COVID-19 is big news since December 2019. It can be rightly said that the disease has affected countries, people, and businesses across the globe. The disease has already affected several businesses, and there is a lot of uncertainty around. Many small- and mid-sized businesses across industries are struggling to sustain their business operations. Amid all this chaos and uncertainty, the experts in the organic and printed electronics industry are optimistic about the growth of the sector in the coming year. This was confirmed during a survey by the Organic and Printed Electronics Association (OE-A)! The industry is still growing. Let’s understand the key trends and growth markers in the said industry.
PCB Industry News: COVID-19, Now and Beyond
Like most other industries, the printed circuit board industry is also facing some challenges in the form of reduced workforce and security. In spite of this, there has been some good news coming the way of patrons in the said industry. The following factors will help you understand it better:
- Increased Demand for Medical Device PCBs: The demand for life saving devices such as ventilators has increased tremendously. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is encouraging OEMs catering to the healthcare industry to increase their production to ensure the availability of life saving accessories during the pandemic. Although most states have imposed strict work from home orders, the PCB manufacturers supporting medical device OEMs and other important businesses are exempted. So, many of these services have informed through their website that they are fully functional to meet the demand during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Lead-free Laminates Are Being Preferred: As said before, the demand for equipment like ventilators has increased, also for certain substrate materials. This is because most lifesaving equipment like ventilators utilize one or more subsystems for functioning. They may include sensors, power control devices, and so on. Now, these subsystems are expected to function for a long time. To meet this requirement, they may need special types of substrates and building materials. Thus, the demand for materials particularly VT-47 and VT-481 laminates, as well as prepregs for 8-, 6-, and 4-layer PCBs have increased. Both VT-47 and VT-481 laminates offer excellent thermal stability, as well as brilliant CAF and UV resistance. It is lead-free compatible and possesses low Z-CTE. These laminates are suited for single side, double side, and multilayer printed circuit boards and lead-free assembly applications.
- Embedded PCB Antennas Have Been Introduced: Recently, embedded PCB antennas have been introduced. They are designed for self-integration in several wireless equipment including cellular, Wi-Fi, IoT, and IMS. These antennas can be directly embedded into the device, and they discard the need for additional ones.
- A New Single Step Filling Process for Through-Hole Assemblies: This is a single step filling process for through-hole assemblies, which helps improve IC substrate designs. MacuSpec THF is an electroplating process of copper, where a solid copper plating is filled through holes in PCB layers. The copper structure that results from this possesses higher thermal conductivity than other materials. This process assures time reduction than the current direct plating process.
Owing to the promising growth of PCBs in some service areas, the industry experts in organic and printed electronics are hopeful that the industry can easily survive the current outbreak. They are optimistic that the demand for PCBs in user industries such as automotive, consumer electronics, pharmaceutical industries would grow in 2021. Although the quality of the PCBs has been one of the key requisites in various industries, today it has become the most important feature. Like before, it is now more important to source your PCBs from a trusted company. Rigiflex is a leading manufacturer of rigid, flex, and rigid-flex circuit boards and has been delivering them to its clients across medical, aerospace, consumer electronics, military and defense industries for several years now.