Wednesday, September 2, 2015

IPC Releases Annual Electronics Industry Quality Benchmark Study

IPC Study of Quality Benchmarks for Electronics Assembly 2015 is now available from Publications. The annual study provides data to electronics assembly companies interested in comparing their quality measurements to those of other assembly companies by company size, region and type of product.
The survey-based study addresses five major groups of manufacturing and service measurements: production, quality control, customer satisfaction, supplier performance and certification status. The survey sample includes 65 OEMs and EMS companies from the Americas, Europe and Asia with annual sales ranging from under $10 million to more than $500 million.

Respondents reported on their use of various electronics assembly test and inspection methods, including in-circuit testing (ICT), manufacturing defects analyzer (MDA), flying probe, boundary scan, automated optical inspection (AOI), X-ray inspection and final functional tests. They also reported their average test and inspection results, such as first-pass yield, defect rate in defects per million opportunities (DPMO) and yield at final inspection. Internal yields were reported for key processes, including surface mounting, wave soldering and selective soldering. Data on average cost of poor quality (COPQ) was reported for rework and scrap.

The study also reports industry production data, including median numbers of printed board assemblies and components placed, as well as the proportion of surface-mount and plated-through-hole components placed. The status of the industry’s major quality certifications received is covered. Customer satisfaction metrics such as returns and on-time delivery are also provided, in addition to supplier performance metrics for PCB and component on-time deliveries and lot rejection rate.

The data, including averages, medians and percentiles, are segmented by company size tier, by region, and by type of production including rigid PCBs, flexible circuits, rigid back planes, mechanical assembly, end products, cable and harness, and discrete wiring terminals and connectors.

New in this year’s report are demographic data on the participating companies’ production by end-use applications and IPC usage classes.

Details of the new report, table of contents and ordering information can be found on Publications" web site. View the report: IPC Study of Quality Benchmarks for the Electronics Manufacturing Services (EMS) Industry 2015.

IPC Working Group Focuses on Nuances of Conformal Coating

As products get smaller and denser, factors that used to be fairly easy to deal with can become areas of concern. Conformal coatings are getting increased interest now as usage grows and the quality of coatings comes under more scrutiny.

These coatings have typically been applied and examined using a range of related standards. For example, IPC-CC-830 addresses some basic testing of materials properties, while IPC J-STD-001 and IPC-A-610 define how a cured film should look.

A new IPC working group, 5-33awg, Conformal Coating Requirements Working Group, was formed to leverage the considerable amount of coating experience of the 5-33c IPC Conformal Coating Handbook Task Group, and focus on areas not covered by existing specifications. Among their areas of interest are the differences in the ways that an aerospace OEM might test coatings for NASA for outer space, or for the FAA’s tests on humidity condensation. Testing automotive OEM coatings in a damp heat environment is another area being examined.

5-33awg is working to develop criteria for conformal coating application and evaluation. Its goal is to come up with methods that allow a user of conformal coating to determine how conformal coating performs in particular end-use environments.

Learn more about conformal coatings market and  IPC Standards that provide informed perspective and relevant analysis of emergent technologies.



IPC Working Group Focuses on Nuances of Conformal Coating

Cleaning Robots Markets To Reach $2.6 Billion By 2020 and $9 Billion With Full Market Penetration in the Future

ELECTRONICS.CA PUBLICATIONS announces the availability of a new report entitled “Cleaning Robots: Market Shares, Strategies, and Forecasts, Worldwide, 2014 to 2020”.  The 2014 study has 319 pages, 109 tables and figures. Worldwide Cleaning Robots markets are increasingly diversified, poised to achieve significant growth as new technology is used in every part of the home. The automated process revolution in business process and communications is being extended to home cleaning robots. Household robot market driving forces are aspects of automated process applied to the home for achieving better use of time, creating more time for people. Using robots to replace manual cleaning is a compelling shift in managing a household. Robots for cleaning are very useful.

Robots automating cleaning systems give a chance to run the vacuum every day and keep the home cleaner while at the same time leaving more time for leisure activities. Innovation is the result of ongoing performance improvement in the areas of product development and customer support. Markets have increasing competition. Products from market leading vendors continue to compete favorably. New products and enhancements provide ease of use. Better batteries let products run for longer periods.

The principal competitive factors in the market for cleaning robots include performance, cost of purchase, length batteries work, and total cost of system operation. The cost of unit maintenance and support is a competitive aspect. Products compete based on ease of use, integration with existing equipment, quality, reliability, customer support, brand, and reputation.

