Today, you can find PCBs used in various industries from small consumer electronics to industrial machinery. Some of the most common applications of PCBs can be found in the following ten industries:
Everyday technologies such as smartphones, computers, and smartwatches all require PCBs to function the way they do. You may have noticed that each year, devices become smaller but the features are constantly increasing such as better cameras, more processing power, higher pixel density, etc. These advanced capabilities are made possible thanks to the utilization of small PCBs with a high volume of connections. Another important aspect is that PCBs allow manufacturers to keep costs down during production, which makes devices more affordable for everyday consumers. As more and more devices start to gain advanced electronic functions (i.e., smart fridges, microwaves, etc.), the use of PCBs will continue to grow with it.
Depending on the part where PCBs are needed, it may require to perform reliably while withstanding extreme temperatures or constant vibrations. To tackle these challenges, manufacturers may use high-temperature laminates, copper substrates, or thru-hole components to enhance the reliability of the PCBs. Flex-rigid PCBs are also commonly used to enhance the resistance against vibrations.
Health technology is another industry that has benefited from the applications of PCBs. PCBs in healthcare are mainly found in diagnostic, monitoring, and treatment equipment. To ensure patients are getting quality and effective healthcare, medical PCBs need to be reliable at all times. To go a step even further, PCBs used in health care may also require to meet strict standards for sanitation for devices that are used for implants. Examples of such technologies are pacemakers, which are implanted into a patient’s chest through surgery and helps prevent a patient’s heart from beating too slowly. As medical technologies continue to advance, the role of PCBs will be integral in healthcare.
As more businesses start to become more environmentally conscious, the demand for environmentally sustainable solutions has increased substantially in recent years. The advancement of PCBs has helped the development of green technology which is not only more environmentally sustainable but also more reliable and flexible.
Light-Emitting Diodes (LEDs)
Light-emitting diodes commonly referred to as LEDs are one of the most popular light technologies found in residential and commercial industries such as automotive, medical, and consumer electronic sectors. The benefit of LEDs is that it is more energy-efficient, lasts longer, and it’s compact. PCBs used in LEDs are typically made with aluminum. This allows for better heat management and increases the overall life span of the LEDs.
In the industrial sector, you will find various types of PCBs being used. The PCBs used in the industrial sector often require more power and need to be able to withstand the harsh environment of the manufacturing plant. Examples of such harsh environments may include rough handling, extreme temperatures, vibrations, or harsh chemicals. To enhance the durability of PCBs, industrial PCBs are typically made from more durable metals and are usually thicker than most kinds of PCBs. Thru-hole assembly is often used to increase the durability of PCBs.
Many technologies found on marine vessels rely on PCBs to function properly. This can be from smaller vessels to large cargo ships and submarines which are equipped with advanced communications and navigational systems. Since marine vessels are designed to operate on or in the water, this will require PCBs that can withstand harsh conditions such as heavy currents or storms in order to facilitate the safety of the people on board.
Safety and Security Equipment
Most of today’s security systems are equipped with advanced features to protect the safety of your home or business. These advanced features were only made possible thanks to PCBs. The type of PCBs used in security systems depends on their application, but they all must be reliable. Some security systems operate outdoors such as security cameras, so it will require it to be able to withstand potential harsh weather conditions. Whereas, indoor security systems such as smoke detectors may have as high durability requirements.
PCBs have become an integral part of today’s modern technological advancements. Most of the electronic devices you interact with such as your smartphone, computer, car, plane, or even your front door may have some form of PCBs inside it. As PCBs continue to evolve, the advancement of technology will grow with it.