How Digitalization is Transforming the Future of the Electronics Manufacturing Industry?

By | Date posted: | Last updated: June 11, 2020

Like many other other industries, the electronics manufacturing industry is also facing a slew of challenges, such as rising global competition as well as increasing consumer expectations.

What is required to meet these challenges is to innovate as also have a greater level of transparency. Now these are tasks that can be achieved with the help of digitalization. The digital supply network includes a wide range of solutions including but not limited to:

  • Augmented Reality
  • 3D Printing
  • Cloud
  • Big data
  • Internet of Things and more.

Let us look at some of the benefits that are offered by digitalization and which in turn, are transforming the Electronics Manufacturing Industry:

Control of Supply Chain

As opposed to a linear supply chain, a Digital Supply Chain offers an integrated ecosystem where a real time view of aspects such as production and distribution is available. A digital supply chain makes it possible that information is made available to all members of the chain and offers the electronics manufacturer the ability to take full control of their supply chain. Right from sourcing of raw material to final delivery of the product to the consumer, to returns and after-sales, it offers for a high degree of transparency. It also allows the electronics manufacturer to anticipate any potential bottlenecks and to proactively take the necessary action.

In turn, what this offers the business is a degree of resilience and collaboration.

Smart Manufacturing

A key advantage of digitalization is also the fact that it lends itself to smart manufacturing. This could imply a wide variety of advantages such as:

  • Better planning
  • Quicker validation of product alternatives
  • Improved efficiency of manufacturing operations
  • Smart procurement, warehousing and analytics.

Smart manufacturing involves digitalizing data right from PCB design to factory floor optimization and even incorporating customer feedback when it comes to new designs. In turn, what this offers, is a high level of flexibility in managing physical processes that is much needed to meet the dynamic demands of a global market place.

With a digital strategy in place, manufactures can create accurate digital replicas of their products, which in turn, accelerate the development and manufacturing of their real world counterparts. Refining the products and their accuracy therefore becomes far simpler.

With the use of digital technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, analytics, robotics and more, manufacturing processes tend to become more efficient as well as customer-focused. The industry is also well poised to gain from technologies such as Computer aided design and engineering software, which positively impact product accuracy.

Improved lead time for PCB Manufacturing

A key benefit of digitalization of PCB manufacturing also accrues in terms of improved lead time. The way that it manifests itself is that the digital factory is capable of generating fabrication instructions from design data. This significantly reduces tooling and configuration time and significantly improves time to market.

Ability to Manufacture on-demand

PCB and Electronics Production also benefits from digital manufacturing in terms of the ability to manufacture on demand. In fact a layer-by-layer printing process can be utilized to print different variants of a product in a single print run. This allows for rapid prototyping regardless of the level of complexity.

Greater control over cost structure

A key impact of digitalization in the Electronics Manufacturing Industry is in terms of cost. A primary reason for this, of course, is the fact that digitalization reduces the need for human intervention and thereby reduces overall cost and improves efficiency. In turn it renders digital manufacturing companies more competitive.

For the electronics manufacturing industry to reap these benefits, however, what is needed isn’t just the right technology but also the right operating systems. In fact some of the other things that are integral to digitalization success include:

  • High degree of acceptance
  • Training of people involved
  • Business skills and incentives to make it work

Also the way forward for digitalization to transform the Electronics Manufacturing Industry is that the manufacturers do not take to digitalization in a piece meal fashion. While it may seem easier to apply digital solutions for individual functions such as PCB Assembly, supplier collaboration, virtual design and more, the fragmented approach can result in silos that do not allow the business to reap the overall advantages of digitalization. Integrated solutions, on the other hand go a long way in breaking down silos. These solutions span the entire manufacturing lifecycle and bring about horizontal integration.

With changing consumer preferences as well as the pace at which new product development is happening, it is only a matter of time before the industry takes to digitalization at an integrated level and further revitalizes the manufacturing process.