Robotics related innovations improve demand. Robots for cleaning address a broader part of the potential customer base as the technology matures. Use of robots for cleaning is becoming more accepted. Products are becoming more diverse. With the technical improvements in sensors, visualization, and in the fields of robotic hobby, recreation, and warfare, robots are becoming less expensive and more adaptive to the cleaning task.

The rise of futuristic cutting edge industries and the decline of manufacturing industries gives rise to market conditions that support the evolution of more elaborate, smaller, less expensive cleaning robots. The robot industry today is expanding from industrial areas to fields where robots can be used in the same areas with humans.

Robots have gained credibility and higher adoption rates for home cleaning.

The opportunity to participate in home cleaning robot markets is broadly open as the technologies are available to construct a system. In the case of personal robots cleaning functions are accompanied by medical, welfare, education, service, and educational functional capabilities. The robot industry follows the semiconductor industry. Sales in 2013 for home cleaning robots are small compared to what will be achieved by 2020. The home cleaning industry market is anticipated to expand to the size of a $9 billion market as every household is equipped with one or more cleaning robots. Cleaning robots will achieve their fair share of this.

Vacuum cleaner robots are forecast to grow rapidly from $981 million in 2013 to $2.6 billion by 2020 because units provide automated process that implements effective cleaning power. Vacuuming with the added convenience of automated performance is sure to fill the gap for people who have less available time to clean their homes.

Cleaning Robots Markets

“Cleaning Robots: Market Shares, Strategies, and Forecasts, Worldwide, 2014 to 2020”

Details of the new report, table of contents and ordering information can be found on Publications’ web site. View the report: Cleaning Robots: Market Shares, Strategies, and Forecasts, Worldwide, 2014 to 2020


Cleaning Robots Markets To Reach $2.6 Billion By 2020 and $9 Billion With Full Market Penetration in the Future

Monday, August 31, 2015

Semiconductor Works Better when Hitched to Graphene

Experiments at SLAC Show Potential for Graphene-based Organic Electronic Devices

Graphene – a one-atom-thick sheet of carbon with highly desirable electrical properties, flexibility and strength – shows great promise for future electronics, advanced solar cells, protective coatings and other uses, and combining it with other materials could extend its range even further.

Graphene Report

A material made of semiconducting polymer placed on top of graphene conducts electric charge extremely well and may enable new electronic devices. This work was featured on the cover of the journal Advanced Functional Materials. (David Barbero)

Experiments at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory looked at the properties of materials that combine graphene with a common type of semiconducting polymer. They found that a thin film of the polymer transported electric charge even better when grown on a single layer of graphene than it does when placed on a thin layer of silicon.

“Our results are among the first to measure the charge transport in these materials in the vertical direction – the direction that charge travels in organic photovoltaic devices like solar cells or in light-emitting diodes,” said David Barbero of Umeå University in Sweden, leader of the international research team that performed the experiments at SLAC’s Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource (SSRL), a DOE Office of Science User Facility. “The result was somewhat expected, because graphene and silicon have different crystalline structures and electrical properties.”

But the team also discovered something very unexpected, he said.

Although it was widely believed that a thinner polymer film should enable electrons to travel faster and more efficiently than a thicker film, Barbero and his team discovered that a polymer film about 50 nanometers thick conducted charge about 50 times better when deposited on graphene than the same film about 10 nanometers thick.

The team concluded that the thicker film’s structure, which consists of a mosaic of crystallites oriented at different angles, likely forms a continuous pathway of interconnected crystals. This, they theorize, allows for easier charge transport than in a regular thin film, whose thin, plate-like crystal structures are oriented parallel to the graphene layer.

By better controlling the thickness and crystalline structure of the semiconducting film, it may be possible to design even more efficient graphene-based organic electronic devices.

“The fields most likely to benefit from this work are probably next-generation photovoltaic devices and flexible electronic devices,” said Barbero. “Because graphene is thin, lightweight and flexible, there are a number of potential applications.”

Learn more about graphene market and publications that provide informed perspective and relevant analysis of emergent technologies.



Semiconductor Works Better when Hitched to Graphene

Impact of Oil Price Drop on Fiber Optic Sensors Market

The distributed fiber optic sensor market stood at $585 million in 2013. The market was projected to be $1.5 billion in 2018 with 70% associated with the oil and gas segments. The sudden and unexpected drop in oil prices will negatively impact the market with the overall forecast falling short of the $1.5 billion forecast according to an updated and revised market survey report conducted by the Photonic Sensor Consortium and offered by Publications. The long term picture is still optimistic, but a short term contraction is likely.

