The Electronics Manufacturing Trends That Will Shape 2022

The past two years have been challenging for many supply chains and OEMs, especially with the continuing impact of COVID-19, but a new year brings new possibilities. A number of exciting technologies are making it possible for the electronics manufacturing process to become more efficient than ever. Here are the electronics manufacturing trends that will shape 2022.

More IoT

The Internet of Things has played an important role in improving efficiency across a number of industries for a few years now, and more devices than ever are now IoT compatible. In electronics manufacturing, the use of IoT technology has helped to reduce costs, improve safety, and increase efficiency.

We can expect this trend to continue into 2022 and beyond as the technology becomes even more efficient, particularly with the widespread implementation of 5G. This will result in faster connections between IoT devices and more accurate real-time data that can be used to make informed decisions in both the short and long term.

More automation

Completely autonomous manufacturing is still a way off, but AI and automation technologies are already proving their ability to decrease operational costs and improve service levels and speed in many areas of the supply chain.

Smart factories, autonomous manufacturing robots, and automated supply chain management systems are being implemented by some manufacturers in conjunction with the huge amounts of data provided by IoT devices to create a much more efficient operation. If these examples continue to prove successful, we can expect a wider adoption of automation technologies to be an electronics manufacturing trend for the coming years.

Predictive maintenance

When manufacturing equipment breaks, production usually has to be stalled while it is fixed, and this downtime can be lengthy if the problem is severe. No matter how long the delay is, revenue is lost, and the business has to play catch up once everything is operational again.

However, the use of IoT and AI technologies’ data collection means that predictive maintenance is now possible, identifying problems before they happen. This helps manufacturers to plan ahead and avoid downtime by scheduling any maintenance at the most suitable time for the operation, rather than reactively when machinery breaks. It also allows businesses to budget for these maintenance costs and identify the most cost-effective options, rather than having to prioritise the speed of repair.

ERP systems

Enterprise resource planning, or ERP, is a type of software that integrates the management of day-to-day business activities such as accounting, project management, risk management, compliance, procurement, and supply chain operations. We can expect the use of ERP systems to be one of the main electronics manufacturing trends of 2022.

The use of ERP systems allows a business to automate its processes using real-time information and make quicker, more accurate decisions. In turn, this can reduce operational costs, prevent bottlenecks in the operation, and reduce the risk of human error.

Big data

Big data deals with data sets, particularly from new data sources, that are too voluminous or complex to be dealt with by traditional data-processing software. The information that can be gained from these data sets can bring a wealth of possibilities for businesses.

Advances in IoT technologies has meant that big data is no longer exclusive to big companies. Now, small and medium businesses can take advantage of this information and use it to better understand their business and reduce operational costs, while also predicting future challenges. The adoption of big data by more companies means we can expect it to become more of a trend across the electronics manufacturing industry in 2022.

AR and VR

Augmented reality and virtual reality have seen increased application in recent years, not just in the consumer space, but across many professional industries as well. VR and AR can be used for ‘hands-on’ training without any of the risks, to aid with the proper operation of machinery, and to access useful information on the production floor about warehouse management or productivity.

One other area that AR and VR are especially useful for is design. These technologies can be used in conjunction with CAD to better visualise product designs and make accurate and reliable changes before production begins, when such changes become costly.

We are likely to see many changes to the electronics manufacturing industry in the next year as we (hopefully) come out the other side of the COVID pandemic and businesses continue to look for creative solutions to global component shortages. These evolving technologies signal a brighter future for a more efficient industry.

For more information on how Rebound Electronics could assist your electronics manufacturing operation with independent component sourcing, you can view our services.

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