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February 20, 2019
Electronics manufacturing is part of an industry that is rapidly evolving. As such, it will continue to face new trends, as well as new challenges, with each passing year. For many manufacturers, controlling costs is paramount in an increasingly competitive zeitgeist. Furthermore, as new technologies arrive on the market, new revenue making opportunities will also result. However, many companies will be required to join forces with technology solution enterprises in order to obtain capabilities that go beyond the company’s primary focus, objective, or field of expertise. Here, we discuss some of the latest trends to look for in electronic manufacturing services in 2019.
Increased Demand for Smart Devices
Smart devices have been in demand for the last four or five years, and that demand is only expected to increase in 2019. Everything from microwaves to automobiles are becoming smart-enabled, so manufacturers will feel added pressure to partner with technology providers that specialize in smart technology. The problem for many manufacturers is that connectivity isn’t a part of their core expertise. Hence, while the end goal is to get connected, scalable, and secure smart-enabled products into the hands of target consumers, doing so may prove difficult if providing such versatile technology is beyond their expertise.
As such, in order for manufacturers to survive, let alone thrive, they will need to continually evolve and adapt with changing times. However, nurturing a proactive and opportunistic mindset, as well as making the necessary operational changes, particularly at the C-Suite level, are of the utmost importance. Partnering with the right smart solution providers is also of the utmost importance, as the wrong alliance can lead to lost sales and reduced consumer confidence if expectations aren’t met.
More Eco-Friendly Product Development
In the past, going green seemed to be the focus of Gen-Xers, but with global warming issues continuing to escalate, the pressure to go green has never been as intense as it is today. As such, manufacturing products that are eco-friendly will be a definite trend to look for in 2019. The carbon trading plans and carbon cap plans that have been recently launched by multiple global organizations will only serve to push this green initiative even further, so manufacturers need to stay abreast of the recent changes to remain afloat.
One of the ways in which you can help your company get a competitive edge over its myriad competitors is to get your ISO certifications in place. Given the amount of research that is being generated in the field, you can create increased interest by being proactive and by demonstrating your company’s commitment to eco-friendly and future-forward manufacturing.
Push for Energy Efficient Manufacturing
Cutting the costs of manufacturing, as well as increasing the lifespan of electronic devices and components, will also be another trend to look for in 2019. A fairly simple way to reduce costs is to increase the energy efficiency of products during the manufacturing process. As mentioned, creating eco-friendly products is important, but the products also need to cost less, for both the manufacturer as well as the end-consumer.
To do so, reducing energy demands will lower costs on both the manufacturer’s and the consumer’s end, which will benefit all parties involved. As the population continues to increase, the demand for power will also continue to rise, so manufacturers need to adapt by focusing on energy conservation, and the only way to do so is to manufacture products that are more energy efficient than their predecessors.
Increase in Medical Device Technology Manufacturing
One of the interesting elements of the medical device manufacturing niche is that the majority of manufacturing is still expected to remain in North America, while the majority of other industry niches have shifted to overseas production in order to lower costs. In addition, the medical field has been known for being a pioneering field when it comes to technological innovations, as well as the early adoption of newfound technology. Moreover, the goal has always been to improve the quality of patient care, to expedite care delivery, and to enable patients to deal with many of their healthcare needs at home instead of at a hospital or clinic.
With rising rates of diabetes, heart disease, and cancer in Canada and the United States, expect the emphasis on quality healthcare to only increase in 2019. Also, one of the reasons why medical device technology manufacturing is expected to remain in Canada and the United States is because of the high-value-add processes involved in IC medical assembly. In other words, these industries need to remain in close proximity to their medical equipment manufacturers because of the high reliability and quality needed for the aforementioned medical device types. As such, growth in the medical device sector will continue to increase well into 2019.
As can be seen, there are many trends, as well as challenges, that manufacturers will have to deal with in 2019. With a plethora of competitors to deal with, as well as mounting pressure from many organizations and regulatory agencies, manufacturers will need to adapt rapidly in order to remain competitive in an industry that will only continue to evolve with time.
If you are in need of the cutting-edge services of an electronic manufacturing services company, then we can help. Circuits Central is an electronic manufacturing services company that specialises in innovative electronics manufacturing solutions. From pre-manufacturing to manufacturing and post-manufacturing, we are a full service electronic manufacturing services company that places the discerning needs of our B2B clients above the bottom line. To learn more about our services, please visit our website. You can also call us for a quote and consultation to discuss your unique commercial, industrial, military defense, or medical manufacturing needs at 1-888-602-7264. We also provide customized design and engineering services as well as a bevy of a la carte solutions for our corporate clientele.