Distributed fiber optic sensors are an enabling technology that creates smart systems in a variety of applications. The initial commercialization efforts focused on military applications. However, the need to function in harsh environments and the development of optical fiber technology that can survive in these applications has significantly impacted the oil and gas industry. These smart sensing systems provide benefits throughout the life of a well from exploration to drilling and completion, production and reservoir management. There is no other technology that can provide critical process control information spatially throughout well in real time over long periods. Without smart well technology, fracture monitoring and analysis and applications like steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) would be very difficult to effectively implement.

“A point that is under stated is that distributed fiber optic sensing systems have enabled smart well technology which has created the North American energy boom,” Dr. David Krohn, author of the 2014 Photonic Sensor Consortium Market Survey Report stressed. Krohn is Chairman of the Photonic Sensor Consortium and managing partner of Light Wave Venture LLC.

While energy is the leading market sector for this technology, it serves as a platform in many other applications shown in the accompanying figure.

Impact of Oil Price Drop Fiber Optic Sensor Applications

The forecast covers distributed fiber optic sensing systems including sensor elements, fiber optic cables, interrogators and software.

The markets covered are defined below:

* Worldwide market excluding China * Market segments covered

  • Oil & gas seismic

  • Oil & gas in-well

  • Oil & gas pipelines

  • Wind energy turbines

  • Geothermal

  • Utility power lines

  • Military – hydrophone

  • Military – security

  • Military – shipboard / avionic

  • Homeland security – intrusion / chemical

  • Infrastructure

  • Industrial process control

Most physical properties can be sensed optically with fibers. Light intensity, displacement (position), temperature, pressure, rotation, sound, strain, magnetic field, electric field, radiation, flow, liquid level, chemical analysis, and vibration are just some of the phenomena that can be sensed. Fiber optic sensors have been used successfully for many years in military gyroscopes and hydrophones. However, their use in smart oil wells has been the key to enabling North America to be on a path to energy independence.

The following companies are profiled in the report: 4DSP, Baker Hughes, CGGVeritas, Fiber SenSys, FISO Technologies, Fotech, IFOS, Intelligent Optical Systems, Halliburton, LIOS Technology, Luna, Micron Optics, Northrop Grumman, NP Photonics, Opsens, Optiphase, OZ Optics, Petrospec Engineering, PGS, QinetiQ, Schlumberger, Sensornet, Silixa, Smartec (Roctest Group), TGS, US Seismic Systems, Inc. (USSI), Weatherford, and Zeibel.

The Photonics Sensor Consortium in conjunction with Light Wave Venture was started in 2003 as an independent organization to assist in the market development and commercialization of photonic sensor technology. The primary focus has been on distributed fiber optic sensors. Over the last 10 years, the Consortium has tracked the market and provided overall projections and market analysis for active participants. This report is the first to be available to the general photonics industry. Details of the new report, table of contents and ordering information can be found on Publications’ web site.  View the report2014 Photonic Sensor Consortium Market Survey Report.

Impact of Oil Price Drop on Fiber Optic Sensors Market

Friday, August 28, 2015

Worldwide Demand for Lighting Fixtures

Worldwide demand for lighting fixtures is projected to increase at a 7% annual rate through 2018 to $174.5 billion, improving upon growth that was recorded during the 2008-2013 period. Advances will be bolstered by industrialization efforts in developing nations. Specifically, locations that maintain significant and fast growing construction and motor vehicle production markets, such as India and China, will post the fastest gains in lighting fixture demand. In addition, the rebounding economies in much of the developed world will facilitate rising lighting fixture sales. Furthermore, the continued adoption of higher value lighting fixtures that are optimized for use with more efficient light sources, such as light-emitting diodes (LEDs), will fuel demand.

China to account for largest share of new demand

In 2013, China comprised 24 percent of worldwide demand for lighting fixtures. China is expected to account for the largest share of additional global demand through 2018 with 37 percent of sales gains. The country will continue to experience robust growth because of its rapidly growing construction spending, including a number of large-scale lighting fixture retrofit projects, and its status as the world’s largest motor vehicle manufacturer. However, India will increase at the fastest rate, driven by the country’s continuing expansion of its electric grid, modernization of its building stock, and growth of the nation’s vehicle production industry.

