Our Everyday life includes many electronic gadgets that improve our productivity and experience of life. Starting from customer electronics to the aerospace industry, PCBs are at the core of every electronic device. For example, you can find a PCB in home appliances like televisions, refrigerators, and gadgets like Smartphones. If we observe our daily routine, we can easily identify PCBs in multiple applications which may not look obvious!
Common usages of PCBs in everyday life:
The most widely used PCB application in everyday life is consumer electronics. Starting from home appliances to the computers and communication devices like smartphones, there are innumerable gadgets that enhance efficiency and the quality of our life. The latest technologies are driving the usage of ICs in all circuits. PCBs are the base to include these ICs in an electronic device. The wide range of PCBs like Rigid-flex PCBs, HDI, and high-speed PCBs have captured all the tech domains and proved their competence. Turnkey PCB Assembly provides a complete solution for PCBs, and manufacturers use it quite often.
Consumer electronics are designed based on the IPC 6012 standards. They are built to be compact, reliable, and user-friendly. The production volume is quite high for this category as the demand for the latest gadgets keeps increasing always.
Some of the most commonly used consumer devices are:
Mobile Phone and Smartwatch: Smartphones have become one of the must-have gadgets for consumers ranging from all age groups. Latest Smartphones include features for health trackers, audio/video creation, etc. Smartwatches are the latest trending wearable devices and can be synced with the smartphone.
Home Appliances: LED Televisions, robot cleaners, and modern refrigerators are all using a PCB to control their operation and improve production efficiency. The growth in the high-end gaming consoles, AR (augmented reality), and VR (virtual reality) devices are due to the usage of high-performance PCBs. Smart home concepts with virtual assistant technology have become a reality with the help of a sophisticated PCB design.
One of the significant uses of PCBs in our everyday life is in the healthcare sector. Innovations in medical treatment methods have been realized due to the supporting technological growth in surgical, monitoring, and diagnostic equipment. Flex and HDI PCBs are used to build advanced medical devices. They are accurate, durable, and compact in design.
Many implantable devices like pacemakers, stents, and valves are used to maintain the patient’s health after surgery. Monitoring devices like blood pressure monitors, blood sugar monitors, and oximeters are all built on a compact PCB design.
Diagnostic devices like MRI, X-ray machines, and other scanning equipment often use high-precision, robust medical PCBs which are designed to meet the IPC 6012/ class 3 standards.
Travel for business or leisure has boosted the growth of the automotive industry. The rising demand for security and convenience features is fulfilled by using a suitable PCB in automotive design. Earlier, operations like automatic door lock, headlight control were operated using an electronic device. Recently, RF technology has enabled navigation, collision detection, and auto-driving features in advanced vehicles. These features have become a possibility only by using a high-speed multilayer PCB Fabrication.
There is also a growing requirement for environment-friendly “Electric cars” which can use alternative energy sources like electric batteries. This again involves an electronic circuit to control and operate these electric cars.
Telecommunication is a reality due to the network towers, switching, and exchange circuits deployed all over the world. High-speed PCBs are the backbone of the telecommunication industry.
The latest 5G technology and IoT applications are impacting the Telecom sector. The massive ecosystem of interconnected devices for seamless communication is offering various opportunities for implementing IoT services. RF PCBs are used in these applications.
All commercial and application-specific products are built-in high volumes to increase the yield and reduce cost. The manufacturing factories rely on the automation of the assembly and production process. PCBs are used to implement the automation system in the industrial sector. Also, the power unit of a factory is controlled by a circuit board. The PCBs used in industrial applications can withstand extreme temperatures, vibrations, and chemicals exposure. Usually, a metal core PCB is used which can dissipate the excess heat.
The aerospace application uses PCBs in different segments like communication, monitoring circuits, and test equipment. The AS9100D standard outlines the requirements for aerospace PCBs as they are exposed to vibrations, radiation, and extreme temperatures. A flex-rigid PCB can be a good choice for this application.
The avionics segment requires many sensor circuits to monitor the external and internal environment continuously. Satellite control equipment involves transponders and image processing circuits. The PCBs used for these applications should be highly accurate. Adhering to the IPC 6012/Class 3 standard is mandatory for the aerospace PCB design.
Safety and security application:
PCBs are used in safety equipment like security cameras, smoke detectors, and motion sensors. These are required to ensure the security of people and property. Recently, the demand for safety devices has increased. Housing complexes, public properties, and business facilities are using CCTV, fire alarms, and Intruder alarms to safeguard their residents and assets from damage. The PCBs used in these applications should be robust and durable as they are expected to operate 24/7.
LEDs and lighting technology:
LED lighting is extensively used in a wide range of lighting systems used in residential, commercial, and industrial sectors. Even the healthcare and avionics industry is looking for excellent light output with low power consumption.
PCBs are used as an adaptable base for displays and indicator circuits. The main requirement is to dissipate the heat as the LED average lifespan reduces at extreme temperatures. Hence, metalcore (aluminum) PCBs are used in this application to rapidly transfer the heat away from the LEDs. LEDs consume low power than regular halogen bulbs. Hence, they are becoming quite popular in a wide range of applications.
PCBs have emerged as the best possible solutions for all electronic applications over a range of industries. Apart from the above 8 common usages, PCBs are also used in defense, marine, and many more applications. Latest technologies are driving the PCB manufacturing process to innovate continuously. Many PCB manufacturers and PCB assembly providers are also upgrading their processes to keep up with the growing market trends.