The circuit board industry is an important part of our growing technological world. The industry itself continues to grow and expand every year. In 1995, a little over 50 years after the first introduction of PCBs, it became a $7.1 billion industry for the first time. Just 5 years later in 2000, they became an over $10 billion industry, and since 2012 have reached over $60 billion worldwide. What factors are contributing to this rapid growth within the industry?
Increasing uses of turnkey PCBs
Back when turnkey PCBs were first invented, there usage was limited to a few projects. Today however, turnkey PCBs are used across many different industries. Because printed circuit boards are one of the most important parts of computer motherboards, and computers tend to be a part of almost everything today, they are realistically in hundreds of thousand items. You can find printed circuit boards in your TV, computer, laptop, mobile phone, tablet, and even your smart appliances. Some people even used their printed circuit boards in their hobby or technological activities.
Turnkey PCB services
Designing one computer many years ago was a lengthy process. Computers were not turned out as quickly as they are today. The ability to produce high turnkey PCBs has contributed significantly to their rapid growth. The circuit board assembly process is carefully planned and evaluated on a regular basis, always improving upon the system. This has resulted in extremely fast circuit board assembly services with speedy turnkey PCB services.
This is mostly from the increase of the machines used for production services. Before PCB design software was introduced, printed circuit boards were designed using clear Mylar sheets, up to four times bigger than the circuit board itself, on which designers would create a transparent photomask of the proposed design. Although this process made the design easily viewable, it extended the amount of time it took to design, and then produce a single PCB prototype.
Better temperature control
Older laptops once came with cooling pads. The internal PCBs and motherboards could not be effectively controlled. If cooling pads were not used and the computer was used for too long, the system could overheat. Now imagine this process on a much larger and much more detailed motherboard, such as with the creation of printed circuit boards. Since then, effective cooling methods have been found that allow the PCB to cool itself, without the user having to manually do it.
Temperature curve plays a critical role in determining soldering quality and overall temperature. Prior to 160 degrees Celsius, temperature rising rate should be controlled at 1 to 2 degrees Celsius per second. If temperature rises too quickly, on one hand, components and PCB tend to suffer heat too quickly, which tends to destroy components, leading to deformation of PCB. This also leads to a poorly functioning, and potentially damaged, technological motherboard.
Ability for small batch PCBs
PCB designers with smaller ideas once found it almost impossible to print their project. The manufacturing and printing labs were only used for larger projects. This shut a lot of industries out from the printed circuit board industry. Today, as fast PCB prototype printing services have increased, there is now a place for smaller PCBs. Designers who do not require as extensive of legends can still have their projects brought to life. This has helped to expand the PCB market to smaller and medium sizes designers.
When printed circuit boards and PCBs first came out, they were considered to be highly advanced. Yet, if you wanted to design and then print a PCB legend, it could take years. This prevented many industries from utilizing the services of the printed circuit board. Since then, both design and printing services have increased in speed and efficiency, allowing the PCB market to rapidly grow.