Key US market to see above-average growth

The US, which was the second largest national market in 2013 with 18 percent of global sales, is projected to achieve above-average gains, even as the rest of the developed world posts more moderate growth rates. Advances in the US lighting fixture market are largely the result of an ongoing economic rebound. However, sales increases in much of Western Europe, and Japan and Australia will be slower, hampered by a long-running shift in vehicle production capacity away from these areas and a less robust recovery from a weakened economic climate. Still, lighting fixture sales in these areaswill benefit from a pickup in consumer spending levels and construction activity, even given their much more mature lighting fixture markets.

Nonportable lighting fixtures to offer best opportunities

Nonportable lighting fixtures will continue to account for the bulk of demand, and experience the strongest growth in sales through 2018. Indoor and outdoor nonportable lighting fixtures will record comparable rates of growth through 2018, benefiting from the strong gains in construction spending that is expected in much of the world. Advances for portable lighting fixtures will be more modest, partly because many of the newer light technologies fit most legacy portable fixtures so an upgrade is not necessary to get greater energy efficiency.

Construction to be fastest growing market

The construction market for lighting fixtures is expected to post the fastest growth in demand through 2018. This market — which includes hardwired fixtures as well as the separately sold parts and accessories — is also the biggest outlet for lighting fixtures. Specifically, residential construction applications will post the fastest gains, with sales in this market segment benefiting from the expected gains in household construction.

Details of the new report, table of contents and ordering information can be found on Publications’ web site. View the report: World Lighting Fixtures.



Worldwide Demand for Lighting Fixtures

ZigBee Standards Will Be Used in Over 80% of 802.15.4 Chipset Shipments in 2020

ELECTRONICS.CA PUBLICATIONS, the electronics industry market research and knowledge network, announces the availability of a new report entitled “ZigBee Lights Up the Internet of Things: A Market Dynamics Report“.  New research finds that annual shipments of IEEE 802.15.4 chipsets nearly doubled last year and will increase by 550% over the next five years. In 2020, ZigBee standards will be used in 8 out of 10 of the 802.15.4 chipset shipments.

“ZigBee has always provided flexibility for developers and now ZigBee is rapidly becoming the consumer technology of choice for emerging smart home products,” says Mareca Hatler, ON World’s research director. “This trend is expected to accelerate as ZigBee 3.0 unifies its application profiles and the Thread Group provides a standards based IP addressable wireless mesh network layer.”

Annual unit shipments for ZigBee/802.15.4 nearly doubled last year and will increase by 550% over the next five years. In addition to ZigBee PRO, the most widely adopted wireless mesh network protocol, the ZigBee Alliance also certifies ZigBee RF4CE devices for simple, ultra-low power remote controls and the ZigBee Alliance is also working on a new specification for outdoor wireless mesh networking using IEEE 802.15.4g and 6LoWPAN.

The Thread specification that is scheduled to be released this July will simplify and streamline the creation of smart home IoT products and services. Through a collaboration with the ZigBee Alliance, the Thread Group benefits from over a decade of development of application profiles and ZigBee 3.0 in particular. ZigBee 3.0 is scheduled to be completed this year and will unify commonly used ZigBee profiles such as ZigBee Light Link, ZigBee Home Automation, ZigBee Health Care and others into a single application profile suite, significantly streamlining product development and interoperability among vendors.

Applications for the IoT continue to expand with a growing number of IoT cloud providers such as Ayla Networks, Arrayent, GreenWave Systems, Helium, Kitu Systems, SmartThings (Samsung) and Wink (Quirky) that have recently raised $500 million in venture or equity investments.

By 2020, this new study projects that over 80% of IEEE 802.15.4 annual shipments will use a ZigBee standard. However, ZigBee is facing intensifying competition from low power variants of WiFi and Bluetooth Smart that are gaining tremendous momentum currently from the mobile, IT and consumer electronics industries. Within the next five years, the study projects that annual wireless sensor network chipset shipments will exceed 2 billion.

This report analyzes the evolving market forces, technology advances and competitive dynamics for 22 unique ZigBee markets and provides 5-year forecasts for 802.15.4/ZigBee and competing alternatives including WiFi, Bluetooth, Z-Wave, EnOcean and others. It also includes key findings from a recently completed survey with 1,000+ consumers and an extensive analysis of hundreds of ZigBee/802.15.4 products and services.

ZigBee Lights Up the Internet of Things

ZigBee Lights Up the Internet of Things

Details of the new report, table of contents and ordering information can be found on Publications’ web site.  View the report:ZigBee Lights Up the Internet of Things: A Market Dynamics Report“.


ZigBee Standards Will Be Used in Over 80% of 802.15.4 Chipset Shipments in 2020