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VR Industries Blog

Market Trends: PCBs and Wearables

by VR Industries

The growth of technology doesn't stop for anybody, which is why it's incredibly important to stay ahead of trends when it comes to manufacturing parts for devices.

Nearly 135 million wearable pieces of technology are expected to be on the market by 2018, according to a report from CCS Insights. This will account for around $34 billion in revenue. The value in said products is clear, though the production process behind them is quickly trying to catch up.

The relationship between PCBs and wearables
There are a number of characteristics within wearable technology that can give manufacturers of these products difficulty, though perhaps the most prominent is size. CCS Insights reports that wrist-worn devices will account for 87 percent of the 135 million products on the market.

"Lean manufacturing will be essential in pairing up PCBs with different fabrics."

Besides accounting for flexibility, printed circuit board assembly must also take into account the various types of materials that will be used as the market ramps up. This includes fabric, flexi-rigid and mesh, according to Golledge Electronics.

Lean manufacturing will become a key component in mass production of these devices, as manufacturers will have to overcome the challenges of finite board space. Advanced Assembly reports that major problems still plague the industry when it comes to miniaturizing radio frequency components to meet spatial demands. As this field gains more research, system assembly will seemingly need to change on the fly in order to incorporate the new technology.

How to prepare for the next generation of electronics
PCB manufacturers that are able to cultivate and leverage lean manufacturing techniques will be best prepared for the challenges that will arise down the road. Smaller, thinner boards for unusual shapes will require the input from specialists in the field when the need for thin boards arises.

Golledge doesn't believe that's the only challenge the industry will face, though. The Internet of Things is quickly becoming a household name, which means many of these products, which are already strapped for space, will have to allocate space for Wi-Fi connectivity. As research progresses with miniaturization of RF components, PCB manufacturers will need to incorporate these advances into board designs.

Lastly, spatial budgeting must be taken into account when it comes to battery storage, Golledge reported. Power will be needed for multiple components, even more so with the inclusion of IoT on a larger scale. The source points out that assembly lines will have to work closely with sales teams in order to identify potential alternatives when it comes to supply.

Lean manufacturing will play an essential role in developing new-era wearables, as production will have to incorporate various advances in the industry in order to meet demands. Rigid assembly will only create an outdated product, and those who embrace the change will find a foothold in the fabrication market once it ramps up to expectations. There will be vast changes in size and shape in store for the PCB market, and those quick to incorporate new research will reap the rewards.

Topics: News, Printed Circuit Board Assembly

Written by VR Industries