All the industries that felt the impact of the pandemic are now still reeling from its consequences. For the electronics manufacturing sector, 2020 proved to be completely disruptive and unpredictable.
Delays in movement in the PCB market almost crippled the industry, creating a domino effect across the supply chain, from factory downtimes to delayed prototyping, ultimately leading to delayed sales. Fortunately, despite these challenges, electronic manufacturers survived the COVID-19 pandemic.
And though we’re almost down to the last few months of 2021, the fact remains that there’s no assurance of stability, especially with the virus still around. Companies need to stay vigilant and keep on innovating quickly to solve the challenges in the industry as they come.
This article will discuss three challenges for the electronics manufacturing sector in 2021 and how companies can survive by investing in an IPC course for their staff.
Increasingly Growing Demand For Smart Electronic Devices
In the past two years, smart electronics have become a necessity in our lives as almost everything went online. This spiked a demand for newer and more intelligent electronic devices. Consumers wanted everything in their homes to be smart. On top of that, they were also clamoring for smaller and wearable smart devices, like smartwatches and fitness trackers.
This demand for smaller, more flexible electronic devices added another layer to electronics manufacturing, and along with it came several challenges to meet. These devices require the assembling of tiny parts.
Not many companies are capable of small smart device assembly. With a limited number of manufacturers who have the microdispensing technologies for assembling smart devices of this size, the industry could seriously be in trouble if companies don’t act soon.
Shorter Product Life Cycle
Regular technological advances and the ever-changing customer behavior directly impact the life cycle of your average electronic product. Trendy devices like smartphones, smartwatches, and fitness devices can quickly come and go. Your brand new phone can become outdated within the next few months.
This rapid change in consumer behavior leads to challenges in supply chain management, like fluctuations in production. As a result, companies need to maintain more extensive inventories or heavily rely on faster inventory turns. This then leads to an increase in overall inventory costs, which will ultimately hurt the bottom line.
Because it’s difficult for manufacturers to predict and maintain production goals accurately, they need to push for newer and more complex product variants if they are going to survive, much less remain competitive. Companies will also have to learn quickly to retool their production lines so they can meet consumer demands while keeping costs low.
More Attention To Environmental Requirements
As more consumers become increasingly aware of environmental safety, they use this as a factor for supporting a product or a brand. Running a business should always involve the awareness of the consequences of exploiting the environment for gains. And that’s even truer today.
Electronics Manufacturing Services (EMS) companies need to consider environmental safety more carefully if they want more environmentally aware consumers to continually support the products they bring out. This means exploring more eco-friendly assembly processes and solutions.
What naturally follows is the demand for energy-efficient products. Companies need to find innovative ways to develop products that meet energy efficiency demands without compromising manufacturing and retail costs.
While these challenges are daunting, manufacturers can stay on top of them by constantly updating the skills of their assembly staff. IPC training is one thing that can play a crucial role in making this possible because the international community recognizes an IPC certificate as the gold standard for assembly training.
Investing in technical courses like an IPC course and a soldering training course for their employees working the assembly line enables them to weather any challenge the industry is currently facing or one that might emerge in the future.