Technotronix Electronics Manufacturing Service combines state-of-the-art technology with our advanced engineering to deliver unparalleled quality and service. Our defense, industrial, and medical customers gain a competitive edge with fast prototyping, domestic and off-shore manufacturing and the consistent delivery of high-quality, on-time, price-competitive products.

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How to Select Most Extensive Surface Finish in the PCB Manufacturing Process?

By | Date posted: | Last updated: August 14, 2020

When it comes to electronic assembly, surface finish of the PCB is one of the most crucial decisions that you could take. Surface finish, in turn has implications on a whole lot of issues, including but not limited to:

  • Process yield
  • Scrap Rate
  • Ability to test
  • Cost and more.

Selection of the surface finish must be done basis a whole range of factors. Sometimes the mistake that is made, is to go by costs alone. While in the short run you may seem to be saving costs, you could be in for a rude shock in the long term.

The 5 most popular surface finishes available today include:

  • Electroless Nickel or Immersion Gold
  • Immersion silver
  • Immersion Tin
  • Organic Solderability Preservative (OSP)
  • PB-free HASL

Each of them come with their own characteristic advantages to do with:

  • Solderability
  • Reliability
  • Shelf-life
  • Fabrication
  • Testability

When choosing a surface finish some of the aspects you must consider include:

  • Do you need direct wire bonding?
  • Is corrosion a concern for you?
  • Do you need wave solder?
  • Is shock or drop a concern area?
  • Do you require fine pitch assembly?
  • What kind of cost sensitivity do you have?

Let us look at the attributes of some of the surface finishes used in PCB Manufacturing, in some detail:

OSP

This surface finish is typically advisable to use when:

  • You need high volumes
  • When shock or drop is a concern
  • When you are looking for a cost-sensitive product
  • Fine pitch components are used.

OSP, however, isn’t recommended in cases where:

  • High yield ICT is required
  • Wire bonding is needed

Immersion Silver

This surface finish is used by PCB Manufacturers where:

  • High yield ICT is required
  • Cost sensitivity is important
  • Wire bonding is needed
  • Shock or drop is a concern area
  • Fine pitch components are used.

The limitations of Immersion Silver appear in:

  • Where corrosion failure is possible
  • Where the cosmetics of the finish are important to your overall scheme of things

Since tarnish is an issue, perception of quality often emerges as an issue with this surface finish.

Immersion Tin

It is recommended to use Immersion Tin Surface Finish in cases when:

  • Your requirement is high volume
  • You need high yield ICT
  • The look and feel of the finish is important to you
  • Cost is a concern area
  • PB shock is a concern

However, in cases where wire bonding is required or lead-free wave solder is needed it is best not to go in for this surface finish. It is also not a very popular choice with PCB Manufacturers, USA as it comes with a host of environmental and health concerns.

Electroless Nickel/Immersion Gold

The use is this surface finish is rampant where:

  • The look and feel of the finish is important
  • Wire bonding is needed
  • High yield ICT is required
  • Fine pitch components are used
  • You need a high shelf life

Clearly, however, this surface finish will not fit your bill if:

  • You need high volumes
  • Shock or drop is a concern area
  • You are looking at a low-cost finish

Pb-free HASL

This surface finish is the first choice for PCB Manufacturer California, where:

  • Cost sensitivity is a major concern
  • Look and feel of the finish is important.
  • High yield ICT is required.

In case of high volume requirements or where wire bonding is required, this isn’t a preferred surface finish.

As the above charts reveal, choosing the right finish is a fairly technical task. PCB manufacturers with experience and industry expertise are best suited to choose the right surface finish, which in turn has a lot of implication on the overall success or failure of the electronics assembly. Some of the industries where these finishes typically see a lot of application, include:

OSP

  • Computers
  • Handheld electronics

Immersion Silver

  • Consumer electronics

Immersion Tin

  • Aerospace
  • Peripheral components

Sometimes, however, the decision of the surface finish is taken erroneously based on:

  • The cheapest finish available
  • The one that is easily available from the supplier
  • The one that allows for testing
  • Where field failures are minimum

Each of these approaches can have long-term consequences and need to be avoided in isolation.

