Manufacturers hoping to court military and defense decision-makers ought to tailor their products around what the armed forces hopes for the future. After all, the customer's always right - especially when the customer wears fatigues.
Electronics makers working to align their technology with the military's vision of tomorrow will notice an increased need for high-quality printed circuit board and system assembly capabilities. Here are a few examples to prove our point:
Advanced networking via sensors must present value-add opportunity
Communication and organization are crucial on the battlefield, so as the good fight moves into virtual environments the military will require stronger data management strategies and network reliability bolstered by tech.
"The DoD will spend approximately $10 billion in 2016 to 'maintain and repair' its facilities."
And not just abroad either. The Internet of Things, already widely deployed in the commercial and industrial sectors, has shown its importance as a cost-effective solution for facilities management. If you run the numbers, that's what our national defense needs - according to a study by Deloitte University Press, the U.S. Department of Defense will spend approximately $10 billion in 2016 to "maintain and repair" its facilities at home and around the world.
For companies building interoperable IoT devices marketed toward military deployment, demonstrate value through viable prototypes and low cost points achieved through lean manufacturing practices by focusing on honing PCB assembly processes.
Ruggedization inside and out with system inspection
Consumer electronics have no place on the front lines. They simply cannot withstand the demands of the job.
But while manufacturers trying to woo the military may offer fixed or supplementary ruggedization accessories to protect the exterior of their products, the same attention to detail ought to be paid toward the interior. PCBA professionals understand the variance between consumer and military applications, and can weigh these differences when performing a system inspection.
Do not underestimate cooling and power demands
Anyone who's ventured into a data center will notice the importance of cooling and ventilation systems to machine performance. Anyone with an elementary school education knows electronics don't work without a little thing called "electricity."
But out on missions, these resources may be in short supply. For users, cooling and ventilation poses a serious threat as military-grade electronics typically contain multiple PCBs and larger, faster processors, according to COTS Journal. Then again, keeping those PCBs from frying themselves won't be too big an issue without power.
Manufactured goods for this sector, therefore, will require informed system assembly as well as PCBA professionals trained in defense tech. Will your product be expected to cool itself, or integrate with military cooling devices? Does your tech come with reusable battery pack resilient enough for soldiers? PCB and system assembly technicians should be able to answer these questions at the engineering stage to secure military contracts down the line.