February 12, 2019
All major electronic components have a printed circuit board (PCB), which serves as the backbone of each component. Even rather rudimentary devices, such as calculators and digital clocks, have printed circuit boards, and virtually all computational electronic devices have one too. The purpose of a printed circuit board is to route electrical signals through an electronic device. By doing so, the mechanical circuit, as well as the electrical circuit requirements of the device, will be adhered to. Here, we break down the steps involved in the electronic manufacturing of printed circuit boards.
Output and Design
To begin, the designer will use state-of-the-art PCB design software in order to create the proper PCB layout for compatibility purposes. Some popular examples of PCB design software that designers may use include Eagle, Pads, and Altium Designer. The contract manufacturer will then need to approve of the PCB design so that production can commence. Next, the designer will need to export the design according to the format that the contract manufacturer deems acceptable. Currently, the most popular program for design exporting is known as extended Gerber, which is sometimes referred to as IX274X.
Moreover, in order to reduce the probability of errors, the software will perform an oversight algorithm on the PCB design. The designer will also perform quality control analysis in regards to the hole size, hole and trace spacing, board edge spacing, and track width. Once a meticulous overview of the PCB file is complete, it is then sent to a PC Board House so that production may begin.
The Filming Process
Next, the manufacturer will perform a design for manufacturing (DFM) check. Photo films of the PCB will be made via a plotter, which is a special type of printer. The photo films will be used to image the PCBs, and the plotters provide very high quality and precise printing technology in order to generate a detailed film of the PCB design. The final product will consist of a black photo negative of the PCB in a plastic sheet.
In the third step, the goal is to print the figure found on the photo film onto an actual copper foil. In other words, this step consists of actually making the PCB itself. A PCB—in its basic form—consists of a laminate board with a glass fiber and epoxy resin core. The laminate material is designed to house the copper that serves as the structure for the PCB. As for the substrate material, it is designed to provide a dust resistant and sturdy starting point for the PCB.
In any event, the copper is pre-bonded on both the front and the back, and is done by whittling away the copper on both sides. Furthermore, as cleanliness is paramount in this step, the laminate is passed through a decontamination environment. Even a single speck of dust can suffice to create a short or open circuit, so it is imperative that no dust particles make their way onto the laminate during the copper foiling process.
Removing Excess Copper
The fortified layer, termed “photo resist”, will protect the copper that is housed within its walls. In this step, the goal is to remove any excess copper by using a copper solvent solution. The amount of solution required will vary from one PCB to another, as not all copper boards are equivalent. The hardened resistance that protects the desired copper will also need to be washed off using a different solvent product. The end result, when performed correctly, is that the PCB will glisten, and only the copper substrate that is needed for the PCB to function optimally will remain.
Here, alignment punches will be needed to make sure that all the layers line up as they should. The inner layers will be aligned to their outer counterparts via the registration holes. After the layers are cleaned and ready to go, the technician in charge will place the layers into an optical punch, which is a top-of-the-line piece of machinery that allows for an accurate correspondence so that the holes are punched precisely.
Moreover, in order to confirm that there are no defects present, a second machine is used to perform an optical inspection of the panels in question. If the second machine detects an inconsistency, then the data will be generated on a screen for the technician to assess. Once the layers pass the last inspection process, the product is moved to the final stages of production.
Layering, Bonding, and Drilling
In this stage, the actual circuit board will take shape. The outer layers will need to be bonded to the substrate. The bonding process takes place on a steel table with metal clamps. A pre-impregnated (prepreg) layer is then placed over the alignment basin. The substrate layer will need to be placed over the prepreg before the copper sheet is placed. A copper press plate and aluminum foil are included to complete the stack before it is prepared for pressing.
After the layers are molded together in a PCB “sandwich” of sorts, the restraining pins are extracted and the top pressure plates are thrown away. This stage consists of drilling. Holes are bored into the stack board. In addition, in order to determine where to precisely drill the holes, an X-ray locater is used. To continue reading about the steps involved in PCB manufacturing, please click here.
If you require the services of an electronic manufacturing services company, then we can help. Circuits Central is a cutting-edge electronics manufacturing services company. If you would like to learn more about our electronic manufacturing services company, then please visit our website or give us a call at 1-888-602-7264.
