implementation and oversight of the CHIPS and Science Act by the Department of Commerce and the National Science Foundation.” In short, it summarized the rollout of programs, research and development, and other semiconductor manufacturing initiatives.
The senator recalled that one of the main goals of the CHIPS and Science Act is onshoring semiconductor production. Then, he asserted the need for dedicating some of the Act’s R & D funds to supporting the advanced packaging industry. This industry is essential to securing the supply chain.
He pointed to Calumet Electronics as crucial to meeting US semiconductor advanced packaging needs. That is, Calumet Electronics is using the great alumni from Michigan Tech (engineering graduates) to grow this industry on-shore, right here in the UP.
Calumet Electronics: Leading in Advanced Packaging
If you haven’t heard of Calumet Electronics, it is a leading commercial and non-traditional defense contractor. CE specializes in the research, design, engineering, and manufacturing of high-quality printed circuit boards (PCBs) and, more recently, organic substrates.
As an award-winning American-owned and operated company, Calumet is known for its thought leadership and innovative engineering and manufacturing. Also, CE is an SBA HUBZone certified small business that conducts all its operations domestically. Furthermore, it has established itself as a pure play manufacturer with a focus to support and grow its local economy and the surrounding communities in Michigan’s rural Upper Peninsula.
Calumet Electronics applauds Senator Peters for his ongoing commitment to domestic semiconductor chip manufacturing. During the recent Commerce Committee hearing, he cited the ‘incredible engineers’ of Calumet Electronics and our partnership with Michigan Tech in making advanced PCBs for defense applications. We’re very grateful for his confidence and support, and his tireless efforts to prioritize additional funding for this critical work.
Labeau continued, “Calumet Electronics and Michigan Tech have forged a remarkable partnership, producing a synergy that showcases the exceptional quality of engineers they graduate. Together, we are shaping the future of innovation and electronics right here in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.”
David Lawrence, vice president for Global Campus and continuing education, recently visited Calumet Electronic, and was impressed by its facilities. He affirmed that “Michigan Tech’s relationship with Calumet Electronics is robust and the future is bright. We continue to work with industry partners to support the semiconductor initiatives.”
Securing US-Based Semiconductor Production
At the hearing, Secretary Gina Raimondo (U.S. Department of Commerce) and witness, acknowledged that keeping advanced packaging in the US is crucial. In short, it is important not only to the supply chain but also to National Security. Accordingly, the committee, which has “a plan in the works,” will soon release an advanced packaging strategy.
This hearing occurred just over a year after the US government rolled out the bipartisan 2022 CHIPS and Science Act . The Act implemented previous programs under the 2021 CHIPS for America Act (January 2021). Also, it authorized nearly $250 billion in semiconductors and scientific research and development.
The CHIPS and Science Act responded to both the decline in American microchip fabrication and semiconductor shortages. These shortages caused serious supply chain problems, especially for Michigan’s automotive industry.
Responding to the semiconductor shortage, Michigan Tech has taken on projects that focus on onshoring semiconductor production. For instance, in 2022, MTU collaborated with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) on the Semiconductor Talent Action Team (TAT). The TAT had several goals: developing Michigan-created semiconductors, onshoring both legacy and advanced semiconductor systems, creating well-paying manufacturing jobs, reducing semiconductor shortages, and securing the supply chain.
During this hearing, Senator Raimondo reinforced that the US government is committed to stimulating both R & D and job training in semiconductors. Our goal is to have “a whole ecosystem that we want to deepen in the United States.” And a significant part of this ecosystem is the advanced packaging for which Calumet Electronics is known and respected.
We look forward to seeing Michigan Tech and Calumet Electronics as vital components of and important players in this ecosystem.