The electronic component sourcing sector is essential in a world of technological advancement. For the industry to produce the immediately available supply of electronic goods that customers now want and to be supported by efficient supply chains, it must continue to expand.
Fortunately, despite worries about industry shortages, the global market is anticipated to expand and reach millions of dollars by the end of the projected 2018–2023.
In many areas, such as medical electronics, industrial robots, and portable electronics, passive components, active components, and PCBs are all in great demand. We’ve looked more closely at a few of the themes fueling the expansion of the electronic component sourcing market.
Trends in Electronic Components Sourcing and Manufacturing
Digitization in electronics and electronic component sourcing refers to converting analog signals (continuous signals) into digital signals (discrete signals) that can be processed and stored by computers and other digital devices. The analog signal is sampled and quantized to produce a digital representation approximating the original signal. This process enables the efficient storage, processing, and transmission of information in a digital form.
With the use of electronics, software, sensors, and network connectivity, the Internet of Things (IoT) is a network of actual physical objects like vehicles, appliances, and other home items that can gather and exchange data. In addition, the IoT allows these connected devices to communicate with the centralized system and each other, such as a cloud-based server, without requiring human interaction.
Examples of IoT devices include:
- Smart home devices: smart thermostats, lights, and smart locks
- Wearable devices: smartwatches as well as fitness trackers
- Health monitoring devices: such as wearable sensors for monitoring vital signs
- Industrial equipment: such as sensors in manufacturing machines to monitor performance and predict maintenance needs
- Connected vehicles: such as cars equipped with sensors, GPS, and network connectivity for tracking and controlling various functions
- Smart city infrastructure: connected traffic signals, waste management systems, and public transportation systems,
These are only a few types of the numerous IoT products and systems available today. As the IoT continues to evolve, the number of connected devices and their use will increase in the coming years.
AR (Augmented Reality) and VR (Virtual Reality)
AR (Augmented Reality) and VR (Virtual Reality) enable users to experience computer-generated environments and interact with digital information in new and innovative ways.
- AR talks about technology that overlays digital information, such as images, videos, or 3D models, in the real-world environment seen through a smartphone or tablet device. By incorporating virtual aspects into the real environment, AR improves it.
- VR is also responsible for creating a completely artificial environment and replacing the real world with a simulated one. Users typically wear a headset covering their eyes and ears, using hand-held controllers or other input devices to interact with the virtual environment.
AR and VR have a range of applications, including gaming, education, design, and simulation. As these technologies continue to advance, new and exciting possibilities for their use are constantly being discovered.
Artificial Intelligence and Predictive Maintenance
Artificial intelligence (AI) emulates human intelligence in devices intended to act and think like people. These robots are taught to carry out operations that ordinarily need human intellect, such as speech recognition, natural language understanding, decision-making, and problem-solving.
There are several approaches to AI, including machine learning, deep learning, and neural networks. Machine learning involves training algorithms to identify patterns in data and make predictions based on that data. Deep learning processes and analyzes complex data using neural networks with several layers.
AI is used in various applications, including autonomous vehicles, healthcare, financial services, customer service, etc. In addition, AI is anticipated to advance new technologies and become more integral to our daily lives as it develops.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) significantly impacts electronics and electronic component sourcing and how electronic devices are designed, developed, and used. Some ways in which AI affects electronics include:
- Improved device performance: AI algorithms can analyze large amounts of data and predict how a device functions, improving performance and reliability.
- Enhanced user experience: AI can provide personalized recommendations, improve speech recognition, and enable natural language processing, leading to a more intuitive and convenient user and electronic component sourcing experience.
- Autonomous systems: Self-driving automobiles and drones are autonomous systems that can make judgments and take action without human supervision, thanks to artificial intelligence (AI).
- Predictive maintenance: AI can evaluate sensor data to foretell when equipment will break down, enabling proactive maintenance and minimizing downtime.
- Improved security: AI can detect and respond to security threats, such as malware and network intrusion, more quickly and effectively than traditional security systems.
These are just a few instances of how AI influences the sourcing of electronics and electronic components. Future developments in AI technology will likely have a more significant impact on the electronics sector. As a result, AI is anticipated to eventually play an important role in preventing shortages of electronic components.
Cyber and Physical Security
Cyber security protects computer systems, networks, and data from theft, damage, and unauthorized access. It is essential for several reasons, including:
- Protecting sensitive information: Cyber security is essential for protecting sensitive information, such as personal data, financial information, and confidential business information, from being stolen or misused.
- Preventing financial loss: Cyber attacks can result in financial loss directly through theft of funds and indirectly through loss of productivity and reputation damage.
- Maintaining privacy: Cyber security is vital for protecting individuals’ privacy and the privacy of organizations and corporations.
- Ensuring the availability of critical systems: Cyber security is essential for ensuring that critical systems, such as power grids and financial systems, are available and functioning correctly, as well as for preventing disruptions in essential services.
- Complying with regulations: Many industries and businesses are subject to rules that require them to protect sensitive information and maintain secure systems, and cyber security is essential for meeting these requirements.
In short, cyber security is crucial because it helps protect organizations and individuals from theft, damage, and unauthorized access to sensitive information and critical systems. In addition, it helps maintain privacy, prevent financial loss, and comply with regulations. This also provides a layer of security versus electronic component shortages.
Green and sustainable electronics are essential for several reasons:
- Environmental protection: Green electronics and electronic component sourcing are designed to minimize environmental impact, including reducing harmful materials and increasing energy efficiency. This contributes to environmental protection and a decrease in the carbon footprint of electrical equipment.
- Resource conservation: Sustainable electronics and electronic component sourcing are designed to conserve natural resources, such as metals and minerals, by using recyclable or biodegradable materials and reducing waste.
- Improved product life cycle: Longer lifespans are built into sustainable electronics and electrical component sourcing to reduce e-waste and the need for replacements. They also often have better repairability, making it easier to extend their life.
- Economic benefits: The production of green and sustainable electronics and electronic component sourcing can create jobs and stimulate economic growth in related industries, such as renewable energy and recycling.
- Social responsibility: By adopting green and sustainable practices, companies can demonstrate their commitment to corporate social responsibility and environmental protection.
In summary, green and sustainable electronics are important for protecting the environment, conserving natural resources, improving product life cycles, providing economic benefits, and promoting social responsibility.
The Future of Electronic Components Sourcing
The future of electronic component sourcing will likely be shaped by several key trends, including:
- Increased demand for sustainable and eco-friendly components: As consumer awareness and demand for environmentally friendly products grow, it is expected that the demand for sustainable and eco-friendly electronic components and electronic component sourcing will also increase.
- Digital transformation of the supply chain: The increasing use of digital technologies, such as blockchain, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of Things, is expected to transform how electronic components are sourced and managed, improving efficiency and reducing waste.
- Growth of local and regional supply chains: The global pandemic has highlighted the need for greater resilience in supply chains. Companies will likely increasingly look to source components from local and regional suppliers to reduce their dependence on global supply chains.
- Increased focus on quality and reliability: With the increasing complexity of electronic devices, companies are expected to place greater emphasis on sourcing high-quality and reliable components to ensure the reliability and performance of their products.
- Greater collaboration between suppliers and buyers: In the future, it is expected that suppliers and buyers will collaborate more closely to jointly manage risks, improve efficiency, and enhance innovation in the supply chain.
These trends will significantly impact how electronic components are sourced and managed. This should also help manufacturers ward off electronic component shortages. Companies that can adapt and embrace these changes will be well-positioned for success.