Technotronix is one of the leading printed circuit board manufacturer based in the California, USA. We have over 4 decades of experience in providing innovative PCB manufacturing services using modern technologies and latest machinery. We capable to fulfill the varied need of our customer from the simple board to the most complex board for PCB Manufacturing to Assembly and PCB prototype to production.

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Top 8 Trends and Predictions for Electronics Manufacturing Industry that will Reshape 2020!

By | Date posted: | Last updated: May 14, 2020

To say that the electronics manufacturing industry has been undergoing a whole lot of disruption in the last few years, wouldn’t be an overstatement. These are indeed exciting times for the industry as a whole with the advent of new technology giving the impetus to ramp up operations and make them more intelligent.

It will be worthwhile to look at some of the top trends that are shaping the industry. Here are the top 8:

1. Internet of Things

The electronics manufacturing industry has been both embracing as well as leveraging Internet of Things. On account of embracing IoT, the industry has been benefiting in various ways, prominent among them being:

  • A reduction in overall costs
  • Marked improvement in product innovation
  • Improved efficiency
  • Better safety measures

With the availability of real time information, improved and efficient decision-making has also been made possible.

In fact, with further rise in cloud computing as well as improvements in connectivity, the global IoT spend is only slated to increase further.

2. Leveraging the Supply Chain

With a sharp focus on improving the overall brand experience, leveraging the entire value chain is going to be another major trend. This could manifest itself in a number of ways, including:

  • Improved fulfillment time
  • Improved supply chain visibility
  • Improved sharing of information at different levels of the supply chain
  • Improved control of distribution channels
  • Reduction in costs
  • Greater degree of flexibility

All of this will go a long way in improving the customer experience at multiple touch points.

3. Environmental Accountability

This trend isn’t unique to the electronics manufacturing industry alone as most businesses are now aware of the environmental impact of their offerings. However, the electronics manufacturing industry is being seen taking several measures. Some of these include:

  • Greening of the factory floor
  • Investing in alternate energy sources
  • Reduction of waste emission

In fact, Electronics manufacturers are expected to closely look at their environmental impact at various stages of the product life cycle beginning with product design and ending with its storage, or even beyond, with its recyclability.

4. Customer Focus

As with a host of other industries, the electronics manufacturing industry will gain from its increased customer oriented approach. In fact, this trend will be further propelled by the use of IoT by ensuring a better understanding of the target consumer. This will ensure that the customer needs can be correctly mapped. Once this is done, customizing products to his requirements becomes a far easier job.

5. On-demand manufacturing

It follows from the above point that on-demand manufacturing will be another growing trend, with product personalization and customization being of prime importance. What this implies is that micro manufacturing will grow in size and delivering to the customer’s bespoke needs will be a focus area.

6. B2B2C

There is an increasing shift from B2B to B2B2C model that will enable the manufacturers to sell directly to consumers. This in turn will come with various advantages, prominent among them being:

  • Increased profit margins
  • Faster time to market
  • Improved customer relationships
  • Improved control in sales

To take advantage of these, the future will see electronics manufacturing companies further enhancing its e-commerce and logistics divisions.

7. Cobot workforce

The years to come will see an improved role played by cobots in the manufacturing process. In fact the collaborative robots market is estimated to reach £9.7 billion by 2025, as per as a Barclays Equity Research. In turn this will make automations of work processes quicker and more flexible. The added advantage of using cobots is also that they work well with fragile components as well as high-quality accessories.

8. VR & AR

Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality are also expected to play a strong role in the electronics manufacturing industry. The technology offers the ability to make accurate changes in the design phase itself so that costly errors in the production phase can be avoided. This also has its implication on efficiency as the time to make modifications is significantly reduced. The use of this technology also comes with reduced inspection time, which has positive implications both in terms of cost and quality.

Clearly then, going forward, as the demand for smart electronic devices continues to rise, the electronics manufacturing industry will focus on a number of different trends to ensure that it can meet and exceed customer requirements while also trying to control costs and being mindful of its environmental responsibilities.

