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PCB Prototyping Vital to Electronics Market Growth

7th July 2014

Imagine a smartphone that thinks like a human brain. Anyone walking along the street or driving on the road often may not realise how their brain is at work all of the time, noticing all sorts of movements at changes along the route. The brain carries out this task at a rapid speed. So is it possible to invent a smartphone that will do the same? PCB prototyping is hoping to one day bring these fantasies to a reality.

The Ultimate Smartphone

However good smartphones and computers can be these days, they are not intelligent enough to differentiate between objects in the same way as a human brain does all of the time. The smartphone doesn’t know the difference between a human being and a lamp post. But what if it could?

Maybe the phone could tell you that there are some suspicious-looking strangers casing your neighbourhood. It could send a message if it notices that some articles in a shop window are on offer at a better price than yesterday.

An Ongoing Process

As electronics manufacturers conduct research into these future products, they have to test their ideas all of the time. For those involved in manufacturing printed circuit boards, PCB prototyping is not something to be conducted just once — it must happen throughout the entire manufacturing process.

The electronics manufacturer has to ensure that the product works as claimed and is reliable and safe.

Customer Communication

As they develop the smartphone that can tell the difference between a person and a lamp post, electronics manufacturers must communicate with customers to see how the technology works in different environments. At some point, the customer will be looking for a phone that not only distinguishes between humans and street furniture, but between humans, animals and trees.

Customers are demanding ever more innovative smart devices that have an increasing array of components in an ever smaller space. The manufacturer has to use PCB prototyping to detect potential problems before they occur, reduce safety risks and keep a firm control on costs.

All this needs investment. Manufacturers have to develop their own bespoke PCB prototyping facilities for each product. They also must invest in a qualified workforce that has the skills to interpret any subtle signs of potential problems during the test stages.

Such testing facilities will also have to be designed to suit customers who buy sophisticated devices that must operate in extreme or critical environments, such as aerospace engines or offshore technology.

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