Electronic Manufacturing Services Industry Trends

Written by Admin on . Posted in PCB, PCB Manufacturing

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The Electronic Manufacturing Services Industry only truly became a profitable business around the 1970s, when Solectron, a company that would provide custom parts for other companies, including printed circuit boards and other necessary parts for high-tech products. This allowed companies to focus on product design rather than spending additional money and resources on building and shipping their own parts. From then on, electronic manufacturing continued to be a profitable business up until the present. This article will focus on the specific eras and trend of the EMS industry, starting with back in the 1970s.
In 1977, printed circuit boards were heavily in demand, yet expensive and inefficient to make if a company did not have dedicated facilities for producing then. Due to this, many independent manufacturing companies popped up, beginning the trend of electronic manufacturing services. The industry would remain pretty much where it was, with some minor improvements, but nothing too big changed until the 1990s.
Near the beginning of the 90s, printed circuit boards were able to be manufactured with more efficiency than ever before, due to SMT or Surface Mount Technology, which let the various components of PCBs to be assembled by mounting the parts onto the PCB. However, the ease of constructing new boards meant that companies sometimes did not need to outsource their manufacturing, which led to a decline of the market. In an effort to maintain relevance, many electronic manufacturers would try to take a larger share of the market, and maintain a monopoly on EMS by buying smaller companies.
Also Read: PCB Analysis Solutions, What You Should Know

Today, the Electronic Manufacturing Services Industry is still a profitable business venture. Top manufacturers include FIH Mobile and Foxconn, who has worked on contracts from Apple among many other top technology creators. As the demand for PCBs and other electronic components grow, the industry of EMS will also thrive, bringing a new trend of electronic manufacturing.
Because the EMS industry has only been around for about 50 years, there have not been many extreme changes in the trends. However, the technology behind EMS will continue to grow, which may lead to either the industry becoming more widespread as more specialist companies arise, or the industry declining as organizations who relied on third party manufacturers before now have the capabilities to put out their own parts for their products.
Whatever happens to the Electronic Manufacturing Services Industry, it is important to look back at the history of the market, which has led the many long-time PCB producers through many different phases: from busy and profitable periods of time to frantic years of buying and selling in an effort to remain on top of the market. The future of the industry may lead to a relapse into one of those phases, it may remain where it is now, or it may bring around an entirely new phase. Whatever new steps the industry takes, it it sure to rely on innovations in technology manufacturing, and the steps that first and third party manufacturers take to ensure efficiency and quality in their products.

PCB Analysis Solutions, What You Should Know

Written by Admin on . Posted in PCB, PCB Manufacturing

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If you are shopping around for a printed circuit board fabricator it is a good idea to do your research so you can equip yourself with the proper information.  Understanding the different types of PCB, their functions and capabilities will help you communicate better with your manufacturer.  You also will want to gain an understanding or brush up on the different testing services they offer to ensure that the PCB will work properly before you receive the final product.  Below is a list of considerations that you should be aware of.

  • The major types of PCB’s
  • Root cause analysis
  • Common failure analysis tests
  • Common PCB challenges

Types of PCB’s and Testing Processes

There are three types of printed circuit boards.

  • Single-sided:  Used for simple electronic devices
  • Double-sided: The most popular type, used in most computerized machines
  • Multilayer: Used in computers as well as high technology

The testing process for your printed circuit board regardless of the type you have chosen to have fabricated.  You should make sure that your manufacturer has testing in place.

  • Increased density
  • High lead-free temperature requirements
  • Hazardous material
  • Recycling requirements
  • Tune PCBs to precise values
  • Other changes in the fabrication

Root Cause Analysis

During the fabrication process there are numerous machines or tools that will be utilized, they should include;

  • Screen Printers
  • Conveyors
  • Pick-and place systems
  • Reflow ovens
  • Automated optical inspection
  • Solder paste
  • Other various components

If the PCB does not operate correctly, then testing it becomes a must so the manufacturer can pinpoint the cause and make the appropriate corrections to get it functioning properly.

Failure Analysis Tests

Below you will find a list of common tests that you should ask your prospective fabricator about.  Specifically, if they perform them.

  • Micro-sectioning Testing
  • Solderability Testing
  • Contamination Testing
  • Optical Microscopy/SEM
  • X-Ray Inspection

While you are interviewing the prospective manufacturer ask them if they offer any or all of these tests.

Common Challenges

There are many challenges that your fabricator must face when they are creating you PCB.  The nature of the process is delicate and with the trend of technology coming up with smaller and smaller devices the work becomes even more delicate and complicated.

Communication/Customer Service

Now that you have an idea of what you should be looking for regarding the testing processes offered, we can move on to customer service and communication.  It is extremely important that you speak with your fabricator, understand their procedures, and ask questions about anything you may not understand.  This brings us to the customer service, when you are asking your questions the answers you receive should satisfy you.  They should also return any messages you leave for them in a timely manner.  Developing a good working relationship with your manufacturer will put you at ease and keep you informed of the progress or if there are any issues that must be dealt with.