Technotronix Electronics Manufacturing Service combines state-of-the-art technology with our advanced engineering to deliver unparalleled quality and service. Our defense, industrial, and medical customers gain a competitive edge with fast prototyping, domestic and off-shore manufacturing and the consistent delivery of high-quality, on-time, price-competitive products.

Know More About Our Electronics Manufacturing Service.

For Any Kind of PCB Manufacturing Service, Get a Quick Quote!

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Top 4 Types of Plating Methods for Printed Circuit Boards Manufacturing!

By | Date posted: | Last updated: May 9, 2020

PCB plating is a very important aspect of manufacturing printed circuit boards. It essentially ensures that oxidization and hence deterioration of PCBs is prevented. When it comes to plating methods for Printed Circuit Boards, 4 main types of methods are in vogue. These include:

  • Finger Plating
  • Through-hole plating
  • Reel linkage selective plating
  • Brush plating

Given below is a brief overview of the processes involved in each of these methods:

Finger Plating

Also referred to as protruding partial plating, this method is used for rare metals such as gold to provide lower contact resistance as well as higher abrasive resistance. The process typically comprises of the following steps:

  • First up, the coating is stripped to remove the tin coating of the contact head.
  • The next step involves rinsing it with water
  • This needs to be followed by scrubbing it with abrasive
  • Next activated immersion in ten percent sulfuric acid needs to be initiated
  • After this, nickel needs to be plated on the protruding contact head. It is important to keep the thickness at 4-5μm
  • Cleaning and removing mineral water needs to be undertaken next
  • This needs to be followed by the Gold permeation solution treatment
  • Finally the gold plating needs to be carried out
  • This is, in turn, followed by cleaning and drying.

Through-Hole Plating

Through hole plating is a crucial manufacturing process for the drilling process. When the drill goes through the copper foil and the substrate below it, the resultant heat causes the insulating synthetic resin to melt. In turn, the molten resin collects around the holes. In turn it offers poor adhesion till the time specific techniques are put in place. What works is to use an adherent conductive film on the inner walls of the via. With this method what you are effectively doing is to take away the need for multiple chemical treatments. In fact, this method requires a single application, which needs to be followed by thermal curing which can then be electroplated. The advantage of using the ink is that it has strong adhesion capabilities that can be bonded without too much effort.

Reel Linkage Selective Plating

This method is largely used for selectively plating components such as:

  • Connectors
  • Integrated circuits
  • Transistors and more

You could choose to go with a manual or automatic plating method. The one thing to be remembered, however is that it can turn out to be a fairly costly affair to individually select each pin. It is, therefore, recommended that batch welding be done to render the process cost-effective. The process involves flattening of the ends of the metal foil to a required thickness. Post that it is die-cut, cleaned and then plated. The process of plating is as below:

  • A portion of the metal plate is coated with a resist film
  • The plating is then performed only on the selected copper foil area.

Brush Plating

This is yet another method of selective plating that is widely used. In this plating process whereby a limited area is plated, care is taken to see that not all parts are immersed in the electrolyte. For example, this technique could be used with board edge connectors, where rare metals are plated on selected portions of the printed circuit boards. Brush plating finds a lot of usage in an electronics assembly shop when it comes to repairing waste boards. The process involves wrapping a special anode such as graphite in absorbent material to bring the plating solution to the specific parts that need to be plated.

As the intricacies of the process above reveal, it is imperative that you go with a PCB manufacturer that has the requisite experience in ensuring that the right PCB method be used and that the plating is done correctly and in a cost-effective manner.

Technotronix is one of the leading printed circuit board manufacturer based in the USA. We have over 4 decades of experience in providing innovative PCB manufacturing services using modern technologies and latest machinery. We are adhering to strict high-quality standards and compliant with the RoHS quality management system. We capable to fulfill the varied need of our customer from the simple board to the most complex board for PCB prototype to production.

Know More About Our PCB Manufacturing Service.

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