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While the value of the electronic systems in a modern vehicle typically exceeds 20% of the total vehicle cost, many estimate that this value will exceed 35% within the next five years. With the increased adoption of electronic vehicles and the development of the internet of things (IoT)—which has brought us driverless cars like those being tested by Google in California and BMW on the roads of Bavaria—the future of this industry is starkly different from that of the 1970s when electronic fuel injection systems were first introduced to mainstream production.
The proliferation of automotive electronics has been enabled by the development of powerful networked controllers and low-cost sensors. The development of low-cost, high-reliability electronic systems that have seen engine management, infotainment, and passenger comfort and safety applications becoming standard equipment in most modern automobiles have also contributed.
It is not uncommon for modern new vehicles to be supplied with five- and even seven-year warranties. This is challenging component suppliers to develop new designs that deliver long-term reliability at an acceptable cost. Automotive electronic systems are subject to temperature extremes, high humidity, and condensation and are increasingly exposed to corrosive gases. And with the growth of electric vehicles, where much higher voltages are the norm, increased dielectric protection is required to enable designs to be sufficiently dense to meet size and weight constraints.
The increased sophistication of these electronic systems often means they are more sensitive to contamination and adverse external environmental conditions. Moreover, as automotive electronic systems rely increasingly on their interconnection, failure in one assembly can compromise the operation of another. Unlike aerospace applications where two or three layers of redundancy may be built into these systems, automotive designs typically must work the first time, every time, through-out the life of the product.
To read this entire article, which appeared in the October 2019 issue of SMT007 Magazine, click here or download the PDF to your library here.
Chintan Sutaria, CalcuQuote
Excess inventory is a ubiquitous issue in the electronics manufacturing services (EMS) industry, and it is made worse by the complexity and volatility of the modern supply chain. Considered an unavoidable cost of doing business, unchecked inventory cost has wreaked havoc on manufacturers without strict controls in place to keep their businesses safe. Excess inventory is not only costly for manufacturers themselves, but also for their end customers. Unwillingly, manufacturers are sometimes forced to eat this cost to avoid disrupting relationships with their customers and with the hope of making up the losses in next year’s orders from the customer.
Zac Elliott, Siemens Digital Industries Software
Let’s face it, in the past, electronics manufacturing has not been a big business for North America. A majority of electronics are assembled in Asia where supply chains and operating costs offer many economic advantages. In North America, the electronics manufacturing industry has been generally focused on lower volume, high-cost devices, while higher volume products are produced elsewhere. However, the COVID pandemic and various legislation in the U.S. are changing the situation, making electronics manufacturing in North America a more attractive option. How can factories in North America compete for the same type of manufacturing traditionally performed in lower-cost regions?
I-Connect007 Editorial Team
No doubt you will relate to Foad Ghalili when he expresses his concerns about rising input costs to doing business, from getting the right components, to delivery times, and price increases. But what’s unique for the president of Epoch International is the way his company has leveraged its U.S. and China operations to make the most of the other thing on everyone’s mind—the labor shortage. If you’re not already implementing his ideas, you will walk away from this interview with some sure-fire tips.