April 6, 2016 | By Anaya Vardya
It used to be that most of the R&D in our industry was handled by OEMs. If you think back to all of the large companies, from IBM to Raytheon, and from Rockwell to GE, you will recall that everyone had their own board shops and invested in their own R&D, which took care of most of the new technology innovations. Today, with all of those companies having jettisoned their shops, it is up to board shops like American Standard Circuits to take up the slack and provide this service for our customers.
As we look at future trends for electronics, at the core we see things like miniaturization, thermal management, signal integrity, and requirements for higher frequency/lower losses. Additionally, there are increasing electronics content in the automotive, medical and Internet of Things arenas.
So if you are an OEM or a CEM, and particularly if you are involved in building products for the future— products that will need some new and innovative technologies—you will need a PCB fabricator who can help you, and someone you can trust with developing the technology to build the boards you will need in the future. It is also important to remember that sometimes new and innovative might only be new and innovative to you. We have seen a number of customers who design relatively simpler technologies now, while looking at flex and rigid-flex PCBs as a solution for future products. While these technologies have been around for a while, it can be a scary concept to embark on them without having any history with this technology. The right PCB supplier can help you with this.
The following are suggestions for what you should look for in a good R&D PCB fabrication vendor partner:
As a PCB company, look for the following characteristics in an R&D customer partner:
Finally, a few things that a good R&D PCB fabricator should be expected to do for you:
As we look into the future, we will see that electronic content is growing. At the heart of this is a PCB. Some form of R&D will be the key to your success. Personally, I view R&D in two different ways—it could mean something brand new that really hasn’t been tried before or it could mean something that is new to you that can be a challenge in a number of different ways, including selling the concept to your management team, design tools, etc. A good PCB R&D partner can help you to reach your standard of excellence.