January 14, 2019
As the human population continues to increase and age, the demand for state-of-the-art medical devices and equipment will only increase with time. Furthermore, not only is the medical electronics industry a high-growth market, but it is also an industry where both the technological and corporate landscapes are quickly evolving. As such, there are many challenges and problems that the medical electronics manufacturing sector is currently facing. The purpose of this article is to address some of those challenges so that not only will businesses benefit, but the patients that they serve will also reap the rewards of their ingenuity.
Issues With Components
The increase in the usage of nano-materials has caused significant paradigm shifts in the industry. The same can be said of the introduction of new components into the industry, such as electronic substrates that are fully stretchable. Moreover, when it comes to materials research for multiple medical uses, there are two key areas that need to be addressed. The first area involves research into materials for electrodes.
These electrode components are designed to be used in neurostimulation devices, with demonstrations of elevated I/O count arrays that are manufactured via top-of-the-line silicon process technology, and electrode arrays of expanadale and polyvalent substrates. There are many different material amalgamations that need to be tried and tested so that patients can obtain superlative therapy. That is, many research trials will need to be performed to optimize human therapy because there are a vast array of neuro-stimulation targets in the human anatomy as far as therapeutic modalities are concerned.
The second key area that may cause problems in medical electronics manufacturing involves system modifications for therapeutic and diagnostic purposes. In other words, these nanomaterials will need to be properly configured so that patients can be quickly and accurately diagnosed and receive the therapy that they need for their treatment and recovery. As research testing and medical trials continue to move forward, it is believed that many of these nanomaterials will usher in a revolution in healthcare technologies. For instance, research into read-out and programmable nanomaterials will need to be carefully implemented, with a recent example being Google’s research into nanobots for oncological purposes.
Managing Information Properly
Today’s electronic components in the medical field are becoming increasingly smarter, more connected, and smaller. However, with the recent technological advancements come newfound medical challenges in the medical electronics manufacturing industry. For instance, the manufacturing and deployment of IoT medical units, which are wholly connected, will require a more focused approach to the management, security, and analysis of health intel coming to and from the cloud, transmission units, and patient devices. Regarding the technical components of the units—such as the power resources for proper data encryption in implantables—the necessary security implications will need to be fully understood. Thereafter, the absolute best practices must be established and implemented to maximize patient care and safety.
Increasing Power Density
Currently, both the portable and implantable spaces are struggling to find newfound means to augment power density. The biggest challenge the industry is currently facing is figuring out how to reduce the size of medical equipment while simultaneously increasing the longevity of the medical device. For instance, many of the lead-free -1 cc pacemakers on the market today have batteries that can take up to three-quarters of the device’s total volume.
With so much space being used by the unit’s battery, many newer types of implantables lack the necessary space for other electronics to be deployed. As such, the functionality of such units will be hindered significantly, which may negatively impact the prognosis of a heart patient. Today, more research needs to be performed involving electrical, thermal, and mechanical charging, as well as energy scavenging.
A Symposium on Medical Electronics
With the medical electronics manufacturing industry constantly evolving, manufacturers are having difficulty in keeping pace with best practices and the latest medical technologies. As such, more medical electronics symposiums are needed that will focus on advancements in manufacturing and electronic technologies. Bioscience and medical applications, in particular, should be emphasised. These medical symposiums will allow service providers, entrepreneurs, and technologists to get together and share best practices, as well as learn about the most advanced processes and technologies in the industry. Synergy between the various manufacturers, dealers, and suppliers is needed in order to continue moving forward to help patients live healthier and more fulfilling lives.
If your business is in need of an electronics manufacturing service company, then look no further. Circuits Central is a company that provides superlative electronics manufacturing solutions that are innovative and cost-effective. We specialize in pre-manufacturing, manufacturing, and post-manufacturing processes, and currently offer state-of-the-art medical devices that are cost-effective, accurate, reliable, and compliant so that the end user will greatly benefit.
As such, our clients will reap the benefits of expedited time to market, as well as lowered costs. Our clients will also obtain full transparency in the manufacturing life cycle of their respective medical products. Moreover, patient safety and comfort are never compromised with our products, as we go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure that best practices are always implemented with integrity, tact, and verve.
If you would like to learn more about our electronics manufacturing service company, then please call us at 1-888-821-7746. We will be more than happy to provide you with a free, no obligation quote and consultation so that you can openly discuss your medical electronics manufacturing needs without concern. You can also visit our website to learn more about some of our pioneering medical devices. We currently design and manufacture laboratory research equipment, chemical analysis equipment, medical imaging equipment, healthcare equipment, and medical monitoring and communication devices.