Analysis of AVG market in PCB industry

At present, the automation level of the overall industry processing technology is average, mainly because the special equipment is relatively mature. First of all, small and medium-sized enterprises (small batches of products, many types, too large size range, etc.) have a low level of automation, mainly focusing on special process equipment + retractable board + labor. The medium and large enterprises (large batches, relatively uniform types and specifications) have a higher level of automation, mainly focusing on special process equipment + retractable boards + industrial robots, with manual assistance (inspection, maintenance).

On the whole, the demand for automation transformation of small and medium-sized enterprises is still relatively weak, while medium and large enterprises are on the contrary. Whether it is a newly planned workshop or an upgrade of an old production line, they are actively planning the participation of robots (industrial + AGV), aiming at PCB upstream. Raw materials need to build smarter warehousing; for the PCB factory, a more complete automatic warehousing system is needed, and it is best to integrate ERP, MES, etc.

Although the reality varies widely, automation and intelligence are still the general direction of development. As the basis for the development of the electronics industry, the scale and market of PCB materials and PCB boards will continue to grow with the development of 5G, smart cars, etc. Therefore, the requirements for product quality and process accuracy are higher, and automation and intelligent production scheduling will continue to grow. Demand will continue to rise.

Secondly, there are various types of products in the PCB industry, and the raw materials of the board are large and heavy. The effective transportation and management of semi-finished products or finished products during processing can improve production efficiency, so the level of automation should also be improved.

Whether it is from the perspective of product iteration or technological innovation, the automation transformation of the PCB industry is inevitable, and the efficiency and precision of industrial robots make it an important step in the transformation and upgrading of the industry.

(1) Demand characteristics:
①Industry production characteristics:
A. complex process
B. Work across floors and areas
C. Cancellation in the middle, expedited order
②Environmental requirements:
A. Workshop dust-free level requirements
B. Hydraulic structure (oil leakage)
③Line-side warehouse planning: line-side warehouse design, zoning management, and balanced production of upstream and downstream processes
④Transition period of production and commissioning:
A. There is no MES docking in the early stage;
B. Post-demand docking with MES/ERP/elevator control system
(2) The PCB industry is dedicated to the product form of intelligent AGV
Set up different vehicles for different scenarios to meet the loading requirements (the vehicle is determined according to the customer’s site, and the chassis structure of the vehicle is as consistent as possible). The application model can be selected according to the actual scene needs.

(3) Key technical difficulties related to product selection related benefits:
① The AGV needs to realize cross-regional transfer
● The AGV realizes automatic loading and unloading of production materials through automatic connection with Loader & Unloader;

● The AGV scheduling system is connected with the automatic door controller to realize cross-regional transfer of materials;
● Manage WIP line side warehouse material information to achieve accurate material supply.
② The AGV needs to realize cross-floor transfer;

● The AGV realizes automatic loading and unloading of production materials through automatic connection with the retractable trigger;
● The AGV scheduling system is connected with the hoist controller to realize cross-regional transfer of materials.

(4) Project benefit assessment
Five evaluation dimensions of project benefits: the proportion of production efficiency improvement, the proportion of operating cost control, the degree of shortening the product development cycle, the proportion of product defective product rate reduction, and energy utilization efficiency.

The future development direction of the four PCB markets

Because PCBs (printed circuit boards) are so versatile, even small changes in consumer trends and emerging technologies can have an impact on the PCB market, including how it is used and manufactured.

Although there may be more time, the following four major technology trends are expected to maintain the leadership of the PCB market for a long time and lead the entire PCB industry in different directions.

1- High Density Interconnection and Miniaturization

When computers were first invented, some people probably spent their entire lives getting work done on computers that took up entire walls. And today, even calculator watches have orders of magnitude more computing power than those behemoths, let alone smartphones.

The entire manufacturing industry is currently in the sight of a whirlwind of innovation, much of which is in the service of miniaturization. Our computers are getting smaller and everything else is getting smaller.

Across the consumer base, there seems to be a gradual shift towards smaller electronics. Miniaturization means we can build smaller, more efficient homes and control them. And cheaper, more efficient cars and more.

Since PCBs are vital basic components in electronic products, PCBs must also relentlessly pursue miniaturization.

Especially in the PCB market, this means using high-density interconnect technology. Further improvements in HDI technology will further reduce the size of PCBs and touch more and more industries and commodities in the process.

2- Advanced Materials and Green Manufacturing

Nowadays, the PCB industry is being affected by some very real impacts such as climate and social pressure. The PCB manufacturing process needs to keep up with the trend of the times and evolve towards sustainable development.

In fact, PCB manufacturers have always been a hot topic when it comes to the crossroads of development and environmental protection. The introduction of lead-free solder, for example, required more energy-intensive manufacturing processes. Since then, the industry has been forced to find a new balance.

In other respects, PCB has been leading the way. Polychlorinated biphenyls have traditionally been made using fiberglass as a substrate, which is considered by most to be a relatively environmentally friendly material. Further advancements could see fiberglass replaced by materials better suited for high data transfer rates, such as resin-coated copper and liquid crystal polymers.

As manufacturing efforts of all types continue to adjust their footprints to a changing planet, the link between societal needs and the convenience of production and business will become a new norm.

3- Wearables and Pervasive Computing

We’ve briefly covered the fundamentals of PCB technologies and how they enable greater complexity on thinner boards. Now we put this concept into practice. PCBs are decreasing in thickness and increasing in functionality every year, and now we have a lot of practical applications for small circuit boards.

Consumer electronics as a whole has been a significant driver of PCB manufacturing and usage over the past few decades. Now that wearables have entered this space and are starting to become a reliable consumer product type, related PCBs will follow.

Like smartphones, wearable tech requires printed circuit boards, but they go a step further. They place an emphasis on design efficiency far beyond what past technologies have been able to achieve.

4- Health Medical Technology and Public Oversight

The introduction of modern digital technologies into medicine has been one of the greatest developments in recent human history. Technology now means we can store patient records securely in the cloud and manage them through apps and smartphones.

However, the rapid development of medical technology has also affected PCBs and vice versa in some very interesting ways. The onboard camera is a new development, and it is even possible to fasten an ultra-high fidelity camera to the PCB itself. The medical implications are huge: When a camera needs to be inserted into the body, swallowed by the body, or otherwise introduced into the body, the smaller the better. Some onboard cameras are now small enough to be swallowed.

As for public surveillance, onboard cameras and smaller PCBs can also assist. For example, dash cams and vest cameras have shown useful roles in mitigating offenses, and a number of consumer technologies have emerged to meet this need. Many popular mobile accessory companies are exploring ways to offer drivers increasingly smaller, less obtrusive in-dash cameras that include and include connected hubs to interact with your phone while you’re driving.

New consumer technologies, advances in medicine, breakthroughs in manufacturing, and strong contemporary trends are fascinating. Incredibly, the PCB has the opportunity to be at the heart of it all.

That means entering the field is an exciting time.

In the future, what other technologies will bring new development to the PCB market? Let’s keep looking for answers.